FILM REVIEW: Bill and Ted – still goofy, silly and bodacious!
SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: ALEX WINTER, KEANU REEVES, SAMARA WEAVING, KRISTEN SCHAAL, BRIGETTE LUNDY-PAINE, ANTHONY
CARRIGAN, ERINN HAYES, JAYMA MAYS, HOLLAND
TAYLOR, KID CUDI, JILLIAN BELL & WILLIAM SADLER
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 31 MINS
DIRECTOR: DEAN PARISOT
I can’t remember the last time I was so apprehensive about watching a movie, with Bill and Ted trying to ‘party on’ after a nearly 30-year hiatus.
The first two Bill and Ted movies were a big part of my childhood. I didn’t have many video tapes growing up (yeah, VHS – really showing my age) but these movies were in my collection and so I watched them a lot.
Usually, when older films are reprised, they scream out ‘cheap cash in’ – with little heart and soul put into the making them and I desperately didn’t want that to be the case with this third instalment.
The first Bill & Ted movie Excellent Adventure came out in 1989. It starred Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves as two unfocused goofball high-school students who travel through time to increase their chances of passing their history class.
Due to the popularity of the first, just two years later we had a sequel, Bogus Journey. In fact a formula that led to many copycats like the equally-popular Wayne’s World.
And now, many, MANY years later, we have Bill and Ted Face the Music.
In this film directed by Dean Parisot – the man responsible for the acclaimed Galaxy Quest – we once again see the lovable duo, Theodore ‘Ted’ Logan and William S ‘Bill’ Preston, still played by Reeves and Winter respectively. Even William Sadler returns to reprise his role as the Grim Reaper.
We once again see the best friends time-travelling for quite an important purpose – to save the world with their music. This is something they were always told was destined to happen, but despite them being much older, it hasn’t happened yet. It needs to happen soon or all life as we know it will no longer exist.
To be honest, with 2020 being the way it is, the story doesn’t feel overly far-fetched.
Something that makes this instalment feel a little fresher is that while we have Bill and Ted going off on one adventure, we also have their daughters (Ready or Not’s Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine) going off on their own time-travels too. As to why? I don’t want to give too much away.
Of course, things don’t quite go as planned on either of their journeys, as is often the way with these movies, or they’d be rather dull.
You may be wondering if you need to see the first two movies to see this? I think you’ll be alright. There is a short bit at the start that ‘fills you in’ on the first two movies, but it wasn’t really needed. The first two films are not exactly known for their complicated plot lines. They’re not exactly Tenet!
All you really need to know (as I mentioned previously), their music was supposed to save the world but it hasn’t. You’re good to go!
A stand-out performance for me was courtesy of Dennis the Robot. He is sent through time to kill Bill and Ted, but rather than being a terrifying terminator-esque character, he is clumsy as hell – which fits into this goofy universe perfectly.
I can relate to Bill & Ted. They don’t take themselves or life too seriously. They are dreamers. They laugh at the number 69 for Pete’s Sake. Therefore, watching this film was like catching up with old school friends that I hadn’t seen in years. It was a little weird at first, but before long it’s like nothing had ever changed.
If you liked the first two movies, I see no reason why you shouldn’t like this. Is it quite as fun? No. Is it as iconic? Again, no. But it’s much better than I feared it would be.
With this year being one disaster after another, something goofy and silly is just what I needed – and this bodacious adventure fits the bill.
By Mikey Clarke