Bill and Ted 3 is my most anticipated movie of 2020 and I’m not sorry

Photo: Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves star in BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC.. Image Courtesy Orion Pictures
Photo: Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves star in BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC.. Image Courtesy Orion Pictures /

Bill and Ted Face the Music is definitely a sequel that’s been a long time coming, but it’s arriving just when we need it most.

When the news broke last year that, finally, the long-promised third installment in the Bill and Ted franchise was finally happening, we all rejoiced. After all, those of us that care about such things had been waiting for this for a long, long time. Like, a really long time.

But the fact that it’s all officially happening now, at this exactly moment, seriously feels like it was meant to be.

Bill and Ted 3 will hit theaters in August of 2020, just a few months before the American presidential election and at what will almost certainly be a seriously low point for both our culture at large and our collective mental health. In short: Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted “Theodore” Logan may not be the heroes we want, but they’re surely the ones we need.

Why, you may ask. After all, the Bill and Ted franchise is ostensibly about two dumb guys who could barely pass high school history, but who also – thanks to a time traveling pay phone, some most excellent music and the power of friendship – somehow manage to make the world a better place.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure may well be the epitome of silly 80s movies, complete with catchphrases, dumb physical humor, and the sort of sexist jokes I’d like to think the third installment will have grown out of by now. But it’s also a movie about friendship. And kindness. And listening to those who are different from us. It’s about the ways the things that bring us together – triumphant music, a good party, the real stories behind the people we are and those we thought we knew – have always been more powerful than the things that make us different. If Genghis Khan and Sigmund Freud can get along, what’s our excuse, is all I’m asking.

Be excellent to each other is a mantra that’s as applicable today as it was in 1989. Maybe even more so.

The plot of Bill and Ted Face the Music is about things like second chances, and consequences and owning up to one’s past mistakes. Bill and Ted are now washed-up, middle aged dads, who have yet to live up to the prophecy which said they’d write a song to save the world. Thanks to a new threat, they must face their failure — and travel through time to find the song that can bring harmony to the universe. (And hopefully give rise to that civilization with the high council types that all wear what look like stylish sleeping bags.)

As someone who grew up watching the Bill and Ted movies, coming back to this franchise now is both exciting and weirdly bittersweet.

Back then, we all had a lot of different dreams, some that looking back seem as unattainable as Wyld Stallions becoming a successful rock band turned out to be. We’ve all had to make compromises in the years since then, and some of us – probably a lot of us – had to give up on the people we wanted to be. Perhaps, now that we’re cynical grownups with day jobs and bills to pay, we’ve forgotten who those people ever were, and given up on those dreams. And maybe we all need this reminder that those people aren’t gone forever. Maybe they just look a little different now.

After all, if Bill and Ted can get back in the phone booth decades later, so can we. Metaphorically speaking, anyway. (Or maybe literally. Do what you need to do, is what I’m saying.)

Time has passed, but the story’s not over. Our stories aren’t over, either. We can still become the people we always wanted to be. There’s still hope that we can make better choices. That we can change the world. We can be excellent to one another, because it’s a choice we make every day.

There’s always hope, and a chance to do better, and to fix the things we broke.

And that’s maybe what we all need to hear right now.

Next. 1 w Hairspray and the 20 greatest movie musicals of all-time. dark

Bill and Ted Face the Music arrives in theaters on August 21, 2020. Party on, dudes.