Directed by Dean Parisot
Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Kristen Schaal, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Anthony Carrigan, Erinn Hayes, Jayma Mays, Kid Cudi, and William Sadler
At the tender age of 12, I got to go to the theatre to see Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and I loved it. As soon as I discovered the Internet and started googling movie rumours, whispers of a third film abounded. The idea of catching up with a middle aged Bill & Ted really started picking up steam about five years ago, and when they announced it was happening, I was thrilled. In these pandemic times, the home premiere has caught on for films. So rather than go out to the theatre and see it, I decided to drop the $20 to rent it digitally. So how are Bill & Ted in middle age?
After the events of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Wyld Stallyns went on to have great success as rock stars. But, Bill & Ted have yet to write “The Song,” the one that will unite the world in peace and harmony. Over the next 25 years, their attempts to write The Song grow more and more desperate, alienating their fans and putting a strain on their marriages. About the only bright spot in their lives are their daughters, Billie and Thea, who adore their fathers. Just as Bill & Ted are about to give up and go get real jobs, an emissary from the future arrives. Because Bill & Ted haven’t written The Song yet, the timeline is starting to collapse. If they don’t write and perform The Song in the next 75 minutes, all of reality will be undone. So, Bill & Ted hop in their ol’ time traveling phone booth and decide to get the song from their future selves, when they’ve already written it. While this goes on, Billie and Thea have their own excellent adventure, as they round up history’s greatest musicians to form their dads’ new band. Will Bill & Ted find the song in the time stream? Can they save all of reality?
What I Liked
Oh, it’s just a nostalgic joy to see these characters back at it. It’s almost shocking how little they’ve aged. And bringing them to middle-age and dealing with all that comes with it was just the most logical place to go. The casting is top notch, too. The kid playing Billie — Ted’s daughter — has young Keanu Reeves’ mannerisms down pat. And there’s some great laugh out loud moments as we see the future Bills and Teds. And you can’t help but cheer when old friends like Death show up to be part of the ride.
What I Didn’t Like
I think Keanu Reeves has been playing John Wick for too long, as he seems to be taking this far too seriously. I don’t think Ted cracks a smile once in the film. And I was almost taken aback at how small scale it is. Aside from some big set pieces in the Future and Hell, it’s mostly smaller character stuff. I don’t know what I’m putting that under “What I Didn’t Like,” as it allows for great character growth. I guess, after 25 years, I was just expecting it to be bigger.
A fantastic return for Bill & Ted. Give us a the spinoff about Billie and Thea now, please.