Bill & Ted Face the Music Review: An Excellent Adventure Through Time

Dads and daughters team up to save the universe in Bill & Ted Face the Music.

Orion Pictures

spoiler warning

Keanu reeves and Alex winter are back as Bill and Ted, just when the world needs it most. And while we haven’t seen the besties for almost 30 years, they can still teach us a few things about love, friendship, and excellence for one another. Bill and Ted face the music, now in theaters and streaming too, is a joyous, fun and charming adventure, and a great reminder of how music can bring us together in these times of chaos.

The film opens with the Wyld Stallyns duo group performing … at a wedding. But not just any wedding. Apparently Missy the babysitter (Amy Stoch) who married Bill’s dad, then divorced and married Ted’s dad, got divorced him to marry Ted’s brother. Yikes.

Lily: Bill and Ted’s Alex Winter, Scott Kroopf explain the homage to George Carlin in Face the Music

But that’s not the worst. Wyld Stallyns had a brief stint to fame, but like real rock ‘n’ roll, they got into a fight with band member Death. Now Bill and Ted are experimenting and failing with their music. But as the band tries to reclaim their former glory, it looks like their members will have an even bigger reason to rock.

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Bill and Ted do their best to entertain during a difficult marriage.

Orion Pictures

Bill and Ted’s mentor Rufus (played by the late George Carlin) is now only alive in holographic form, but his daughter Kelly (played by Kristen schaal) travels to Earth in an egg-shaped capsule to tell the guys they need help save us again.

Only Bill and Ted can save the universe with an awesome song, although it’s unclear how their music will stop the impending destruction of space and time. The problem is, the Wyld Stallyns haven’t been able to come up with a piece worthy of a wedding reception, let alone save the world, and they only have 77 minutes to create it.

Since they’re not inspired to write the perfect song now, Bill and Ted decide they’re just going to jump into their trusty time travel phone booth and steal it from themselves.

This time they have some extra help from their two music-loving daughters Theodora “Thea” Preston (Samara weaving) and Wilhelmina “Billie” Logan (Brigette Lundy-Paine). They come up with the idea to help by time traveling themselves via Kelly’s Egg Band to form the perfect backup band by recruiting legendary musical performers throughout history like Jimi Hendrix and Mozart.

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Bill and Ted’s daughters played by Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving recruit a backup group for Dads, including Kid Cudi.

Photos of Patti Perret / Orion

Before you wonder if there are too many weird elements to make sense, this isn’t a Bill and Ted adventure unless madness ensues. This is where the movie is screenwriters Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson (who also worked on the previous Bill & Ted movies) really shine.

Despite the jumping of several time machines and a mix of historical figures interacting with each other, as well as an incoming and outgoing robot assassin, Solomon and Matheson crafted a script that makes sense.

The best parts of the movie involve the different versions of Bill and Ted going forward, including the guys becoming crooks who claim to live in rock star Dave Grohl’s house and try to pledge a Foo Fighters song to our hero.

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Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as future Bill and Ted in prison.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton / CNET

The most satisfying comedy climax in the movie is seeing some very angry, muscular, tattoo covered versions of future Bill and Ted in prison. The looks on Bill and Ted’s current faces are priceless. It’s as close as Ted becomes John wick like we’ll never see in the movie. I applaud the director Dean Parisot (Galaxy quest) to perfectly capture the comedic moments of this scene, which was apparently shot in 100-degree weather as the guys wore muscle-bound 40-pound rubber overalls.

The movie has a lot of special moments and pop culture cameos that will make Bill and Ted fans (old and new) happy to listen. Make sure you watch a special scene at the end after the credits to see Bill and Ted sway more.

But the real joy of the movie isn’t necessarily the nostalgia. It’s the positivity that Bill and Ted ooze all the time. They are indeed delusional optimists, but maybe we could all learn a thing or two about how to assume the best outcome rather than instantly make disaster by default.

As the world suffers the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, along with destructive weather conditions, political turmoil and economic pressures, Bill and Ted are back to give us hope. When we work together for positive change, all is not lost. The couple’s wise advice to “be great to each other” remains timeless.


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About Kristina McManus

Kristina McManus

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