Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)
August 28, 2020 4:36 PM - Subscribe

Once told they'd save the universe during a time-traveling adventure, 2 would-be rockers from San Dimas, California find themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny.
posted by paper chromatographologist (37 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by tiamat at 5:56 PM on August 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Most excellent!
posted by paper chromatographologist at 6:32 PM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Adorable and delightful and perfect.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:06 PM on August 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I mean, party on, dudes!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:06 PM on August 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I liked it.
posted by Dennis Caleb McCoy at 8:23 PM on August 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

It was delightfully stupid and wonderful.
posted by bondcliff at 9:09 PM on August 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

It’s sincere, and it oozes love and affection from every frame. In this hellscape of a year, I needed all three. I’m grateful it exists.
posted by FallibleHuman at 10:14 PM on August 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Yeah, 'Delightful' is definitely the best description of this!

Few franchises could pull this off, but I have to credit the success of Jean-Claude Van Johnson towards the green lighting for this.

Ambivalent about daughters/sons = parents, but Brigette Lundy-Paine (Billie) does a a credible Ted-ish.

The scenes with Death - heh.
posted by porpoise at 11:41 PM on August 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I liked it! Extremely lightweight and silly, but I'm definitely up for something goodhearted and dumb in this hellscape of a year.
posted by merriment at 5:45 AM on August 29, 2020

It was lightweight in a way but also like really dug into how the franchise understands time travel better than a lot of serious movies.

The loooong brick joke with Missy making Ted's dad his son was great, and made up for the general ongoing grossness of the Missy gag.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:12 AM on August 29, 2020

Also I liked that Billie and Thea were so brilliant. They're not their fathers--they're better than their fathers. As a AFAB/non-binary kid who was once obsessed with B&T seeing AFAB/non-binary actors take up that mantle and do it better made me very very happy.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:13 AM on August 29, 2020 [5 favorites]

In my head canon, the children, who were assigned male at birth at the end of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, came out simultaneously to all their parents, to which Bill and Ted turned to each other and said, "Do you know what that means?" "We have daughters!" And everybody plays an air guitar riff.
posted by otherchaz at 2:20 PM on August 29, 2020 [13 favorites]

I haven't seen it yet but assumed time travel switched their genders like they did with Diggle's kid on Arrow....they don't say this in the movie, right?
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:11 PM on August 29, 2020

I just found out that Dennis Caleb McCoy is NoHo Hank from Barry and I love him even more.
posted by bondcliff at 7:16 PM on August 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

Anthony Carrigan (NoHo Hank) is amazing and an inspiration.
posted by porpoise at 7:35 PM on August 29, 2020

I haven't seen it yet but assumed time travel switched their genders like they did with Diggle's kid on Arrow....they don't say this in the movie, right?

In the movie they establish that they were always assigned female and that their dads just referred to them as Little Bill and Little Ted as babies.

(This was also the narrative in the comics and the babies in the second film were girls.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:38 PM on August 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

I would just like to link this post I made three years ago about what I would like to see in a third Bill & Ted movie.

I'm feeling pretty excellent right now!
posted by Windigo at 6:13 AM on August 30, 2020 [14 favorites]

I liked it and it had several touching moments. When Bill & Ted learn that their daughters have been killed they have ZERO hesitation about going there to rescue them via the most expedient means available: incineration by laser. Classic B&T.

If only we all had the privilege of meeting ourselves on our deathbeds and forgiving each other.

