The Bill & Ted Movies


Release Date
August 26, 2020
Running Time
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(The Channel Awesome logo is shown, followed by the NC title sequence)

NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Well, I don't know about you, but I am mad excited for the third Bill & Ted movie, Bill & Ted: Face The Music!

(Scenes for the upcoming Bill & Ted sequel are shown)

NC (vo): With almost 30 years since the last movie was made, there's nothing cooler than seeing the original cast come back and reprise their roles in a completely unnecessary sequel to an already completely unnecessary sequel.

NC: So, in honor of this film being released, (holds up index finger) we're gonna look at the original–

(Suddenly, he is interrupted by the sound of zapping, as a telephone booth teleports into the room)

NC: What the hell?

(A man (played by Malcolm) wearing an orange shirt, a black jacket and sunglasses walks into the room. Rock music plays)

Man: Hello, Critic.

NC: My God! Are you some sort of zany person based on the concept that ties into this review?

Man: No, it's me, Malcolm.

NC: Oh.

Malcolm: (removes glasses, speaks dramatically) FROM THE FUTURE!

NC: (wide-eyed) Whaaaaaa?!

Malcolm: (wearing glasses again) I've come to warn you that Bill & Ted: Face the Music is terrible.

NC: (concerned) Oh, no, it is?

Malcolm: Yes, it sucks ass!

NC: Like, how much ass?

Malcolm: A lot of ass!

NC: Whoa, that's more than I was expecting.

Malcolm: It's one of the worst sequels ever made. (takes off glasses again) Not even worth looking at.

NC: Oh, man, that's such a shame. The other films were so unique.

(Footage of the first two Bill & Ted movies are shown)

NC (vo): Written by Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson, two writers (Shots of posters for two other movies Solomon and Matheson had also worked on pop up: Men in Black, A Goofy Movie) who have found success in their own right... (The poster for Super Mario Bros pops up) for the most part, the Bill & Ted movies take what should be standard teen comedies and turns them into something truly bizarre, original, and sure, kinda dumb. Yeah, these aren't exactly high works of art, but it's hard to find another series of movies quite like them. I know that sounds odd as they just look like forgettable products of their time, but the story of each one strangely stands out when you ask, "why the hell were so many of these choices made?" They turn what should be embarrassing projects for big names like Keanu Reeves and George Carlin into cult favorites that're still being celebrated years later, warts and all.

Malcolm: Yes, but the third one sucks, so there's no point in looking them over.

NC: Well, no if anything, it makes even more sense to watch him again.

Malcolm: (confused) What?

NC (vo): Well yeah, there's a lot you can learn from both the good and the bad so we'll look over what worked in these films, what didn't, and maybe how they'll tie into the third one.

Malcolm: (disappointed) Well, I guess that makes sense...

NC: What, did you not want me to review them?

Malcolm: No, no! You do you. I'm just Malcolm from the future. What do I know?

NC: Well, I'd imagine a lot. You're from the future.

Malcolm: Yes, right! So I am.

NC: In fact, with everything going on, that's what you come back in time for?

Malcolm: Look, I gotta go cause I'm running late for some... future stuff.

NC: (confused) How can you be late with a time machine?

Malcolm: That is a question. (Silence follows) Bye.

(Malcolm leaves with the phonebooth disappearing offscreen)

NC: Well, with that completely not suspicious lead in, let's take a look at the Bill & Ted movies.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure[edit | edit source]

NC (vo): The first film, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure premiering in 1989, was directed by Stephen Herrick, (posters of films Stephen Herrick directed pop up: Critters, The Mighty Ducks, Holy Man, Rock Star, 101 Dalmatians, Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead, The Three Musketeers, and Mr. Holland's Opus) director of maybe the most random movies to have almost no connection in style or tone. But you could argue that's a good thing. (cut to Bill and Ted rocking out as fake opening credits that read "Alex Winter" and "Keanu Reeves" pop up) As a film like this, you would imagine opening with our leads acting stupid and the credits being tucked in the corner as they make jokes. (cut to the real opening credits of the film) But no. This is pretty stylized and honestly, kinda cool. With the Lawnmower Man's schlong penetrating (showing a picture of Jambi from Pee-Wee's Playhouse) Jambi's box while a fun but strange song by a band called (thumbnail of a Big Pig song pops up) Big Pig plays.

