The Screen Room
Belated Sequels: Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)
Introducing a new feature (cue drum roll and dramatic trumpet fanfare music)....
Over the coming weeks I’m going to be looking at sequels that came out years after the original (or previous instalment) and I’ll be asking you to share your thoughts on whether or not they were worth the wait.
I’m gonna kick it off with this one:
Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)
Previous Instalments: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991).
Time since last instalment: 29 years.
I literally couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the first two films! I loved them growing up.
I had the Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey movie poster on my bedroom wall, the soundtracks on CD and I even got into the band Extreme after being introduced to their song “Play with Me” during the shopping mall scene at the end of Excellent Adventure where Beethoven is playing keyboards in the music shop. Needless to say I was excited when a third film was announced.
What’s particularly interesting is that, when I was a young teenager in the early 90s I used to read a magazine called Number One. It was generally aimed at young teens and contained articles about pop stars and new movies and all that kind of thing. I remember reading an interview with Keanu Reeves and he was asked if there would be a Bill & Ted 3. He said that there were no plans for it but he liked the idea of doing a sequel when Bill & Ted were in their 40s to see where they ended up.
At the time I was so disappointed to think that I might have to wait 20 years to see that film. As it turns out it was closer to 30 years!
I needn’t of been excited about the announcement of the long awaited third instalment though, it was bad!
It pains me to say but there really wasn’t anything I liked about the film.
The story had potential but just didn’t play out well enough to work. It wasn’t funny, it had annoying characters (their two daughters) and as much as Alex Winter was exactly the same Bill as in the previous movies, Keanu Reeves looked uncomfortable playing the character again after so many years. It was almost like he felt self conscious playing such an airhead after playing more serious characters like John Wick and Neo etc.
The movie also did what a lot of long awaited sequels do and that’s get as many original characters back as possible, slap loads of nostalgia on the screen and assume that that’s enough to please fans. Coming 2 America (2021) is the latest film guilty of this crime.
Something else a lot of sequels do these days is bring in younger characters, presumably to: A) Appeal to a younger audience who might not otherwise have watched the film, and: B) Hand the franchise over to them so further films can be made without the original actors being involved down the line. I don’t like it! The new Ghostbusters film looks like it’s heading the same way and I’m concerned. It’s only the fact that the remaining original actors are returning and Paul Rudd is involved that I’m holding onto the hope that it’s not going to be a disappointment.
The introduction of Bill & Ted’s daughters is along those same lines.
Not only were they annoying (and I’m not being sexist here) but I just found the inclusion of them a box ticking exercise.
It’s fairly up for debate whether the babies in Bogus Journey were male or female as they’re only referred to as “Little Bill” and “Little Ted”, but I always thought they were boys. In this movie they’re revealed to be girls: “Billie” and “Theo”.
We could argue all day about it and never reach an agreement but with things being what they are these days where all bases have to be covered in order to include all genders, races, sexes, religions etc so as to not offend anyone, I just felt like they were made female in this film for PC reasons and I’m just not a fan of that.
The first two films were funny, clever, charming and highly entertaining. To this day each stands up on its own largely due to the fact that they’re two completely different adventures.
I really wanted to like this movie, and prior to watching it I had read some bad reviews from fans on a few pages I follow on Facebook. As disappointed as I was to read that it wasn’t as good as I was hoping, I figured that if I was going in with lower expectations I’d probably enjoy it more than they did. Unfortunately I didn’t.
In this case (in my opinion) this long awaited sequel was not worth the wait.
What do you think? Have you seen Bill & Ted Face the Music? Was it worth the wait?
Let me know in the comments.👇