Back in 1989, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure delivered joy and silliness as two teenage dudes, Bill S Preston Esq (Winter) and Theodore ‘Ted’ Logan (Reeves) travelled through time in a phone box to gather up figures from history to help them pass a school test – the first step on a road that, according to future traveller Rufus (George Carlin), would end up with them being leaders bringing peace to the entire world.
A sequel followed a couple of years later (Bogus Journey) in which Bill and Ted ended up in hell, befriending William Sadler’s deliciously dour Death, and more than three decades later Bill & Ted Face The Music reunites us with the infectiously underachieving boys (now middle aged men) once more.
It’s difficult to work out who has the most fun on this adventure – the audience or Reeves, Winter and writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon. Their delightful celebration of Bill & Ted (brought brightly to the screen by director Dean Parisot) is a treat for fans of the original movies but also fun for newcomers thanks to the addition of Bill & Ted’s teenage daughters, Thea (Weaving) and Billlie (Lundy-Paine).
This time around, it seems that while decades have passed, Bill & Ted still haven’t written the song that Rufus promised would unite the world. After brief fame, they’re now playing discordant music at weddings, are estranged from former band mate Death and even their marriages to former medieval princesses Elizabeth and Joanna are under threat due to their lack of success.
Kelly (Schaal) – the daughter of the Great Leader (Holland Taylor) – travels from the future to warn the duo that time itself is folding in and they only have just over an hour and a half to compose the song that will save the world. So Bill & Ted decide to head off to the future where the song is already written and steal it from their future selves to bring back to the present.
Cue a host of hilarious versions of Bill & Ted that involve a balding Winter and Reeves in a fat suit, tattooed versions of the boys, and a bonkers version we won’t spoil here, while their daughters also try to help by going on their own excellent (musical) adventure. In between, fans are treated to the return of beloved characters such as Death, Missy (Amy Syoch) and Ted’s policeman dad (Hal Landon Jr) – though there are new actresses playing the princesses this time around.
In 2020, this is the kind of joyous, daft, funny and stupid (in the best way) cinematic adventure we all need. Be Excellent To Each Other, as Bill & Ted say, and be excellent to yourself and catch this dopey delight on the big screen.
Is Bill & Ted Face The Music suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Fans of Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves may be slightly upset when they appear in one scene balding and with pot-bellies!
While the boys and their daughters are occasionally in danger, the threat is mild.
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