Big Pig: ♪ Do-ki-do, ah-mah-neh-la. ♪

NC: How can anyone at least not muster a (very confused) "Go on..."

NC (vo): We're introduced to Rufus, played by George Carlin, who is taking this role far more seriously than he needs to.

Rufus: Hi. Welcome to the future. San Dimas, California, 2688.

NC (vo): (as Rufus) There is literally nothing left.

NC: Are you really surprised?

NC (vo): He explains the future has reached perfection because it's based on the music of two valley boys, Bill and Ted.

(cut to the title characters rocking out rather poorly)

Rufus: If I should fail to keep these two on the correct path, the basis of our society will be in danger. Don't worry, it'll all make sense.

NC: That was a lie.

(Crowd is heard rioting)

NC (vo): We see Bill and Ted, played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, are about to fail history if they don't ace their final report. You can see why.

Mr. Ryan (played by Bernie Casey): What have you learned?

Ted: Great leaders such as Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc and Socratic Method. The world is full of history.

NC: It's funny how you have to be bizarrely smart to write entertainingly dumb sometimes.

NC (vo): Ted is told if he fails, he has to go to military school. So the leaders in the future, (credits from iMDB are shown) literally credited as "The Three Most Important People in the World", send Rufus back to help them.

The Three Most Important People in the World: Party on, dude.

NC: I don't know about you,

NC (vo): but I think Blade 4 is looking great.

(The schlong from the credits converts itself into a time-traveling phonebooth)

NC (vo): Yeah, few people know this was actually the late 80s, early 90s, American adaptation of Doctor Who.

(Posters of 10 Things I Hate About You, Steel, Double Dragon, and Street Fighter pop up)

NC: Look at the other adaptations of that time and tell me I'm wrong!

NC (vo): They're picked up by Bill's mom who by far is the subject of the best jokes in this movie.

Ted: Your stepmom's a cutie.

Bill: Shut up, Ted.

(cut to a later scene)

Ted: Remember when I asked her to the prom?

Bill: Shut up, Ted!

(cut back to previous scene)

Ted: You know when she was a senior we were freshmen?

Bill: Shut up, Ted!

NC: (as Ted) Hey, remember when you got your mom pregnant?

NC: (offscreen, as Bill) Shut up, Ted!

NC (vo): …Who's nice enough to make him burn sandwiches while they study.

Ian Preston (played by J. Patrick McNamara): Why don't you guys take a dinner break.

(Bill and Ted leave the room and Ted's dad closes the door on them to be alone with his wife)

NC: Or I take it back. This might be the 90s adaptation of Chinatown.

Ted: It's your mom, dude!

NC (vo): Rufus arrives and in a very clever bit of writing, the Bill and Ted that just went on the excellent adventure travel back and tell them what a great time they're about to have.

Future Bill: Dudes, you guys are gonna go back in time.

Future Ted: Yeah! You are going to have a most excellent adventure through history!

NC: (as Ted) You're also in something called (screenshot from the Matrix is shown) the Hendrix?

NC: (offscreen as Bill) Dude, it was the Makeshift.

NC (vo): (as Ted) Oh yeah!

Bill: We told ourselves to listen to this guy.

Ted: What if we were lying?

Bill: Why would we lie to ourselves?

NC (vo): (as Ted) Dude, we're not trying to pass philosophy. We're trying to pass history.

(The trio starts going back in time in the phonebooth to the battle at Waterloo)

NC (vo): Rufus takes them back to when stock footage roamed the earth and they accidentally grabbed Napoleon and bring him with.

(in Ted's room with his younger brother Deacon, played by Frazier Bain)

Ted: Deacon, you have to watch this guy. His name is Napoleon.

NC (vo): Okay, so I know there's always a paradox that doesn't add up in time travel movies and for the most part, this works very cleverly with them. But there's one element that straight up makes no sense.

