Bill and Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) are now middle-aged fathers who, despite their best efforts, have not yet written the song that will unite the world. However, when reality set to collapse in on itself in less than 90 minutes, they travel into the future to steal the song from themselves, while their daughters (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine) attempt to recruit a band of legendary musicians to help them...
Given the current levels of apocalypse we're in, a movie about music uniting the world and stopping reality tearing itself apart could seem trite and even a little galling. After all, we know what's destroying the world - and it's ourselves. Yet, for all the doom-laden heaviness, it's refreshing that a movie like 'Bill & Ted Face The Music' has come along and not only acknowledges this, but actively tries to lighten the load.
Remember when time-travel movies used to be fun and exciting, and not confusing tapestries and bland exposition? More than that, remember when you could actually fit these kind of stories into 90 minutes? 'Bill & Ted Face The Music' may initially present itself as a throwback to high-concept comedies of the '90s, and it is, but there was an ingenuity and a marvellous sense of brevity about them that made them so much fun to watch.
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter bounce off one another like it's old times, with none of their innocence and enthusiasm waning in the intervening years. If anything, their middle-aged features just add to the jollity and fun, and their on-screen daughters Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine are perfectly cast with them. William Sadler returns as the bass-playing Death, while Kristen Schaal fills in for George Carlin admirably. Even Kid Cudi has a role in the movie as himself and as a time-travel expert.
Writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson, together with veteran comedy director Dean Parisot of 'Galaxy Quest' fame, are working with familiar flavours here, but blending them together to create something unique for our time - a sci-fi comedy that isn't painfully meta, or somehow trying to subvert itself in some way. It's just a heartfelt and sweet comedy that embraces the passing of time and legacy.
In this day and age, that's a rare treat.