There's a quick bit where, on the bad guys' viewing hologram, I think you can see the historical Jesus walking on water (crossing the Delaware, naturally). This threw me for a second but I guess it's not really at odds with B&T cosmology.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:44 AM on August 30, 2020 [3 favorites]

A most triumphant film!
posted by rodlymight at 7:28 PM on August 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Wow, Windigo, spoiler alert!
posted by kandinski at 8:31 PM on August 30, 2020 [3 favorites]

Welp, that was fun. A little incoherent on the actual song, but everyone playing together was very sweet. The daughters were fun (and very musically educated) and the dads being well meaning and earnest is very cute.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:33 PM on August 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

i love it, even if im the only one in my cinema (of three people!) who giggled all the way through. what a delightful movie, and i think i came out of it thinking, fangirls and remix culture will save the world! but it's hard not to make that reading.

also also, i don't care, that first song at the wedding slaps hard. unironically. and it still works both as a joke ("what is that noise" etc etc) but also as character work - bill & ted never gave up actually! the world didn't get them, and maybe they were flubbing more than they want to, but goddamn it, all these years, they were working on it as much as they could understand how to. and because they are fundamentally loving people, yes, their kids technically assembled the song that saved time and space, but those girls won't have come to that point if they also didn't have love in their hearts, both for their parents and the world. and bill & ted didn't even spend a moment in jealousy at having their supposed destiny reframed. they were happy to usher it in in support of their kids' grand work. idk, if there's something to be read about the legacy gen x--->millenials--->zoomers have with each other with regards to stewardship of this planet, then it's more than just a delight. it's inspirational.
posted by cendawanita at 12:55 AM on September 1, 2020 [15 favorites]

I laughed so hard I cried at the wedding song. And then didn't really stop laughing throughout. I love this series so much. I was not expecting that music and it caught me off guard and I've seen it 3 times now and every single time that starts, I crack up.
posted by apex_ at 4:28 PM on September 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Deacon and Missy trying to dance to it.
posted by apex_ at 4:32 PM on September 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

We just watched it, and were grinning like idiots all the way through. Holy God they actually pulled this off.

Kristen Schaal: Perfect replacement for Rufus, does her own thing, totally confident in it, just felt right.
Samara Weaving: Really managed to convey Bill's unrelenting, reckless positivity while also playing smart.
Brigette Lundy-Paine: Fucking wow. Totally played Keanu's expressions without leaning into impersonation or parody, just totally made it their own. MVP.
Jayma Mays: I'm always happy to see her in anything, especially when she gets to do some actual comedic work instead of just squeezing it into the crevices of whatever.
Erinn Hayes: I only knew her from her one-shot on Parks & Rec, where she was hilarious, and she was great here too.
Alex Winter & Keanu Reeves: Brought it. They knew what they had to do and nailed it.

But the script and direction were absolutely what they needed to be, playing the conceits of the first two movies but in fun ways, and obviously picking up the stakes laid down originally. That it was a celebration of music, music history and "the future is female" just added to the utter joy that feels like manna in the desert right now.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:38 PM on September 3, 2020 [3 favorites]


Beck Bennett was perfect casting for Deacon, who was always a douche little brother and, well, Bennett can't help but play douches who you want to watch anyway.

It's not just that they were immediately willing to die by laser to go to hell to rescue their daughters - they destroyed the only copy of the song in order to do so, because their daughters were obviously more important to them than saving reality.

They found a way to do a song that would unite the world and save reality, because they came at the situation at a different angle than "what's the best possible song?"
posted by Navelgazer at 6:44 PM on September 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Man that was a bunch of fun. It was just so good natured and positive. I definitely laughed all the way through it, it was really nice to have 90 minutes that came together and take just lifted some of the emotional burden this year has put on me.

Also awesome when they're told they have 77 minutes the remaining movie time is just about that long, I love it when movies have that meta textual element.
posted by Carillon at 8:43 PM on September 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Watching it a second time, I realize: the song at the end isn't so far off from what B&T were trying to do at the beginning. Their daughters just know how to arrange it and fill it out!
posted by Navelgazer at 6:32 PM on September 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Most excellent movie.

It's so damn sincere about music saving the world, that if we can all play in harmony, all reality and our lives will enter a new era. It's silly/weird like when Bill and Ted forgive themselves or when they say that Ted's father is his own son. Moments like that happen and they don't even wink at the camera because reality is strange and if we can appreciate that, we can understand the amazing. Billie and Thea are so dopey/smart, two well-intentioned people that society says are wastes yet have so much skill and goodness.

