“Dude!” Yes, finally, the most excellent and bogus adventure is back and, after decades of will-they, won’t-they, the Wyld Stallyns return to grace us with their lyrically-challenged yet strangely charming personas. It’s been a long old time since we partied with them: some three decades have passed and, in classic Hollywood Development Hell
terms, they have risen from the ashes to take us back in time once more to save the universe. Finding the time and financing for the film seemed to take an eternity but someone eventually saw sense and into the iconic phone booth we go again with Bill & Ted as they face the music…
Brace yourselves: while still living in San Dimas, California with their princess brides and still trying to be musicians of the highest order, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are parents. Yes, parents. No spelling error there but alas they are fathers to Theodora “Thea” Preston (Samara Weaving) and Wilhelmina “Billie” Logan (Brigette Lundy-Paine) who, as you may have guessed, are very much like their dads. Anyway, some years have passed and the duo has been unable to conjure up the song to unite the world and, as such, the space-time continuum as we know it is on the brink of collapsing unless they travel to the future to find the solution.
If it all seems very similar to the previous installments then you’d be right but for such a unique and heartwarming series thus far, why break precedent? With sequels, particularly threequels, we want more for our buck: something fresh and exciting that will touch on all of our favourite things without trampling on them whilst still having all the stuff we love and, for the most part, this delivers. Just. Yes, the plot is a bit thin and lazy in places but when it’s this much fun, who really cares? We need some light relief in these crazy times and Bill & Ted provide plenty.
Directed with the same energy and irreverence as he used in Galaxy Quest, Dean Parisot injects new life into proceedings that make up for some of its shortfalls, particularly when some of the jokes don’t quite land as they should. Indeed, you can extend the freshness to both Weaving and Lundy-Paine, whose youthful exuberance and radiance light up the film whenever they are on screen, going toe-to-toe with Winter and Reeves throughout. It feels like only yesterday since the boys were with us such is there total reabsorption of their characters and while they may feel just a little on the exasperated side these days, they still provide a welcome reunion.
While this will probably be the last hurrah for the Stallyns – a real shame if that is the case – we can think of no better way for them to say their final goodbyes than this. It’s predictable, sure, and the laughs are sporadic in places but just like the characters themselves, a bit of nostalgia never hurt anyone. In fact, it’s bloody well encouraged.
Adventure, Comedy | USA, 2020 | 12A | Cinema | 16th September 2020 (UK) | Warner Bros. | Dir.Dean Parisot | Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Kristen Schaal, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, William Sadler