A Review of Bill & Ted Face the Music
In the words of the Great Ones, 2020 has been bogus, dude. Summer is not even over, and we’ve faced a pandemic, civil unrest, and the Black Panther just died. This world needs a most excellent pick-me-up now more than ever. It needs Bill & Ted.
Only one problem: are Bill & Ted up to the challenge now?
Bill & Ted Have A Midlife Crisis
It’s been 25 years since their bogus journey to heaven and hell, and something’s gone wrong with Bill & Ted’s lives. Instead of uniting the world like they were foretold, the Wyld Stallions have been struggling to write the song that will do so. They’re barely making a living as a band, and their marriages are on the rocks. In other words, they’re becoming the losers Ted’s dad thinks they are.
As a result of their failure, Kelly, the daughter of their future guide Rufus, comes back with a warning. If they don’t write the song to unite the world in the next seventy-seven or so minutes, the paradox will cause all the universe to unravel. Bill & Ted’s solution? Go to the future and take the song from themselves.
At the start, Bill & Ted remain the good-natured dudes we know and love. But almost right immediately, we see that banging their heads trying to come up with the ultimate song for twenty-five years has left them at the end of their ropes. Ted even considers giving up at one point! Bogus!
The stress they’re under only becomes more apparent as they meet future versions of themselves. Each forthcoming Bill & Ted gets progressively worse as their lives go to hell. It would be a tad bit hilarious if it didn’t feel like a reflection of how bleak the world is now.
A Message About Not Giving Up Hope
Think about it. The year’s only 2/3rds done, but it feels like it’s broken so many people. I cried when I heard about Chadwick Boseman’s death! The thing is, though, there’s a message buried beneath the humor of the film. And its that no matter how bad things get, we should never give up. Bill & Ted never fully give up because they know that if they do, the universe will be all the worse for it. That’s not hyperbole, either; they know the universe will die if they quit.
The Wyld Stallions aren’t the smartest people we know, but they’re smart enough to know the importance of hope no matter how be things may get. But paradoxically, this film’s also about them learning to admit that they may not be the ones whose destiny it is to unite the world through music. At the film’s climax, they learn to face the music and accept that they have to leave things in the hands of the next generation. Which I still consider being a hopeful message.
Billie and Thea’s Excellent Adventure
Enter Billie and Thea, Bill and Ted’s daughters. They’re gender-bent versions of their dads, but slightly smarter and with a wider taste in music. While their dads try to find their song, the two girls embark on their journey that mirrors their dad’s excellent adventures. In this case, they use Kelly’s time machine to gather the best musicians in history for a most excellent band. I never thought I’d see Mozart rock out alongside Louis Armstrong, but here we are!
Turns out, Billie & Thea are even better at this than their dads, which leads to Bill & Ted realizing their real role is to help their daughters. It’s a touching passing the torch moment that speaks to the hope of the next generation. And it leads to an excellent concert spanning space and time.
The critics have spoken: Bill & Ted Face the Music is a most excellent addition to this decades-old franchise. And while it may not make the world less bogus, it came to us when we needed it the most. In a world where everything is bogus, two honest, nice guys remind us kd the importance of not giving up hope. That, and of the importance of their mantra: Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes.
I Give “Bill & Ted Face the Music” a 4/5
Click here to see my reviews for various films.
I liked the fact that Kristen Schaal’s playing a time-traveler. It’s a nice, if unintentional nod to another famous character she’s played that traveled through time.