Bill & Ted Face the Music Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Pros: Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter returned to lead roles; the script contains elements from two old films; familiar minor characters appear in the frame; children of the main characters Cons: comedy only for those who watched two old films that came out in 1989 and 1991 Bill & Ted Face the Music

Genre fantasy, comedy
Directed by Dean Parisot
Cast: Keanu Reeves (Ted Logan), Alex Winter (Bill Preston), William Sadler (Death), Bridgette Lundy-Paine (Billy Logan), Samara Weaving (Thea Preston), Anthony Carrigan (Dennis Caleb McCoy), Jillian Bell (Dr. Taylor Wood), Jayma Mays (Princess Joanna Preston), Erinn Hayes (Princess Elizabeth Logan), George Carlin (Rufus), etc.
Orion Pictures, Endeavor Content, Hammerstone Studios
Year of release 2020
IMDb website

If you list long-standing cult films about time travel, the first ones that come to mind are, of course, Back To The Future Trilogy and The Terminator. It would be worth adding here a more frivolous, but no less popular story about the temporary movements of Bill and Ted – schoolchildren who return to the past using a telephone booth.

The first film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, was released in 1989. In it, twenty-year-old and still unknown Keanu Reeves plays an eccentric schoolboy who dreams of writing cool music. He has a best friend, played by Alex Winter, and they are both facing expulsion from school. The guys are trying to prepare for a report on history, when suddenly a man from 2688 appears in front of them – he reports that the music of teenagers will become the basis for the existence of a utopian future. In order for them to succeed, the guys need to not fail their studies, so they are sent into the past, where Bill and Ted will personally meet historical figures.

Even now, watching the first part of the adventures of Bill and Ted is very funny. The main characters, with youthful spontaneity, rejoice at any turns in life, call each other “dude” and speak enthusiastically in one voice. They don’t have the pathos of modern heroes and acting pomposity, they’re just a couple of clueless good guys.


Actually, the characters behave in exactly the same way in the second film, “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey,” released in 1991. Having matured a few years, the guys do not change, but again face temporary travel. An antagonist from the future wants to destroy them, so Bill and Ted end up in the afterlife, where they meet Death and even attract him to perform together. Humanity is saved again, and the story of the adventures of two eccentrics is completed. Or, one might say, paused for almost thirty years.


There is no point in writing about how Keanu Reeves’ career developed further – everyone already knows. At some point, Wachowski’s films put an end to his comedic role, and he became an actor of a different type. But what’s interesting is that after that Reeves never disowned Bill and Ted. On the contrary, starting in 2010, he confirmed rumors that viewers might one day see a continuation of their favorite story (it is worth noting that it became a favorite mainly for American audiences, where comics, an animated series and even a musical were published based on the first film).


Keanu Reeves did not deceive; he and his film partner Alex Winter actually returned to their old roles. In the third film, Bill and Ted appear to us as matured, but still the same naive and sincere musicians. They lost their potential, did not achieve success and became failures in the eyes of others. The only people who are delighted with the avant-garde work of Bill and Ted are their own daughters, who are somewhat reminiscent of the heroes in their youth. They all live in a completely ordinary and unremarkable reality, until two friends are again visited by guests from the future. Yes, Bill and Ted have to save humanity, but there is one problem – after all these years they have not been able to write a song that, according to prophecy, should unite the world.


The third Bill & Ted movie feels like solid fan service that brings beloved characters back to the big screen. The writers are trying to put into it all the best that was in old films. They again begin to move historical figures into modern realities and arrange a new meeting with Death, who has his own musical ambitions.


This all sounds crazy and comical. This is true, but for those who have seen the two old films, a new round of history may awaken pleasant nostalgia. In the third part of “Bill and Ted”, familiar minor characters appear, and the old humor remains, which is practically not penetrated by modern trends.


Seeing a much older Bill and Ted who continue to speak with one voice can be a little strange. It seems that the filmmakers themselves understand this, so they reveal the age crisis and gradually bring to the fore the children of the heroes, played by Bridgette Lundy-Paine (known from the TV series Atypical) and Samara Weaving (played in the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Still, they are better at lightheartedness and a meaningful exclamation of “dude.”


the new film is 78 minutes of fan service that only fans of the story about two musicians will appreciate. It may be sad to see Bill and Ted grow up, but they are being replaced by new characters who also cannot live without the word “dude.”

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