Australian Council on Children and the Media

Bill & Ted Face the Music

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Not suitable under 7; parental guidance to 9 (violence, scary characters and themes, mild coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Bill & Ted Face the Music
  • a review of Bill & Ted Face the Music completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 September 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Not suitable due to violence, scary characters and themes, and mild coarse language.
Children aged 7–9 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, scary characters and themes, and mild coarse language
Children aged 10 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Bill & Ted Face the Music
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, violence and coarse language
Length 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

It has been over 20 years since inseparable best buddies, William "Bill" Preston (Sam Winter) and Theodore "Ted" Logan (Keanu Reeves), came back from their time-travelling adventures and celebrated success with their rock band, "Wyld Stallyns". Now middle-aged and professionally unsuccessful, it is beginning to doom on them that not only have they not fulfilled the prophecy of "uniting the world by song", but that their fruitless endeavours have taken a toll on their marriages. However, a messenger from the future – Kelly (Kristen Schaal), daughter of their past time-travelling mentor Rufus – appears with an important message: If they do not write and perform the world's greatest song by 7:17pm that night, time and space will collapse, and reality as we know it will end. Left with just under 2 hours to save the world, Bill and Ted decide to travel to the future, hoping to take the song from their future selves. Of course, things are not as straight-forward as they think, and another excellent time-travelling adventure begins. Only this time, Bill and Ted also have the support of their equally goofy and good-natured daughters, Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving), who are determined to help their Dads save reality.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Comedy; Science-Fiction; Action; Music.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • The future Great Leader sends a robot to kill Bill and Ted.
  • The robot has a laser gun that kills people and sends them to Hell.
  • The robot lasers Bill and Ted's daughters, a group of musicians, Ted's father, and later himself, along with Bill and Ted, to Hell.
  • In one scene, the robot gets beaten up by a group of inmates but does not appear to get harmed.
  • Future versions of Bill and Ted threaten the current Bill and Ted with a gun and shoot at them (they miss).

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Even though the robot assassin turns out to be a rather hilarious and friendly character, his appearance and his ‘order to kill’ might initially scare young children.
  • The thought of going to Hell or that Death is an actual person might frighten young or sensitive children.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • During a wedding scene, the bridal couple is seen kissing and it is implied that they find each other sexually attractive.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • One version of future Ted is drinking Vodka from the bottle and has developed a drinking problem.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Dick.
  • Dickweed.
  • Loser.

In a nutshell

Bill & Ted Face the Music is the sequel to the successful 1989 and 1991 Bill & Ted comedy films Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, again featuring Keanu Reeves and Sam Winter (as well as more of the original cast) as two goofy rock music nerds, though now middle-aged, but still living by their standard of "being excellent to each other", and with the ever-enthusiastic vision to "unite the world by song". Grown-ups who loved the originals, as well as the new generation of young viewers will be equally entertained and delighted by this project, which had been long in the making. Laden with funny dialogues and hilarious characters portrayed by an excellent cast, this movie just zips by. Featured violence, scary characters and themes are mainly of slapstick nature and taken to absurd and over-the-top levels. Therefore, the film is likely to appeal to a family audience with children aged 10 and over, with parental guidance for children from age 7.

The main messages from this movie are that you should be "excellent to each other", that it is never too late to follow your dream, and that persistence, teamwork, and creativity go a long way.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Friendship
  • Determination
  • Working together and standing united for a greater purpose.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of not giving up: on hope; on oneself; on loved ones; and on one's dreams.

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