Bill and Ted: Face The Music should have gone the way of so many reboots and sequels that get made years after the original films. The film instead takes a well tread path down a nostalgia trip that also adds to the original mythos of the film. For a film about two idiots that travel through time, it’s quite smart. By smart, I mean the writing. Bill and Ted do everything in their power to mess things up. The two lovable idiots are the lifeblood of the film. In the ways that other reboots or sequels like Blues Brothers 2000, Ghostbusters (2016), or (even though it pains me) Hot Tub Time Machine 2 couldn’t recapture that magic, Face The Music does and then some.
Starting off with the performances in the film, the cast is fantastic with what they’re given. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter fit right back into the two roles that made them household names in the late 80’s. If we weren’t in the middle of a Keanu Renaissance, I would say this is his best work in years. That of course goes to his work on the John Wick franchise. The whimsical, loving edge of Keanu is on full force here. Alex Winter is just as dumb, ditzy, and unaware of his surroundings as the two original films. That’s saying a lot for these guys to just hop right into the personas of Bill and Ted after 29 years.
The Rest Of The Cast Of Bill And Ted: Face The Music
Without delving into spoilers for the plot, the cast is still fantastic here. Aside from Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, the film also stars Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine as Thea and Billie, Bill and Ted’s daughters. For all of the misogynist man-babies screaming and crying: “BUT THEY’RE JUST GOING TO DO THE STAR WARS/GHOSTBUSTERS THING, AND MAKE IT ALL ABOUT GIRLS”, no they’re not. The two female leads are intertwined in the story, but this is still Bill and Ted’s story at the heart of it. The twist involving their children at the end of the film is one of the most heartfelt moments in the series.
Outside of that, the cast contains wonderful character performances by: Kristen Schaal as Kelly, Rufus (George Carlin)’s daughter, Beck Bennett as Ted’s brother Deacon, and Jillian Bell as Bill and Ted’s marriage therapist. Continuing the tradition of re-casting Bill and Ted’s wives, Erinn Hayes and Jayma Mays play their princess wives. William Sadler returns as Death. Finally, Amy Stoch and Hal Landon Jr. return as their roles of Ted’s father and Missy from the first two films. Missy is involved in one of the more hilarious jokes from the opening minutes of the movie.
Director Dean Parisot brings his brand of humor from films like Galaxy Quest, Red 2, and Fun With Dick And Jane. The original writers for the first two B&T films Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon also return.
What’s Good About Face The Music?
Like I said before and in the title, Bill and Ted: Face The Music is impossible to hate. Now obviously, some out there are going to refute this claim. Watch the movie. From the comedy, to the just heartfelt feeling the movie gives you while watching it, the film just makes you like it. The various versions of Bill and Ted that Bill and Ted run into throughout the film are great as well.
The basic plot of the film without giving anything away, is that Bill and Ted are supposed to write the greatest song known to man. A song that is so great that it unites humanity in harmony. It turns out that they’ve been trying to write the song for the past 29 years, and have gotten nowhere. So The Great Leader and The Great Ones tell them that they have until 7:17PM in 2020 to write the song or the whole of space and time will collapse on itself. Everything that we know and love will cease to exist. So you can say that Bill and Ted have a lot to handle.
More Of The Good From Bill And Ted
Throughout the film, Bill and Ted run into various incarnations of themselves trying to get the song to unite humanity. This is where the two characters are given the most to stretch out comedically. The 2025 version of Bill and Ted is probably my favorite. Throughout the film the two plot-lines of Bill and Ted trying to get the song and their daughters trying to save them are intertwined.
Speaking of their daughters, Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine are fantastic as Thea and Billie. They do a good job of imitating the aloof and unaware attitude of their parents, but also don’t simply copy the mannerisms of Bill and Ted. You’d think the act would run dry with two sets of characters doing similar jokes, but it doesn’t. The two girls end up being smarter and more savy than Bill and Ted ever could. They’re one of the major highlights of the film.
For a film using time travel as it’s main device, it is surprisingly unconfusing. Films like Avengers: Endgame, Terminator 2, and other films involving time travel can sometimes end up being confusing. This one doesn’t end up being confusing despite the many different timelines crossing.
Now For Some Of The Bad
So in a film that has a cast this large, some of the characters are going to get left out in the cold. In this film, that’s Bill and Ted’s wives, Elizabeth and Joanna are a part of the reason the plot gets set off, but after that, they’re sort of relegated to the background. They have a large portion of the reason why we have a movie here, but they don’t get any of the payoffs.
Some of the effects and green screen usage in the film does look a bit lower budget. That’s not to say that the effects in the film are bad though. It’s just pretty easy to tell especially when Bill and Ted are in the far future, that they’re on a green screen.
A Film With No Antagonist Shouldn’t Work
The film doesn’t really rely on a true antagonist. The Great Leader acts as someone who pushes against Bill and Ted’s quest, but she isn’t more than someone who keeps the plot moving and sets the timelock on the film.
The subplot of Thea and Billie gathering allies for their dads could have been bigger and more elaborate. The places they visit are sort of bare bones. In a comedy film, I normally excuse historical inaccuracies. But some of the places they visit would not have been okay. The characters they bring back don’t have the freak out of time travelers.
You really shouldn’t see it without seeing the first two movies. The opening of the film does a decent job of catching people up. You need the full scope of Bill and Ted as characters to get the full experience though.
The Film Has Heart And It’s Truly Unhateable
Bill and Ted: Face The Music is a love letter to the fans. Small details like when they visit Death in Hell, like the Wyld Stallions albums and the pictures on the wall are all over the film. The film might not be the best in the series, but it has the same heart and soul of the rest of it.
Bill and Ted are older, and they might not be much different guys, but by the end of the film, they are, for the better. It’s a testament to the writing that they didn’t just rehash the same content. Bill and Ted actually learn in this film. Bill and Ted go on an adventure for the whole of time and space, but the film itself is relatively small and self-contained.
My favorite scene in the film happens later on when Bill and Ted meet their much older selves. I won’t give away any more than that, but it’s the most heartwarming portion of the film. The ending builds to a climax that does a good job of wrapping the whole thing up.
Bill And Ted: Face The Music Is Just What I Needed Right Now
For a film that took 29 years to get off the ground, Bill and Ted: Face The Music makes no new strides. But what it does make, is hope. It’s a fun, happy, film in a dark time when we all could use a bit of hope or smiles. So what if the film follows a similar pattern to other sequels of the age. I don’t care. Bill and Ted: Face The Music is a film that I recommend to anyone who needs a dose of happiness.
That’s really what movies are supposed to do. They’re supposed to take you away from whatever ails you at that time. This one does that in a particularly fine way. You get to take an adventure with two (lovable) idiots for an hour and a half. You won’t come out the other side thinking it’s the best movie of all-time, but you didn’t need to. I wholeheartedly recommend the film to anyone. You can catch it on VOD/Digital tomorrow.
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