Marty McFly and Doc Brown’s misadventures return with a solid comeback in Back to the Future Part II, one of the few films that truly made the sequel formula work. It’s a film that has defined a generation of time travel films, and has managed to become one of the most renowned films in popular culture history. Back to the Future Part II is a reinvention of the formula that was used in the original film, where Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel back in time to the past to help Marty fix things that need to be fixed. However, in doing so, Marty manages to mess up things that he shouldn’t have messed with.
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The Movie Review
As the age old saying goes, ‘if you mess with time, time seems to mess back with you’, that’s exactly the story of Back to the Future Part II. As Marty McFly once again enlists the help of Doctor Emmett Brown to travel into the future in the year 2015 so that Doc Brown can make some changes to things.
However, Marty’s inclusion on the trip results in total disaster because he tries to save his son Marty Jr from life in prison. Naturally, their return back to 1985 is turned into a post-apocalyptic world full of riots and chaos on the streets. What’s worse is that Doc’s time travel machine has been compromised by Doc’s longtime nemesis Biff Tannen! Of course as the film’s title suggests, they must time travel back into 1955, to fix the present, and naturally travel back to the future (Part 2)!
Director Robert Zemeckis’ big break was Back to the Future, and that same formula of showing events from the past colliding with events in the film, is what he used in future films such as Forrest Gump and Welcome to Marwen. However, Back to the Future Part II is where things got really convoluted, and somehow he still ensured that all of the events within the film made sense in the continuity.
The film went from showing the year 1985, to a futuristic version of 2015 that included all sorts of tech you could think of at the time such as hoverboards, flying cars and cyberpunk aesthetics!
What I really adore about this film is the wonderful pacing, even though it’s such an old film. The editor cuts and continues scenes and sequences at the most perfect moments, making sure that this would be the highest quality of popcorn munching, blockbuster material audiences get on the big screen!
There’s also just something very engaging about the humor in this film, the jokes are fantastic and invent some of our favorite tropes in not just time travel films, but comedy in general.
The most engaging thing about this film is the spectacle though, and that spectacle would be nothing without the incredible visual effects work here. Sure, the film isn’t a marvel of cinematography like you would find in a Ridley Scott film at the time, however it does have a lot of color and a lot of heart. It makes up for the visuals through the use of VFX and special effects anyways!
The explosions, the DeLorean vanishing out of thin air as they time travel, the cityscapes in a futuristic 2015, everything looks phenomenal for the time!
The performances aren’t all amazing though, but that was to be expected as this is a blockbuster from the 80s, an era where campiness is all that was adored.
Despite the normalized exaggerated reactions and overly stylized movements of the characters, the film still bodes some insanely funny performances by Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown and Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly. Lea Thompson also played Lorraine Baines-McFly wonderfully, adding an extra layer of charisma to the overall cast.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, Back to the Future Part II is a sequel that manages to outdo the original, and that is a massive feat to accomplish when the original is a near perfect motion picture. There is just something about this film that somehow intrigues you into its world, gives you a whole lot of laughter and leaves you with excitement for the future of blockbusters in Hollywood.
Back to the Future Part II is one of the main reasons why we have visual effects heavy films being so darn popular in the 21st century, and it’s a film that built the foundation for a generation of time travel films to come.