Review: “Bill and Ted Face the Music” is mean nostalgia

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The Los Angeles Times has pledged to review new theatrical film releases during theCovid-19 pandemic. Since cinema has inherent risks during this time, readers are reminded to follow health and safety guidelines such as sketched by the CDC and local health officials. We will continue to note the various ways readers can view each new movie, including Southland drive-in theaters and VOD / streaming options when available.It’s been 30 years since Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves charmed audiences as Bill S. Preston, Esq., And Ted “Theodore” Logan in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey”. In the third installment, “Bill and Ted Face the Music,” Reeves and Winter revisit their quintessential bestie characters in a film that offers an easy dose of nostalgia.

In “Great Adventure,” Bill and Ted had to take a history class to avoid military school, which they did by putting historical figures together using a time-traveling phone booth. In “Bogus Journey”, Bill and Ted escape hell to win the Bands Battle as Wyld Stallyns. Many years later, they still cling to those rock ‘n’ roll dreams. In “Face the Music”, written by original writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, and directed by Dean Parisot (“Galaxy Quest”), Bill and Ted face their midlife crisis.

The co-dependent brothers haven’t grown much over the years, which has hampered their lives with their wives, medieval princesses Joanna (Jayma Mays) and Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes), evident in a disastrous couples therapy session . They’re the proud fathers of music lovers Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving), but they’re much more of a guy than a dad. But soon, time travel calls, in the form of Kelly (Kristen Schaal), the daughter of their former futurist leader Rufus (George Carlin), who assigns them to perform a song that will unite reality and prevent the timeline from unfolding. collapse on itself. . Just hours away, Bill and Ted are harnessing their time travel prowess to wrest song from their future selves, and their time travel will help them learn to unite their own realities with their families.

“Face the Music” has all the seriousness one would expect from a “Bill & Ted” movie, almost none. It’s fun to watch Winter (now a prolific director) and Reeves (now John Wick) return to those roles, although the cognitive dissonance between the sweet doofus Ted and the Reeves we know as a serious, laconic action star either long jump.

Weaving and Lundy-Paine turn out to be breakouts from “Face the Music,” nailing the mannerisms of their fathers. Their part of the story, traveling through time to bring together the best musicians to support the Wyld Stallyns, could have (or should have) been the entire movie. Another deadly but neurotic robot is Anthony Carrigan (who plays NoHo Hank on “Barry” on HBO), chasing Bill and Ted through time as they hunt down their future beings in search of their song that unites reality. His ballooned white head is a nod to William Sadler’s incredible turn as Death in “Bogus Journey,” and Sadler takes on the role here, as do franchise veterans Hal Landon Jr. as Chief Logan. and Amy Stoch as the ubiquitous stepmother Missy.

While you shouldn’t expect realism, what rings the fake is the casting of Hayes and Mays as the duo’s wives. They’re over a decade younger than Reeves and Winter, as well as the two different sets of actresses who played the princesses in previous films, and the age difference makes them a particularly bad mark of time travel. at Hollywood.

As Bill and Ted bounce back in time, the narratives in these movies are just loose assortments of wacky tunes and cameos, and “Face the Music” doesn’t stray from them. While it doesn’t quite consistently freeze, in this laid-back bounce with a pair of old buddies, it’s the dudes who remain excellent.

Katie Walsh is a film critic for the Tribune News Service.

‘Bill and Ted face the music’

Evaluation: PG-13, for some languages

Execution time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Playing: Mission Tiki Drive-In, Montclair and Rubidoux Tri-Plex Drive-in, West Riverside; also available on PVOD and digital platforms, and in general version where theaters are open

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