I plunked down $20 to watch "Bill & Ted Face The Music" last night. I watched it alone in my basement, because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and also because most people I know weren’t interested in watching it with me.
It was not a good movie. And I loved it.
But this isn’t a movie review. It almost doesn’t even make sense to write or read one for this kind of film. However, I vividly remember seeing the first movie in the trilogy in the theater. Bill and Ted spawned so many quotes in teenage me, and I thought I’d forgotten them all. It turns out I didn’t.
I actually had to really think back to make sure I remembered the theme of the first two movies, that music will unite humankind. But don’t worry, you don’t need to rewatch them to catch up. This isn’t Star Wars.
Hollywood just doesn’t make sweet, silly, ridiculous movies like this anymore, and "Face The Music" almost didn’t get made, either. The script was written for 10 years, and it was conceived 15 years ago. Time marches on, and if it wasn’t for the John Wick movies, it’s likely it would’ve never happened.
But Bill and Ted have always been about suspending disbelief. Alex Winter is now 55, but he looks the same. Keanu Reeves, at 56, most certainly doesn’t, but once I got over that, I, too, traveled through space and time. You really get the feeling that the actors in this film loved every minute, too.
Without revealing any spoilers, I only found myself laughing out loud a few times, like when Bill and Ted first did their little air guitar thing and when the subtle Circle K reference appeared.
And still, the movie left me in a great mood. These days, us Gen Xers will take what we can get.
You can totally show this movie to your kids, but be prepared that they won’t get it … because there’s nothing really to get. It barely makes sense. It didn’t make sense in 1989, either. The cameos, the throwbacks, the general silliness – that is what I needed.
It’s OK to enjoy something supremely dumb right now. No one is really being excellent to each other these days. For 90 minutes, you can forget all that, and just smile.
"Bill & Ted Face The Music" is available on nearly all streaming services, and is available now.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.