Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)

*. Shouldn’t I be the ideal audience for this movie? I’m roughly the same age as Bill and Ted, and I remember going to see Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure when it came out back in 1989 and enjoying it (though I guess I didn’t love it enough to bother with Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, at least as far as I can remember).
*. Or maybe the idea was to make a movie to appeal to families. Bill and Ted are older now and have teenage daughters and I guess one can imagine them watching this movie together. That may explain the presence of Kid Cudi, someone who is apparently playing himself. I had never heard of him before, but the kids seemed to know who he was.
*. Unfortunately, this wasn’t for me. I thought things got off to a good start with a funny bit involving Bill and Ted providing the live “music” for a wedding, but that was the last laugh I was to enjoy.
*. As with too many not-funny new comedies I’ve been watching, I spent a lot of time staring at the screen trying to figure out what was even supposed to be funny. Was the robot Dennis Caleb McCoy funny? I get the part about his being a robot with human emotional problems, but while that was hilarious in the case of Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy it fell flat here. I kept wondering where or what the joke was.
*. There’s not much of a story. In order to write the song that’s going to save the universe by bringing everyone together (yes, it’s that flimsy), the daughters (who take after their dads quite literally) have to round up a band of all-stars from Earth’s past. So that they can basically just jam together on the freeway.
*. Apparently the producers wanted not just a family-friendly film but one that would be resolutely PC (some of the jokes from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure hadn’t aged well you see). So the girls are the real heroes, and the band only has the one white guy (Mozart). Alas, the drummer turns out to be a Black woman named Grom who is preverbal and scurries about like a chimp in-between banging on her bongos. I suppose we should feel grateful they didn’t stick a bone through her nose.
*. Has wholesomeness and nostalgia become such a draw? A survey of critics says yes, as this film was very well received. So perhaps I haven’t aged as gracefully. I can say Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves reinhabit their very limited roles without seeming too bored by what’s going on. But though I’m sure I was meant to feel good at the end I came away so let down it made me reconsider what I thought of the first movie. Had it actually been as bad as this? Now I’m afraid to go back in time and find out.

2 thoughts on “Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)

  1. tensecondsfromnow

    I’d say a flimsey pretext is what I’d expect from a Bill and Ted movie. Enjoyed this more than you didn, although it suffers from the same problems as most sequels made 30 years later. And yes, some of the old gags haven’t aged well, and the whole thing has a PC edge, but again, that’s better than playing service to attitiudes which have hopefully changed by now. So the bottom line; are Bill and Ted bogus to you now?

    Reply
    1. Alex Good Post author

      It’s interesting. I do like the characters. I think more could have been done with the idea that so much in the world has changed while they haven’t changed a bit. And man do I wish they’d had some decent jokes. Do you know what was supposed to be funny about Dennis Caleb McCoy? And they kept dragging that out. I was mystified.

      Reply

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