This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
SteadmanSlick’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
The original plan was for me to rewatch the two original movies and then this one, but I'm actually pretty thankful to have done it without so direct a comparison; it allows me to be slightly more favorable to this flick.
Billie & Thea are performed excellently, as stupidly optimistic as their fathers. One great scene is Thea films Jimi Hendrix on her phone and then shows that recording to Louis Armstrong, and Armstrong & his band are more fascinated by the phone than the riff. William Sadler as Death also managed to bring back the magic, loved him chewing the scenery. The interactions between the various versions of Bill & Ted jumping further and further into the future were also entertaining, mainly how scummy their future selves turned out to be. And Kid Cudi's presence having nothing to do with music and everything to do with the science of time travel was really great.
However, the entire plot in and of itself isn't great. I can understand Bill & Ted's music managing to unite the world, ending all war & strife, but the introduction of it preventing the collapse of all reality is a bridge too far. Discounting the fact that Denomolos' own foolish action of broadcasting his "triumph" globally in Bogus Journey inadvertently led to their worldwide acclaim, and if you really wanna stretch it their success at fulfilling their destiny, getting everyone to just "play together at once" is very sweet but not the kind of sweet that works. Just look at Hands Across America, treated nowadays with the same reverence as Flat Stanley. By itself, this mediocre plot wouldn't be enough to make you want to memory hole this, but nearly every other detail leads to more disappointment.
The future council refusing to place as much trust in the duo as it did when Rufus was still alive. Speaking of, thank goodness they don't stomp all over George Carlin's grave with this. I get that Bill & Ted were at their wit's ends, about to sell their instruments and give up, but it seems like Kelly's arrival was coincidence rather than providence, unlike Rufus' at the Circle K. And the decision to think that their deaths would fix the fabric of reality? Ludicrous.
The soundtrack being primarily composed of modern music. There's barely any honest to god Rock in this thing, and the few times there are it's not getting the focus it deserves. The scenes where Future Bill & Ted are either down and out in a hotel bar or hyping up the yard in a max security prison should focus in a little on their performances before getting to the plot. Let us hear them stiffly recite their first failed single, and then put us in the crowd of prisoners aiding them to write their hellish masterpiece. Just some little fixes like these, and the scenes are enjoyable both for the acting and the plot.
Then there's the entire character of Dennis, who is entirely too insecure and takes up too much screentime dedicated to how much everyone can't stand him, even Bill & Ted who normally get along with anyone. Time spent on him would've been better spent on fleshing out the Historical Figures even slightly more. Jimi & Louis, being the first two we meet and whose involvement is predicated of the other, are obviously fine, and even though there's not much from him, Mozart is very well done. But Ling Lun & Grom essentially have two scenes, their introductions, and them at the concert. I get that Ling's existence is dubious & Grom's is entirely fictional, but that's called *Writing*.
But even with one paragraph to praise it and 4 to condemn it, it's not as bad as any other attempt to restart or "properly end" a franchise.