Friday, August 28, 2020

Maybe it's game over for 'Bill & Ted' after watching them meet Death again

Daughters Weaving and Lundy-Paine face Dads Winter and Reeves.
So, some familiar faces return today, 29 years after their "Bogus Journey" and a full 31 beyond the "Excellent Journey" that introduced the acquired-taste foolishness starting it all. Yep, "Bill & Ted Face the Music" brings back the crazy pair of slacker time travelers, played once more by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves.

Certainly the boys now look much older, even if they never act any wiser (although the sanity of anyone paying top dollar -- at least $20 on most streaming sites for this dreck -- might need to be checked at the door, too).

Let's start on a positive note with the only truly funny bits in the 90-minute film. Those would be exactly two: A lunacy-laced wedding toast from the title characters to start the proceedings after Ted's ex-stepmom (Amy Stoch) marries Bill's younger brother (Beck Bennett from "SNL") and, much later, a few exchanges with a whiny Death itself (the returning William Sandler), still hurting over perceived music-related snubs decades ago.

Otherwise, we can also only make particularly fresh mention of casting Samara Weaving, as Thea, and Brigettte Lundy-Paine, as Billie, the bright and personable daughters of fathers Bill and Ted, who smartly look just like them. The fact that Weaving herself already has accumulated a fine list of credits speaks volumes about her own talents. However, neither she nor the breezy Lundy-Paine are ever rewarded with anything remotely humorous to say by original "B&T" screenwriters Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon.

Instead, the girls simply get salvation duty for their still-dopey dads by showing up in a number of odd places to help them save the world, or some such convoluted nonsense. That includes what should have been at least a few hilarious moments in putting together a word-class band featuring rocker Jimi Hendrix (DazMan Still), jazzy Louis Armstrong (Jeremiah Craft), flautist Ling Lun (Sharon Gee) and a guy named Mozart (Daniel Dart).

Maybe there really is a fun film here somewhere, although a couple of noticeably bizarre editing moments pop up occasionally as well. Regardless, the mindlessness of it all never rings more true than during the remarkably dull and disappointing sequence at the very end of the lengthy final credits. Just rest in peace, dudes! I guess.

Rated "PG-13" by MPAA: some strong language; 1:31; $ and 1/2 out of $5

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