★★★

Bill & Ted Face the Music is a musical adventure comedy with plenty of heart and big ambitions. Two clueless besties are tasked with saving mankind by creating a hit song that will help bring the world back together.

Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) used to be time-traveling teens who were once tasked with passing their history class and winning the battle of the bands. They were destined to fulfill a prophecy foretelling they would write an epic hit song, but they got lost somewhere along the way and now find themselves to be middle-aged dads running out of couples’ therapy with their wives, and who are accomplishing nothing musically, despite writing a ton of songs.

Now, with the fabric of time and space tearing around them, Bill and Ted are tasked by someone from the future to finally create a hit song that will save all life and existence. They must once again take to time-traveling across the world, hell, and outer space, to inspire this hit song. Fortunately, they have the help of their daughters, Thea (Samara Weaving) and Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) to help immerse their dads in pop culture wisdom.

Meeting Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix, Jesus, classical composers, and foreign musicians, there is a plethora of talented people who can help steer Bill and Ted in the right direction. But will it be enough for them to save the world?

Directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Fun with Dick and Jane) who is adept at keeping his comedy brief, Bill & Ted Face the Music breezes by in a pleasant way. Directing real life best friends Reeves and Winter to play goofy simpletons is almost too easy, but its execution is spot on. He manages to stay true to the series while reinventing the dynamic in a world of slightly older characters.

Writers Chris Matheson (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, A Goofy Movie) and Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men In Black) stay true to form, creating a musical adventure spanning time and space that never takes itself seriously. The jokes are funny because the main characters are dumb, and the script is dumb, but it self-knowingly capitalizes on this and stoops as low as it can to go that extra mile for a cheap laugh. And it works.

With a soundtrack rocking Weezer, Mastodon, and Cold War Kids, among many others, there is a lot of talent pumping life into this film. In a strange twist of art imitating life imitating art, Bill and Ted’s task in this film to create a hit song actually inspired real-life bands to create hit songs for the third installment of their adventure.

Ultimately, the originals set the bar pretty low, so as long as expectations for another sequel following on the heels of a video game and animated series are also set low, Bill & Ted Face the Music is delightful. A low-budget musical action comedy film with an A-list actor, this is a rare treat for fans of the cult series, or an easy way to pass an hour and a half for newcomers.