The world was first introduced to Bill and Ted in 1989, and you can now see the third film in the franchise in cinemas. Does this new instalment add to the franchise, or harm what was a pretty perfect ending in their last outing? Here’s our review of Bill and Ted Face the Music
When viewing Bill and Ted Face the Music I felt like I had to wear two hats. The first remembering seeing the last movie (Bill and ted’s Bogus Journey) with school friends at our local Odeon, way back in 1991. The second hat, picturing myself as someone new to the franchise, critiquing it as a silly comedy with modern-day effects. Neither hat fits well here.
WARNING: The next section contains spoilers
I wrote an article a few weeks ago when the final trailer for this movie dropped. In the article, I speculated around certain plot aspects of the film hoping that I would be wrong. I regret to say that I wasn’t.
Trailers seem to be giving more and more plot away for movies. If you’ve seen the trailer for Bill and Ted Face the Music then you can probably work out what happens.
Bogus Journey recap
Let’s rewind to the end of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. If you recall Wyld Stallyns return from their intensive guitar training to headline the battle of the bands. They blast out the wonderful ‘God Gave Rock and Roll to You II’, with a little help from KISS. Then we’re treated to a press montage of what happened to them next. This is where Face the Music picks up. But, importantly it skips some of the headlines and skews the headlines in a different direction.
The headlines highlight the growth of the band and their impact on the world beyond music. They highlight Death leaving the band which is a plot point in Face the Music and they highlight the rumoured split, again in this film. But the Bogus journey montage then brings them all back together again with a Rolling Stone cover headline. And we leave them as they blast into space to play a gig on Mars. This reunion and beyond is ignored in Bill and Ted Face the Music. Instead, they struggle and tumble down the bill, which is where the film picks things up.
Little Bill and Little Ted
We’re introduced to their daughters Thea (Samara Weaving) and Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine). Music fans and following in their father’s footprints and goofy but caring slackers. Billie and Thea end up as the heroes of the film, as suggested in the trailer. Whilst Bill and Ted themselves are more downbeat, lacking some of the chirpy optimism they carried (including in the cartoon) previously. Their daughters are upbeat and big fans of music.
I guess the pressure of writing the song that will unite the world and save reality can put a downer on your personality.
Bill and Ted are tired
Part of the fun of the originals were the sayings and actions from the main characters. They crossed into popular culture. In this outing, though we see little air guitar, no great lines like “this is most non non heinous”. Or many heavy metal references like “take them to the Iron Maiden”. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter’s leads just seem beaten up by the world, as you would expect. But that’s not the point of Bill and Ted. They should be chirpy, happy and ignorant of the gravity of the situations they’re facing. Maybe the issues of the world in 2020 just finally got to them.
The legacy of Rufus
George Carlin played the character of Rufus in the original two movies. Since he died in 2008 they replaced the role with his daughter played by Kristen Schaal. Schaal’s character is called Kelly. A tribute to Carlin’s real-life daughter of the same name.
Rufus was a cool character. Kelly is harder to like. The future timeline is a bit messy. It includes a fairly pointless robot with personality quirks who doesn’t really end up doing much. And at no point do you really feel the gravitas of a destiny fulfilled.
The princesses are played by new actors again. But we do get to see familiar faces of Ted’s dad, Missy and the outstanding William Sadler as Death.
All these characters though just feel a bit more shoehorned in compared to how they fit before. Towards the end Death just feels like a forgotten part of the group.
Look, Bill and Ted Face the Music isn’t a bad movie. It’s quite fun and really easy to watch. But it’s predictable, as major elements were spoiled by the trailers. And it doesn’t feel like a step up to conclude the franchise over their second outing. Much like Pixar with the release of Toy Story 4, this is a decent film. But, not one that we ever really needed to have.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 4/10
Thanks for reading our review of Bill and Ted Face the music, now in cinemas. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
More of our movie reviews HERE
Read IMDB information about Bill and Ted Face the Music HERE.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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