Rufus: No matter what you do, no matter where you go, that clock, the clock in San Dimas, is always running.

NC: (confused) Why??

NC (vo): Time is time. Why does one clock suddenly matter more than the other? I mean story-wise, I get it. It keeps things moving. But how the hell is there one continuing timeline when the idea is you can travel to any point in time?

(clip from Avengers: Endgame plays)

Bruce Banner: If you travel to the past that past…

NC: Oh, Christ! I'll buy it! Just don't show me the explanation from Endgame again.

(Rufus begins to take his leave)

NC (vo): Let's take a moment to appreciate how amazingly convincing (zooms in on Rufus) that Rufus stand-in is. He does come from the Scorsese action-figure behind glass collection.

Bill: Let's reach out and touch someone.

(Bill and Ted appear in the old west)

NC (vo): They travel to the old west where they come across Billy the Kid.

Billy the Kid (played by Dan Shor): Here's the deal. What I win, I keep.

NC (vo): This is the only actor I feel is taking this role with the amount of respect most people would give it. That is to say, not a ton.

Billy the Kid: I'd like you all to put your hands together.

NC (vo): Now don't get me wrong. He's not bad. He's just playing it like "Oh, okay. two time-traveling teens and I'm Billy the Kid? Okay. (sarcastically) Sure, varmint."

Cowboy: Are you cheatin' us, kid?

Billy the Kid: Cheatin'? Me? (screams as he flips the table)

NC (vo): He gives the performance you, I, or most people would give in this setup.

(a fight breaks out in the saloon)

(audio from The Great Race is heard)

Texas Jack: Now will you give me some fightin' room?!

NC (vo): Whereas later, after they escaped the barroom brawl... (as either Bill or Ted) Dude, somebody totally took a shit in here. ...You'll find everyone else almost fascinatingly goes above and beyond with their portrayals. Socrates or "So-Crates" as they call him is 100% in every moment. I am totally convinced this dude believes he's Socrates.

Socrates (played by (Tony Steedman): (in Greek) Yes! Like sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. (laughing)

Bill: Let's get outta here, dude.

NC: I never got why (shows picture of Terence Stamp) Terence Stamp left his office resume. He should be proud of it.

NC (vo): Even when they travel to the 15th century and everyone's dressed like Robin Hood: Men in Tights, the majority of actors take their roles pretty seriously. Well, most of them. This guy could have used better direction.

(guard awkwardly runs into the room)

NC: Okay, so enter like a frog wearing a diaper filled with diarrhea and you can't let any of it spill.

(clip replays)

NC: Genius!

NC (vo): Actually, this is the only scene that kind of drags a bit. They talk with two princesses, they dress up as knights, they get captured, nearly executed, and all after an earlier death fake out with ted.

Bill: Ah, Ted... Don't be dead, dude…

NC: I wonder how you came back (clip from earlier in the film) to tell us to go on this adventure in the first place. (gasps) Ted, you're Jesus!

(clip from The Matrix plays)

Neo: Whoa.

Bill: Ted! You're alive!

Ted: Yeah! I fell out of my suit when I hit the floor!

NC (vo): (as Ted) Then I put the suit back together at the bottom of the stairs for no particular reason, then I found a hiding place all in the span of seven seconds!

NC: (as Bill) But how?

NC: (as Ted) Time travel!

NC: (as Bill) Oh yeah!

NC: (as both) (do air guitar)

NC (vo): This joke will never age.

Bill and Ted: Fa-

(Text pops up)

Robotic Voice: Dated slang for homosexual that will result in this video getting demonetized if we played it.

(guitar riff)

NC (vo): Billy and Socrates help them escape and they scramble to find a timeline to flee to.

Ted: Dial fast, dude! Bill...

NC (vo): (as Ted) My face is becoming a meme!

(the gang ends up in the future where Rufus came from)

NC (vo): Wow, check out the 80s clothes, music, and décor. This must be the future! Shit, what am I talking about? It practically is.

One of the Three Most Important People in the World (played by Clarence Clemons): It's you.

Ted: Who're we?

