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Reviews for July 10th, 2020

Bill & Ted Face the Music

Directed by Dean Parisot




      Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) still remain friends during their middle age, but struggle with their music career while playing in their band, Wyld Stallions. They're both married to princesses from Medieval times and look after their daughters,  Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving). One day, Kelly (Kristen Schaal) travels from the future to set them on a new mission to save the world by creating a song that will unite the world. They have until 7:17pm to write and perform the song or else the world will end. Meanwhile, The Great Leader (Holland Taylor) sends a robot,  Dennis Caleb McCoy (Anthony Carrigan), to try to kill Bill and Ted.

      Bill & Ted Face the Music aims to be outrageously funny, but more of than not, it fails to to elicit any laughter because of the dull, unfocused screenplay by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon. The first 30 minutes or so are filled with exposition before Bill and Ted's go on their new time-traveling adventure. Once they do set out to save the world in a phone booth that serves as a time machine, you would hope that the film would kick its gear up and become a fun, wildly entertaining, thrilling ride. Think again. The plot feels lazy and uninspired without taking enough narrative risks. Bill and Ted's banter along with their silliness, eventually gets tedious and exhausting, although it's amusing at first because it's a trip down memory lane to the prior Bill & Ted films. Winter and Reeves don't have the same chemistry that they had together in those cult classic films. They seem to be trying too hard to recreate that magic chemistry, but it just ends up being contrived. Kristen Shaal, Samara Weaving and Holland Taylor give amusing performances, but their characters don't have enough time on screen to elevate the film. 

        There's too much going on all at once, and very little of the beats actually land. Did I mention that there's also a subplot involving Bill, Ted and their wives going to a couples therapist (Jillian Bell)? Bill and Ted have marriage, career issues and more that plague them, but the film doesn't really care about that. Those are merely padding for Bill and Ted's CGI-filled time-traveling adventure. 90 minutes isn't enough time to flesh out all of the subplots, the characters nor their problems in a satisfying way, so it's no surprise that the third act feels very rushed and disappointing without earning its uplift. If Bill and Ted Face the Music were campier, bolder and funnier, perhaps it would've been a mindless guilty pleasure instead of such a witless, unfunny and underwhelming sequel. Please be sure to stay for a scene after the end credits roll.

Number of times I checked my watch: 3
Released by Orion Pictures.
Opens in select theaters and on PVOD.