I needed this before I went back to the trenches of making that better world.

Also, Bill and Ted aren't stoners; they're just 90s SoCal turned up past 11, oblivious to the point of insight, teenage to the point of wisdom. The whole joke of the first film is that what if you put the burden of destiny on kids like that. To their credit, they never get bitter when things don't go their way.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:43 AM on September 5, 2020

Also, I may add, Bill and Ted represent the perfect bro-love (to the point it's interfering with their marriages). They named their daughters after each other, they stayed together even when things didn't go well, they grew old together, and they confided in and supported each other. For all the stories of middle age where it shows people becoming slowly estranged, that doesn't happen with Bill and Ted. It's a monument to the idea that some folks are with us through thick and thin.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:11 AM on September 5, 2020 [8 favorites]

Evil Bill steps in to save Evil Ted from drinking too much, that's how wholesome and perfect this movie is. There are moments where Keanau looks just like Alan Rickman as Servious Snape because he's trying to think about something too much, and then he just becomes Ted again because Bill is there and neither of them bother to think too much in each other's company! The first mututal air-guitar riff comes in only halfway through the film, but that's what makes it most triumphant! Also, Death has a very nice house even if it's in Hell and loves his nieces as much as they love him, which is a ton.

This is the movie I wanted but didn't know I needed. In this place, at this time? I needed this. My whole family did. It's not genius cinema, it is what it is and I am deeply grateful for it.

Also, uncredited Weird Al cameo!
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:24 AM on September 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

The main thing I was worried about going in was that they would just ignore or erase the ending of Bogus Journey (though admittedly there's not much room for a sequel if you don't at least walk it back a bit). Even though this movie had them starting out in superficially the same place as the others (two best buds in the garage making music people don't want to listen to), they managed to retain more than I had expected. It's not too hard to imagine that, having nearly (but not quite) fulfilled their destiny of uniting the world through music, Bill and Ted go further and further afield to try and find that unknown factor that they were missing, with diminishing results. It's much better than The Force Awakens' "everything's back the way it was except there's different names"

Bill and Ted's musical experimentation presumably influenced Billie and Thea's wide musical taste, which served them well in putting together the band.

My only complaint is that it's no match for being 9 years old and watching Excellent Adventure for the first time. But then again what is?
posted by ckape at 1:34 PM on September 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

Bill and Ted represent the perfect bro-love (to the point it's interfering with their marriages).

I loved the goofy silliness to this movie, loved the whole daughters passing-of-torch and loved both how faithful it was to the original movies while still trying to be a little more in step with modern times. Lots of good jokes and a feel-good vibe throughout, despite a slightly menacing plot line.

My only gripe is that.... their wives were like set dressing. Like it was a big deal in the earlier movies, hey the princesses! But they were so unimportant to the films that they're literally played by three different pairs of actresses each time (getting younger each time). I was kind of thinking maybe there would also be some mother-daughter stuff going on as the men go off and do their weird thing, but nah. This movie had a lot of strong female roles, so that was AOK in my book and I knew what I was getting, but I always hope for a little more balance in these things.
posted by jessamyn at 10:12 AM on September 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

jessamyn: I totally agree on the wives. They were having their own adventure, technically, we just didn't see it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:29 AM on September 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Weird AL cameo looks like it was uncredited because he wasn't approached about the credit sequence, but was just one of the thousands of fans who sent in clips of themselves rocking out for it (the creators say they got way, way more clips than they were expecting, but used all of them.)
posted by Navelgazer at 7:03 PM on September 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Jessamyn and Jenfullmon have the right of it. There is another movie forthcoming detailing the shared stories of the Princesses and LIttle Bill and Little Ted. It shall be most fraught, yet totally triumphant. Death will be involved, as will Station, who we will learn has been referred to by a most bogus pronoun. Causality will be out the door, continuity as well. Let's rock.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:29 PM on September 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

Weird Al was also in the prison scene.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:49 PM on September 14, 2020

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