Arts & Leisure

“Bill and Ted” still dumb and slow

ALEX WINTER (Bill) and Keanu Reeves (Ted) star in “Bill and Ted Face the Music.”

By Jim Tortolano

Full disclosure: To me, Keanu Reeves is one of the worst actors to ever have leading roles in American motion pictures.

The Challenge: Can a movie in which Mr. Reeves – who reprises a role as a not-too-bright head banger – redeem himself with a blend of light comedy, music and a few interesting turns?

Answer: Not really.

“Bill and Ted Face the Music” is one of those films that was blocked out of cinemas because of the coronavirus pandemic and ended up finally being offered on Amazon Prime Video.  The dog days of summer seem an appropriate time to release this piece of fluff.

The original “Bill and Ted” movie stars, Reeves (Ted) and Alex Winter (Bill) are back for the third time and just as goofy as ever. Dumb as a barrel of hair, they nevertheless have a tiny bit of appeal for their relentless good nature and optimism.

In this version, Bill and Ted are at the bottom of the show business ladder, playing lodge events on $2 taco night. Their drudgery is interrupted by a summons from the future to write the song that will “unite the world and save time and space.”

Additionally, they get some pressure from their wives who are getting tired of being wed to two jobless middle age hard rockers. And so the adventure begins.

The one interesting thing about the plot is that in order to write this song, their adoring daughters assemble an all-star band by traveling through time to recruit Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. There are a few smiles there, but the rest of the film is just cheap CGI tricks and a muddled ending that unfolds as if it was written in 15 minutes in the back of an Uber car rushing to the airport.

Standing out alone is William Sadler again playing Death, offering an amusing and strangely sympathetic grim reaper who really would prefer to play guitar in a heavy metal band.

If you’re a Reeves fan – and there must be such people – and/or are stuck at home craving some “new” entertainment, this movie might be worth $19.99. However, if your standards are elevated beyond that of, say, the 35-year-old part-time clerk at the used record store, you might get more amusement out of taking that $20 bill and lighting a match to it.

“Bill and Ted Face the Music” is rated PG-13 for some adult language.

 

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