I don’t get to say this very often anymore, but I’m actually too young to remember when both Bill & Ted films were originally released, so I’ve come late to this bodacious party. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of Alex Winter and Keanu Reaves’ bumbling – but charming – imbeciles, but both Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey have their quirky, smile-inducing merits.
This three-quel has been some years in the making. It’s been nearly 30 years since Bogus Journey hit our screens and, according to Winter, its took Face the Music 8 years to be put together. Dragging up old franchises from their cinematic death beds has a mixed track record – and one that usually play on nostalgia heavily – but in the case Bill & Ted 3 it’s reliance on the past isn’t a bad thing.
We find the pair of likeable numpties now fully embedded into middle age life, with grown up kids, disgruntled wives and a failing music career – and still no world changing song to hear of! The first sequence in the film is a massive nod to an odd-running franchise gag that, in other hands, could have been massively eye-rolling, but is done with enough tongue-in-cheek dudeness here to make it work. This is a feature of the film, as the best bits of past movies – characters and themes – are pleasantly touched upon and revisited, whilst moving the franchise on to new places. Those new places mainly consist of the daughters Thea and Billie, played enjoyably by Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine, respectively.
I think lovers of the characters and series will be pleasantly surprised at how well this lands. It’s all over the shop, but with likeable new characters mixed in with the well-worn, but successful old hits of characters and traits, Face the Music will bring a massive, awesome smile to your face.