Bill and Ted Face The Music (Film Review)

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

PLOT: Our loveable heroes, Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) are now middle-aged men, married with children. Yet something's not right in San Dimas, California – the rock and roll wannabes hometown – or anywhere else in the world. After a visitor from the future arrives (Kristen Schaal), they discover that their mission is not over, and the two must now create a song that will bring the world together – and in seventy minutes! Luckily, they have two cool daughters, Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving) to help bring on the music.

REVIEW: What was once popular often returns in some form or another. Whether it's an old series that returns for a "long-awaited" new season or a film franchise that needs a reboot, we've witnessed familiar faces return on the regular. With this, all too often this decision is made with a simple monetary goal. This was my reaction when word of a new BILL & TED flick sparked excitement amongst fans of BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE and BILL & TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY. Could it possibly be more than just hoping to make a quick buck bringing both Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter back for another chapter? Or would it be a lackluster sequel with no real spark? Well, I have some far from heinous news!

BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC is a wild time-traveling adventure with a few brand new characters and a familiar face or two that will bring a massive smile to the face of fans everywhere. Way back in 1989, screenwriters Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson created the delightfully dopey pair of goofs who happen to play wicked tunes in a  band called "Wyld Stallyns." The two have returned – this time with Dean Parisot directing – and there is a whole lotta love for these two on display. One of the most satisfying elements of this new sequel is just how incredibly charming it all is. Instead of attempting to push the time-traveling twosome into modern world, this hilarious tale connects beautifully to the franchise. The story as a whole is slightly convoluted considering the focus is stretched out to give not only Weaving and Lundy-Paine, but Bill and Ted as well as their wives Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes) and Johanna (Jayma Mays) a chance to shine. That's not even including the many historical figures that are part of the action. Yet somehow, this just under ninety-minute feature is able to balance all of the insanity quite well.

Not surprisingly, a big reason for this sequel's success is the return of Winter and Reeves. The two actors haven't missed a beat since they first brought these characters to life. It's incredibly satisfying to see Reeves' excel as an action star with the JOHN WICK franchise, but it's wonderful to see the actor return to humor. When Bill & Ted run into different iterations of themselves, it offers the two leads a chance to have a little extra fun. And frankly, it's just as much fun for the audience. The chemistry between the two is infectious, and it's especially enjoyable to see Mr. Winter back in a leading role. If there's any doubt in their sincere appreciation for playing these two, it vanishes immediately as the film begins – the wedding sequence starts things off perfectly with humor and heart.

The supporting cast adds to the magic as well. Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine are perfectly cast, and they have the Bill & Ted lingo down pat. Holland Taylor is terrific, as is William Sadler who returns as Death. Per usual, Kristen Schaal delights in every scene she's in. And then there's Anthony Carrigan. I don't even want to mention who he plays as that becomes a very funny bit played throughout. As well, Carrigan is just exceptionally funny, even with all his makeup and wardrobe intact. This is a fantastic cast, and they all seem to be in on the joke in the best of ways. And yes, there is one special cameo that will probably bring a tear and a smile to everyone who fell in love with this franchise in the beginning.

BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC is silly, sweet, and irresistible. This may be the first film in the series to earn a PG-13 rating, but it didn't need it. Solomon and Matheson find the humor without going for the rude and crude. It's a joyful and irreverent celebration of friendship and family and music. This is the kind of comedy that's not going to sweep at any award show, but it doesn't need to be, especially considering how difficult real-life currently is for so many. This is the movie we really can use right now. Winter and Reeves' return will certainly give fans a most triumphant experience when they finally witness the wonderfully daffy duo on a brand new adventure. It's not great art, but it didn't need to be. BILL & TED is simply a reminder to each and everyone to simply be excellent to each other. Nope, nothing wrong with that at all.


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JimmyO is one of’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.