The year was 1989 and two young actors, one twenty-four and the other twenty-five years-old took on the roles of high school best friends and bandmates in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Keanu Reeves (The John Wick Trilogy) and Alex Winter (Robot Chicken - voice) had no idea when they agreed to be in the movie how it would change their lives but thirty-one years later they are reprising their roles for the highly anticipated third installment called Bill &Ted Face the Music. Now, middle-aged dads, they must once again travel through time and take up the quest to save the world.
William "Bill" Preston, Esq. (Winter) and Theodore "Ted" Logan (Reeves) were once part of one of the top bands in the world. Wyld Stallyns played to huge crowds and sold lots of records. Over time though, their careers diminished and now, they find themselves playing at weddings and local gatherings. They are married to their two princesses, Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes; They Came Together) and Joanna (Jayma Mays; Glee), and each has a teenage daughter. When they receive an unexpected visit from Rufus' Daughter, Kelly (Kristen Schaal; The Last Man on Earth), they must once again time travel to the future where they are told they have seventy-eight hours to write the song that will bring peace and solidarity and save the world.
Unsure of where to begin, they decide to travel to the future to "steal" the song from their older selves. However, the further forward they go, the more they dislike what they see. They are singing at open mic nights, or are in jail, and their wives have left them. Meanwhile, a robot from the future has been programmed to kill them. When their daughters find out, they travel back in time to create the greatest band ever to back Bill and Ted on the song that will save the world. As time runs out, Bill and Ted finally realize what they need to do in order to unite the people and save the world.
Winters has barely aged in the twenty-nine years since Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey was released but Reeves no longer fits the role of Ted very well. He has become too serious and barely cracks a smile – which is important for a serious character like John Wick – but which doesn't work for the free-spirited guy who is one half of Wyld Stallyns. If you look back at the first two films Reeves smiles often and has a lighthearted vibe about him but today, he is the exact opposite – fairly tightly wound and serious. The actor himself has been through some hard times and those events seem to have bled through to his acting style…again, great for the John Wick character but not for Ted. Mays and Hayes are terrific compliments to the two men and Shaal, Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) as Bill's daughter and Brigette Lundy- Paine (Bombshell) as Ted's daughter all add a fun element to the film.
Expectations for this sequel were high but unfortunately, I can't say the movie lives up to those expectations. The cast is good and the plot is decent so I'm not sure where the breakdown occurred; perhaps a combination of the directing and the script. Bill and Ted Face the Music starts slow and picks up a little by the second act but it definitely is not "most excellent".
Bill and Ted fans will either like it simply because it is Bill and Ted or they will hate it because it doesn't stand up to the first two films (and that is saying a lot because Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey wasn't all that great either).
I wish I could give this movie a better review but that wouldn't be fair.