BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC
(director: Dean Parisot; screenwriters: Ed Solomon/Chris Matheson; cinematographer: Shelly Johnson; editor: Don Zimmerman; music: Mark Isham; cast: Keanu Reeves (Ted), Alex Winter (Bill), Kristen Schaal (Kelly), Samara Weaving (Thea), Brigette Lundy-Paine (Billie), Erinn Hayes (Elizabeth), Jayma Mays (Joanna), Anthony Carrigan (Dennis Caleb McCoy, a killer robot), William Sadler (Death), Daniel Dorr (Mozart), Holland Taylor (The Great Leader), Sharon Gee (Ling Lun), Jeremiah Craft (Louis Armstrong), DazMann Still (Jimi Hendrix), Kid Cudi (Himself), Beck Bennett (Deacon); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Alex Lebovici/Scott Kroopf/Steve Ponce/Ed Solomon/David Haring; Orion/MGM; 2020)
“Awkward, moronic and benign rocker time-travel sci-fi/comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Dean Parisot (“Galaxy Quest”/”Red 2”) is the new director for the third version of this awkward and benign rocker time-travel sci-fi/comedy. It goes back some three decades to the first inept one in 1989, “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” which was about bumbling SoCal teens traveling back in time to pass their high school history exam by talking to notable historical figures.
Bill and Ted Face The Music is scripted by the original writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson, as it tells about the foibles of Generation X as they aged.
The film’s stars, Alex Winter (Bill) and Keanu Reeves (Ted), who told us in “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” (1991), the second version, that the world is at peace because of its songs. The film established the boys as movie stars. After advancing their careers in different ways through the years, the boys have agreed to make this third version as now playing fifty-something slackers.
The dim-witted bro-dependent rockers of the rock band, The Wyld Stallyns, Bill and Ted, have hit the bottom and can only get gigs in places like the Elks Lodge. Joanna (Jayma Mays) and Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes) are their unhappy wives, princesses the boys brought home from medieval England, and who have now taken their clueless immature spouses for marriage counseling. However both of their idler 24–year-old daughters-Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving)-live at home, are music nerds and think that their dads are cool.
The once famous rockers are downcast because they haven’t yet written their anthem that will save the world from all the chaos that threatens to destroy it.
Arriving on Earth in a space pod from the future is Kelly (Kristen Schaal), who delivers a message from The World Leader (Holland Taylor). He warns Bill and Ted of their mission to write the life-saving song to unite the world by 7:17 p.m tonight (in 80 minutes) or there will be no more world as you know it. Kelly’s the daughter of their late time-travel guide Rufus (played by the late George Carlin, who appears via a hologram). The harried boys enter their time-machine and rush to come-up with a playlist of the greatest musicians ever. The diverse musicians picked to help them in their task include Mozart (Daniel Dorr), Louis Armstrong (Jeremiah Craft), Jimi Hendrix (DazMann Still), and Kid Cudi (as himself). What, no Woody Guthrie!
The plotline is stupidly funny, at best.
If this sort of inane comedy amuses you, G-d bless. It just doesn’t make much sense, or work for me.
REVIEWED ON 9/4/2020 GRADE: C