Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.
–Maria von Trapp
The 80’s are back at the Movies.
Eddie Murphy is all set for once again Coming 2 America. Set to be released on Dec 18, 2020.
Ghostbusters is set to have an Afterlife on March 5, 2021.
Tom Cruise is all set once again to be the Top Gun: Maverick on July 2, 2021.
The Karate Kid has all ready returned in two seasons of YouTube’s Cobra Kai with another season on the way. And it has moved to Netflix.
And this past weekend the time traveling dudes Bill and Ted return to Face the Music in selected theaters and on premium Video on Demand. Once again, the comedy duo is played by Keanu ‘Matrix’ Reeves and Alex ‘Lost Boy’ Winter. It is directed by Dean ’Galaxy Quest’ Parisot. It goes up against ‘The New Mutants‘ in theaters and the Catholic themed retelling of ‘Fatima’ also in limited release and VOD.
I believe that overall it is a great pro-life film that celebrates the dignity of life and relationships. It does touch upon some theological themes but only to serve the more human aspect of the story. But without a grasp of theology you miss the humor it is going for. The comedy might be a jumping off point to deeper conversation about serious Catholic topics such as death, judgement, heaven and hell.
In the first excellent installment the two slackers took a time traveling phone booth and traveled throughout history picking up historical figures to help them finish their history project including the saintly St. Joan of Arc, the philosophical Socrates and Mr. The Kid.
In the second Bogus installment the two teens Theodore ‘’Ted’’ Logan and William ‘’Bill’’ S. Preston Esq. die after being killed by lookalike evil robots from the future. They play Death a.k.a. The Grimm Reaper in a life and death game of chess and go on a journey through hell and then to heaven.
29 years after the last film they are now middle-aged Dads still married to the princesses (this time played by different actresses) with two daughters who resemble their dads to a T. Every time they see their fathers, they both say ‘Dads’, and great them very warmly. How often do you see that in films today?
They still haven’t written that hit song that is supposed to unite humanity and bring peace to the world. But when Rufus’s (George Carlin) daughter Kelly (Kristen Schaal) comes with an urgent message from the future, Bill and Ted find themselves once again traveling through time, this time in order to prevent reality from collapsing. They have to 7:17 PM to accomplish this most heinous task. Kelly gives Bill and Ted her late fathers antique stopwatch, which has an inscription inside: “Sometimes things don’t make sense until the end of the story.”
I think that this a key component of reality and of Catholic theology. And to top things off there is a killer robot who is sent back to terminate them as we find out there was another way of looking at the data concerning the Great Ones. Killing them may also help save reality as we know it. The robot provides some of the best comedy in the film. Oh, and Bill and Ted’s marriage is also in trouble.
Bill and Ted is a fun movie that you could actually watch with your kids because there is no bad language, no sexual humor and very limited violence. For a theatrical comedy to do that in 2020 and not be just a dumb kids movie is a rarity in film today. And somehow it is still rated PG-13. One of the best aspects of the film is watching the close-knit bond between Bill and Ted who are as close and inseparable as Abbot and Costello or Laurel and Hardy.
The only real Christian/Catholic objection might be the depiction of hell and eternity. Hell is a rather series subject in Catholic catechetical theological thinking. We don’t want to make light of it because it is a place we don’t want anybody to go to. As I said above it serves as more of a plot point to the overall comedy and story-line and not as a teaching tool about the doctrine. All though any good teacher can use it as springboard to teach about what Catholics really believe about it. The humor is lost if you know nothing about it. I’m sure the new Fatima movie has a more accurate Catholic teaching on the subject. Hell is seen as a place nobody wants to go to and something to be saved from.
The film once again includes many historical figures including, Babe Ruth, George Washington, Jimi Hendrix and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It doesn’t treat Jesus disrespectfully but as the historical divine figure that he is. Of course, we believe that He is the reason that humanity is saved, not two clueless guys with a wanna be TARDIS. But the crux of the plot and the comedy stem from the fact that Bill and Ted help save humanity. This doesn’t diminish the real-life reality that Jesus is savior. It’s cool that they actually included him in the film. You can see him walking on water and playing a musical instrument. If you don’t know any Christian beliefs, you would miss some of the theological jokes in the film.
Two major plot points happen simultaneously during the course of the story.
Bill and Ted travel to the future and face different versions of themselves in order to get the song they will later write in the future. This provides great comedic and philosophical moments. We all must face the reality of who we really are and Bill and Ted get to do that literally.
Meanwhile their two daughters go off on their own excellent adventure. Their mission is to put together a band to perform the song that will unite humanity. They travel through history in an updated time machine that looks like an egg, collecting historical musicians in much the same way their dads collected historical figures in the first movie. Samara Weaving is Theodora “Thea” Preston, Bill and Joanna’s daughter, and Brigette Lundy-Paine is Wilhelmina “Billie” Logan, Ted and Elizabeth’s daughter. I could see another movie with these two as the main stars.
William Sadler returns as Death and Hal Landon Jr returns as Ted’s dad. Amy Stoch returns as Missy and is married to another person in Bill and Ted’s life. In every movie she is married to someone new and thus is always a new and different relationship in Bill and Ted’s life.
If you’re looking for a fun laid back movie that…
-Emphasis the value of lifelong Friendship,
-Emphasis the value of Married life,
-Emphasis the loving relationship between Dads and their Daughters,
-Emphasis Forgiveness and Reconciliation,
-Emphasis the dignity of Elderly People,
and is not cynical or hopeless about humanity but speaks of the Beauty and Power of Music,
You might just want to
Face the Music.
After all, one of Bill and Ted’s main catch phrases is
‘Be Excellent to Each Other’,
And through the supernatural gift of charity we can be Excellent to Each Other.
“So Party On Dudes!”