Cert – PG, Run-time – 1 hour 31 minutes, Director – Dean Parisot
Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are tasked with creating a song to unite the universe in 78 minutes, otherwise all of space and time will be destroyed.
There’s a point as the familiar faces of William S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) are tasked with their mission for their third big screen outing that you feel a surge of joy and excitement. A rush brought by the fact that you know you’re about to spend the next hour or so in good company, as if revisiting friends that you haven’t seen for a while. Although older and with their differences since the last time we met – after all 29 years have passed since their bogus journey – they’re still the same old Bill and Ted that have gained more than just a cult following over the last 31 years.
Brought to the future to the society that they so strongly influence the Great Leader (Holland Taylor) tells the pair that they have just 78 minutes to come up with a song that will unite the universe, and stop all space and time from closing in on itself. However, the Wyld Stallyns have split after a decline in sales and an apparent overall decline in quality; they’re not what they once were, and it’s taken a toll on Bill and Ted. They’ve believed for a long time that at some point they will create a song to bring everyone together but after almost three decades of trying nothing’s arrived. Still trying to find it they perform songs with convoluted names involving bagpipes, theremins and throat singing – making for a hilarious re-introduction – to little response from the wedding guests. Thus the time travelling phone booth returns and Bill and Ted decide to travel to their future in the hope of finding versions of themselves that have created this song.
Meanwhile the pair’s daughters Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving) also find themselves travelling through time – in a similar vein to their fathers – picking up various different musicians in the hope of forming the world’s greatest band. While initially it seems as if the young duo are trying to exactly mirror the late-80’s, early-90’s versions of Reeves’ and Winters’ famous duo. However, gradually as their narrative grows they come into their performances and slightly begin to grow their own character personalities.
While roughly travelling along the same lines with each new place in time in the case of both plot-lines it doesn’t really matter. The entertainment value and laughs carry the film along and secure your engagement within these characters and what they’re doing. This could easily come across as a ‘reunion tour’ of sorts, but the film and its characters mostly avoid this feeling. This isn’t a cheesy wistful look back on past glory days. Yes, there are elements of nostalgia within the company of these figures. Yes, they do have their differences and some new issues. Their backs might not exactly creak but there are elements of their now marriages with the princesses from the first two films that are under strain – going to couples therapy as a couple of couples pretty much tells you everything that you need to know. Yet despite this none of it really matters because you’re there for the two titular characters, Bill and Ted. They face the music in a number of ways throughout the film and it’s a pure joy to watch.
From big grins spread across your face as the pair enthusiastically air guitar and William Sadler’s much anticipated return as Death to the many laugh out loud moments of the film and even some genuine emotion during the big scale finale; facing the music might actually be what some people need after the last few months. This might not be a most excellent adventure, but it’s certainly a bodacious return to good, entertaining friends.
Filled with plenty of entertaining laugh out loud moments it’s easy to forget, or simply not notice, any potential issues with this nostalgic re-visit thanks to how easy it is to engage with the film. Who cares about those anyway? Bill and Ted are back, dudes!