[Moving picture of popcorn]

Laramie Movie Scope:
Bill and Ted Face the Music

The movie we really needed this year

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

November 20, 2020 – The night I saw this at a local movie theater, it occurred to me that a nutball, uplifting comedy about a couple of slacker musicians trying to save the universe is just what I needed at the time.

First of all, it was nice to get out of the house to see any movie, since the local theaters had been closed for months prior to this. Also, the hate-filled crazy politics of this election year have also been stressful.

This film is anything but stressful. It is funny, lighthearted and cheerful in its own way. Never mind that most of the main characters die, just as they did in “Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.” Death didn't faze them then and it doesn't faze them now. Death is just another obstacle to overcome.

Returning from the two previous Bill and Ted films are Bill (played by Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) along with parents Missy (Amy Stoch) and Chief Logan (Hal Landon Jr.) and Death (William Sadler). Years later, we find Bill and Ted in odd marriages with grown children, still trying to fulfill the prophesy that they will perform a song that will save the universe.

Bill and Ted are tired from years of working on songs with not much to show for it, but their daughters, Thea (Samara Weaving of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) and Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine of “Downsizing”) still like their fathers' musical creations. We find them at a very strange wedding reception with Bill throat singing and Ted playing a Theremin. The two daughters are enthusiastic, but most guests are bewildered by the strange music.

Just as Ted is deciding to give up his musical ambitions, a time machine appears nearby. Bill and Ted are visited by Kelly (Kristen Schaal of “Norbit”) from the future. Kelly is the daughter of Rufus (played by the late George Carlin in the first movie of this series) and she has come to warn Bill and Ted of impending doom.

Bill and Ted accompany Kelly back to the future where they get the bad news about the approaching deadline from The Great Leader (Holland Taylor of “Baby Mama”). They have only hours to perform the song that will save the universe. They decide to hijack the telephone booth time machine from the first movie. They visit their future selves in the hope they can obtain the magic song from them. The Great Leader has lost confidence in Bill and Ted and sends a time-traveling robot after them to kill them, hoping their death will save the universe.

I know, there are a lot of time travel paradoxes in this story, but just roll with it. In their time traveling adventure, Bill and Ted meet their future selves and get into a lot of trouble. Meanwhile, their daughters borrow Kelly's time machine and use it to round up an all star band from the past to back up Bill and Ted. The band includes Mozart, Jimmy Hendrix and Louie Armstrong. Other famous people appear in the movie as themselves.

This story gets very complicated as it goes along because of all the time traveling and all the resulting paradoxes, but that is not unusual in time travel movies (check out “Tenet” for instance). However, this is not the kind of movie you really have to figure out because you don't need to take it seriously to enjoy it. Bill and Ted and their daughters remain unfazed by much of this time travel craziness and they somehow manage to accomplish their mission in a climactic scene.

Like the previous Bill and Ted movies (“Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure” and “Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey”) this story is full of wordplay jokes, cultural references and movie insider jokes. It is goofy fun and somewhat uplifting. Just what I needed in this bogus year. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

[Strip of film rule]
Copyright © 2020 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
[Strip of film rule]
Back to the Laramie Movie Scope index.

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)

[Rule made of Seventh Seal sillouettes]

Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]