The Wyld Stallyns ride again! It’s been thirty years since William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. and Theodore “Ted” Logan embarked upon a journey through time and space to score bodacious babes and pass their history exams. It’s difficult to understand how Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure became such a cultural phenomenon, as its ham-fisted humor, contrived plot, and sophomoric vernacular would normally result in a box-office catastrophe and critical castigation. And it’s even harder to understand why the suits and producers would even attempt to catch lightning in a bottle once again with the ridiculous sequel Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey

However, with all its shortcomings, the Bill & Ted franchise has one overriding element that has served it well over the years: Air guitars! No, no, it’s the warmth and chemistry between the best buds at the center of the time-wave rock ’n’ roll milestone. Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, Bill and Ted respectively, can take the most obvious joke and an utterly pathetic set-up, and turn it into comedy gold because of their commitment to their characters, as well as to each other. Their naive and endearing natures shine through in just about every scene, and even though the two guys represent ludicrous stereotypes, they still manage to make the material fresh and the gags memorable.  

And now, the most excellent dudes are at it again. Orion Pictures just dropped a totally rad trailer on 6/9, for the seminal partiers and inveterate time travelers from San Dimas, California: Bill & Ted Face the Music. Is this cause for celebration or a sign of the apocalypse? Well, it could be both. But with all the strife in the world today, it’s good to know the avowed rockers and brain-dead eternal juveniles are out to save the world and to rock the known universe. 

In this the third and possibly final installment of the trilogy, William and Theodore have an even more daunting challenge than saving the blue planet and distant solar systems, and bringing on a new age of love and music. This time, the poor dudes need to manage middle-age megrims and connect with their teenage daughters! And we all thought Bill and Ted would be young forever! 

That being said, judging from the trailer, it looks like both guys have aged rather well, particularly the relentless hunk Keanu—which is nice. And it seems there is an appetite for a new chapter of the Bill and Ted saga. Internet comments generally express a sense of delightful anticipation and even unbridled glee. And with the John Wick series being so universally promoted, it seems a perfect time to launch the long-awaited and much-anticipated Bill and Ted’s next movie. 

It’s a bit sad the great George Carlin has passed on and won’t be reprising his role as the sly and sagacious Rufus. But who knows, the tech wizards may be able to pull off some hologram-type magic. Regardless, I’m sure they’ll give him a nice tribute of some kind or another. And there’s a real bright spot in the fact that William Sadler is back as the one and only Death. “You might be a king or a little street sweeper, but sooner or later you dance with the Reaper.”

Come on, let’s face it, none of us really thought this was going to happen. Keanu’s career has really gone well, with a nice mixture of blockbuster shoot ups and heartfelt indies; he really didn’t have to make this movie. In fact, it could be seen as a bit of a risk to reprise his role as a mush-brained teenage mutant wannabe rock star. But this looks to be a passion project for the bonafide superstar.

Face the Music features a killer cast, including Samara Weaving (Ready or Not, The Babysitter, Three Billboards), Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical, Bombshell) Kid Cute as himself, and Beck Bennet of Saturday Night Live.

Bill & Ted Face the Music is scheduled to open in theaters on August 21st—that is, if theaters are open for business this summer. Nonetheless, it might be more appropriate to watch it from the confines of your living room, just as many videotape-loving cinephiles watched Bill & Ted back in the day!

 

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