Time travel in movies is always a potentially difficult thing to deal with. As a theoretical concept, it deals with a host of scientific issues that can be difficult to reconcile, which means that when fiction uses the concept, it's dealt with in a number of different ways. Making a time travel story fit together in a way that feels both realistic and satisfying is one of the tougher things for such stories to do. Unless you're writing a comedy about a couple of slackers trying to pass a history test. Maybe then, don't overthink that one.
That's the advice from Ed Solomon, the co-writer of the Bill & Ted franchise. He recently appeared on our own Reelblend podcast where he talked about the fact that he finds it funny when people critique the time travel mechanics of the films,. Solomon knows that the time travel doesn't "make sense" and he thinks that fits in with the rest of the movie quite well. It's sort of the point. According to Solomon...
I'm going to read you a tweet that happened this morning. It's so funny. Somebody sent me something from an article from Parade. And they have a section called Cinema Sins. And it says, ‘The movie experts at Cinema Sins find some excellent boo-boos in Bill and Ted. Napoleon enjoys ice cream for the first time in his life. In reality, the French, you know… Beethoven plays a piano that wasn't invented. It goes through these things. And my response, which I tweeted was, ‘But everything else in this movie about time-traveling teenagers who always somehow land exactly next to a famous person is apparently a hundred percent accurate thing?’ When people try to say, ‘Well, that wouldn't have happened in Greece. In Greece, the statues weren't really white.’ And I'm like, ‘None of this makes sense.’ Right? We actually almost led off the [first] movie with a title that just said, ‘This movie makes no sense.’
It does seem a little silly to pointing out historical anachronisms in your comedy movie about a couple of teenagers kidnapping historical figures in order to make a U.S. history presentation to their high school.
And honestly, while it certainly may be true that there parts of the story that aren't historically accurate, I honestly found the movie's use of time travel to be quite brilliant. The gimmick that would allow Bill and Ted to think of something that they needed, and then have that thing appear because they would go back in time after the fact in order to make thing happen, was sort of genius and made for some fantastic comedic moments that made fun of time travel as a concept as much as it used it.
Bill and Ted Face the Music will have its share of time travel, as Bill and Ted's daughters will be going on a journey not unlike what their dads did in the first movie, where trailers imply Bill and Ted themselves will actually be traveling through alternate realities. Bill and Ted Face the Music hits VOD, and some theaters, on Friday.