Once told they’d save the universe during a time-traveling adventure, two would-be rockers from San Dimas, California, find themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny.
Bill and Ted Face the Music is the third of three time-traveling-dudes comedies that will not disappoint Bill and Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) fans. Faced with life escaping them at warp speed, the two air guitar wizards (who by now have learned to play those most excellent instruments) bumble along dude street, still banging their heads, seeking the ultimate song.
Suddenly, our two retro rockers are are snatched away by a girl named Kelly (Kristen Schaal) in a time machine and find themselves confronted by her mother (Holland Taylor), the Great Leader of the Universe. Not pleased with their waste of time, the Great Leader chastises her loser subjects, demanding they create and play their long awaited song that will save the universe from disintegrating — inside of 80 minutes. Heinous!
Already, the world is showing signs of falling apart as figures from different times and places pop up randomly, like that most awesome dude with the white curly wig sitting on the office couch. But how do they do what they don’t know? Bill and Ted figure the song must be inside them somewhere. They get the most excellent idea to travel into the future to steal their own song from themselves and perform it in 80 minutes at MP46 — whatever that is.
Enter their two music afficionado daughters, Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving). After seeing their dads taken away, they grab an opportunity to borrow Kelly’s time machine. They’ve got to help their most outstanding dad dudes wherever and whenever they are. In a quest to create a perfect band to play the perfect song, they hop back to retrieve greats like Louie Armstrong, Mozart, and Jimi Hendrix.
In the meantime, Bill and Ted’s quest leads the dynamos to commandeer the good ole time traveling phone booth and are flushed through the dendrites of time, smashing into various future years. Each landing startles Bill and Ted as they meet their very different character selves, one bitter pair informing them that their princess wives (Jayma Mays and Erinn Hayes) will leave them. Bogus! They jump back into the booth, back to their wives, promising to fix everything. And speedily onward to search for their song in another future year.
So we’ve got Bill and Ted, two daughters with musicians and two wives, who’ve jumped in, each traversing the time/space continuum. Back to the future, the Leader’s virtual crystal ball is not giving her confidence in Bill and Ted so she decides to deploy a robot named Dennis (Anthony Carrigan) to kill them. But the insecure, shy robot messes up and sends the daughters, the musicians and Ted’s overbearing dad (Hal Landon Jr.) to Hell. Suffice it to say our superdudes end up there too where they meet their resentful old friend Death (William Sadler). Ironically, this creates a great forgiveness opportunity. But time is ticking. Can the world savers get out of Hell in time to play the song that still has to be written? Most indubitably!
Bill and Ted Face the Music is a film of fun surprises which actually presents some positive lessons, such as forgiveness, knowing one’s self and the importance of family. The writers used many of the familiar Bill and Ted elements such as time travel, the character Death, pulling famous folks from the past, music as the universal, uniting language and of course, dude-ism. Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves are just as energetic and delightfully dude-ified as they were in Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey. William Sadler, playing Death, was extraordinarily excellent! And Anthony Carrigan playing Dennis created an awesome, multilayered character. Other minor characters such as Kristen Schaal as Kelly added enjoyable humor as well.
To be aware of are scenes of hell, which are mild, and scenes of Jesus being displaced in time and location, along with other historic persons. A couple of times Bill uses the unflattering name “dick” and “dickweed,” and Ted uses “damn” once. These, coupled with a scene where the shy robot gets repeatedly kicked by burly prisoners may not be for very young ones. Therefore, this film is Dove-approved for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take:
Bill and Ted Face the Music, a sci-fi comedy that will be familiar to Bill and Ted fans, offers some valuable lessons among the crazy dude antics.