NC (vo): And this is where you realize a lot of the comedy for this movie comes from how seriously it takes certain scenes. People come out and do air guitar to slow peaceful music almost as if the film believes a utopian world based on these two is a legit beautiful idea. I don't think that's what the writers seriously think, but it is funny to imagine a world where this is possible and taken totally seriously. It'd be so easy to have everyone act like an airhead like in (poster for Idiocracy is shown) Idiocracy or something. And while that idea works there, this has kind of a gentle nature to it. It's funny because of how grandly innocent it is. It's also humorous how many of these extras have a look like, "This is the stupidest shit I've ever been in. This is going to bomb hard, and thank god, 'cause no one will see me in it."

Ted: We'd take you with us, but it's a history report, not a future report.

NC (vo): Back in the present, Napoleon has been dropped off with Ted's brother who has no idea what to do with him, so they just take him to random places.

Ziggy Piggy Employee: Lo and behold! He ate the pig!

Ziggy Piggy Employees: Ziggy Piggy, Ziggy Piggy. (snorting)

NC: And yet, Chuck E Cheese files for bankruptcy. What is world?

NC (vo): They ditch him after he attempts to cheat at bowling, subtitling every swear word.

Napoleon (played by Terry Camilleri): (in French) Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!

NC: I feel like their version of Napoleon is just a more (clip from Napoleon Bunny-Part plays) vulgar interpretation of a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Napoleon: (in French) Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!

(cut to cartoon)

Napoleon: (yelling in French)

NC (vo): And Bill and Ted continue to collect historical figures. They nab Joan of Arc, Sigmund Freud, Beethoven, Genghis Khan, and even Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln (played by Robert V. Barron): Yes, what can I—

(Genghis Khan pulls Lincoln and the time machine leaves offscreen)

NC: Well, now we know what the third film will be about.

NC (vo): After dialing the wrong number, resulting in the conversation they had before, they land back at Bill's house coming up with the funniest fake names for their historical friends.

Ted: Gabe Beethoven, Bob Genghis Khan, So-Crates Johnson, Dennis Frood, and uh.. Abraham Lincoln.

NC: Well, at least five bands have been named on Facebook.

NC (vo): But they have to do their chores first. Wha? Zany! And they leave the historical figures at the mall while they pick up Napoleon.

Ted: Do you realize you have stranded one of Europe's greatest leaders in San Dimas?!

Deacon: He was a dick.

(quote pops up that says ""Napoleon was a dick." -Deacon from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure")

NC (vo): They discover he went to a water park called Waterloo, because of course he did, and I'll just say it, seeing Napoleon enjoy the hell out of water slides is kinda my everything.

(Napoleon constantly having fun on the water slides)

NC: This isn't surprising. (clip from The Truman Show" play with Terry Camilleri celebrating in the bathtub) it seems the best times of his life usually involve water.

NC (vo): They pick him up, but unsurprisingly, the rest of the gang go exploring in the mall and get into trouble.

(Beethoven in a music store)

Store Clerk: You a musician? Try this.

(clerk turns on synth rhythm sample on keyboard)

NC (vo): (as Beethoven) Well, I can't hear any of that. I'll just assume it's amazing.

Beethoven (played by Clifford David): (laughing)

NC (vo): Again, these actors commitment to these roles are above and beyond what a Bill & Ted movie require.

Sigmund Freud played by Rod Loomis): I'm Dr. Freud, but you may call me Siggy.

Lady: (laughing) Oh my god.

NC (vo): There's some real good jokes here. Sigmund Freud striking out with the ladies while holding a corn dog, Joan of Arc leading an army of exercisers, Genghis Khan (zooms in on a sign that says, "LET US GRIP YOU AND STRING YOU") in front of this sign, what the balls, and all of them getting arrested by Ted's father.

Bill: Can we get your dad's keys?

Ted: I could steal him, but he lost them two days ago.

NC (vo): In another bit of clever writing, Bill and Ted break them out leaving the cell keys and other helpful objects by traveling back in time after the show.

Ted: Hey, it was me who stole my dad's keys!

NC (vo): Again, it's very clever, but I never got this.

Ted: Remember a trash can.

