It has been almost 30 years, but Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan are back — and they’re still trying to write the song that will unite the universe.
The first reviews for Bill and Ted Face the Music landed online overnight, ahead of the film’s release on video-on-demand and in select cinemas in the USA.
The outlook is broadly positive, with the film assembling a 79% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing.
Reviewers praised the timeless chemistry between Reeves and Winter, but were more disappointed by the pacing and the structure of the time-hopping story.
Here’s a flavour of what the critics had to say...
Variety: “On a scale of one to 10, I wouldn’t say that Face the Music goes to 11, but it’s a most excellent sequel.”
The Hollywood Reporter: “Despite a dicey opening, the pic should please those looking forward to it, and, with the addition of a new generation (the duo's daughters), attract a new fan or two as well.“
Rolling Stone: “The movie is a labour of fan-service love that slaps a goofy smile on your face. It’s a most excellent cure for the heinous pandemic blues.“
Collider: “The new movie never feels like a retread, but instead feels like a fresh story worth telling, and a story that could only be told with an older Bill and Ted.“
The AV Club: “While the high stakes couldn’t be higher, the film simply takes too long to find its focus. It’s not the most excellent of outcomes, but not a total bummer, either.“
New York Times: “Winningly modest and harmlessly silly. I don’t know if it made me feel young or old, but it was all in all a most non-bogus experience.“
Slate: “Missteps and all, this movie’s heart remains in the right place.“
New York Post: “This whole half-baked sequel is a forced exercise, willed into being by the so-called ‘Keanussance’ — society’s renewed love affair with Reeves. He’s a nice guy and a decent actor, but he’s made a lame movie.“
IGN: “No mere exercise in Gen X nostalgia, Bill & Ted Face the Music manages to recapture both the spirit and energy of the earlier films while still acknowledging the clear passage of time.“
US Weekly: “Well it’s about time Bill and Ted showed up to save us from the 2020 doldrums. Why didn’t they bring a better movie along for the ride?“
As well as Reeves and Winter, Bill and Ted Face the Music stars Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine as the duo’s daughters.
William Sadler returns to the fold after Bogus Journey as Death, with new additions including Kristen Schaal, Jillian Bell and, bizarrely, rapper Kid Cudi.
First conceived way back in 2010, the third Bill and Ted movie struggled to find financing and then had its release date shuffled as a result of the coronavirus, but it is now ready to bring the musical stylings of Wyld Stallyns back to the world.
Bill and Ted Face the Music is released in the USA today, with its UK release due on 23 September.