Jonathan Logan (played by Hal Landon Jr.): Trash can? What are you talking about? (trash can falls on top of him) Hey, get this thing off me, kid!

NC: Was Ted of the future hanging on the ceiling waiting to drop that?

(picture of Spiderman on the ceiling with Ted's face pasted on is shown)

NC (vo): (as Ted) Dude, I got bitten by a spider after I passed!

(guitar riff)

NC (vo): They get to the school and naturally, without any preparation whatsoever, they put on a grand show for their report complete with stage lighting, choreography, guns in school when that was seen as a funny thing, even pudding for the audience! Somebody wrote that!

Ted: (interpreting for Socrates) He loves San Dimas.

(arrow points to enthusiastic audience member high fiving another guy)

NC (vo): (as audience member) Woo-hoo! Socrates is awesome!

Ted: Mr. Abraham Lincoln.

(audience applauds)

NC: I love this one guy who's like "Eh. Lincoln's okay."

Abraham Lincoln: Your forefathers were brought forth upon a most excellent adventure.

NC (vo): Let's be honest. This film would feel naked if it didn't end with Abraham saying this.

Abraham Lincoln: Party on, dudes!

(quote pops up that says, ""Party on, dudes!" -Abraham Lincoln, Like You Don't Know")

(crowd goes wild)

NC (vo): (as Lincoln) Hoho! That's really going to slay 'em at the theater tonight!

NC (vo): They finish their adventure that'd be over in minutes if the internet existed and Rufus even brings them the princesses they fell in love with.

(The princesses, Joanna and Elizabeth, played by Diane Franklin and Kimberley LaBelle respectivelly, go over to kiss the boys)

NC: They did agree and weren't kidnapped, right?

NC (vo): That had a troubling mail order bride vibe to it.

Bill: Let's jam!

NC (vo): They recruit them as band members and then finally decide to learn how to play.

(Bill and Ted start rocking out, again, rather poorly)

Rufus: They do get better.

NC (vo): (as Rufus) They get their own cereal (picture of Bill & Ted cereal box) where you can win a phone booth! there's a lot you can do with that!

(montage of clips from the movie play)

NC (vo): At a time when many teen comedies focused on taking the wrong moments seriously and the lighter moments too goofy, this film did the exact opposite. It glossed over the moments we've seen done a million times and focused on other moments that many films would barely look at. It makes it strange, but also charming, resulting in a box office hit. It led to (picture of action figures) merchandise, (clip of Bill & Ted cartoon) an animated tv show and naturally, a sequel.

(Suddenly, the sound of zapping is heard again, as the same telephone booth from teleports into the room)

(This time, a woman (played by Tamara) wearing a white cloak, reminiscent of Kelly from Bill & Ted: Face the Music, walks into the room. Rock music plays)

Woman: Hello, Critic.

NC: Hey, Tamara.

Woman: Tamara? Who's Tamara? I'm Kelly from the future, year 30-

NC: Just tell me what you want.

Woman: Well, I've come to warn you that Bill & Ted: Face the Music is completely... adequate.

NC: (confused) What?

Woman: Yeah, it's okay.

NC: But I just heard it was awful.

Woman: No, it's fine. Not even worth checking out it's so okay.

NC: Alright, well I'll probably still take a look.

Woman: (quietly) Damnit!

NC: What?

Woman: I mean... nothing.

NC: You mean nothing?

Woman: Yes, I mean nothing. I'm Tamara, and I'm quirky like that.

NC: I thought you said you weren't Tamara.

Woman: I thought that you said that you weren't Tamara!

NC: Did I?

Woman: Well, if you don't remember, I'm not going to tell you.

NC: What is happening right now??

Woman: I don't know. I'm Malcolm. That's just how I act.

NC: That I know is not true. He wears different dresses than that.

Woman: Gotta go!

(The woman quickly leaves with the phone booth disappearing offscreen)

NC: I'd ask what's going on, but I'm afraid I'd get answers.

(On that note, we go to a commercial. Upon return, we cut to the poster for Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey)

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey[edit | edit source]

NC (vo): So, if you were told there was a Bill & Ted sequel coming out in 1991, what would you think it's about?

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