Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Back to the Future II (1989) OriginalFour years on and several decades back and forth sees the much adored follow up to arguably the most iconic time travel film ever. “Back to the Future Part II” is a picture that captures the essence and spark of the first, but commits a cardinal sin for a sequel; complicating itself unnecessarily.
The list of sequels that have overdone themselves is endless, and there are several worse offenders than this, but it saddened me upon watching this nevertheless. I often like to view films individually, whether they be sequels, sidequels, prequels or whatever. It’s hard in the case of “Back to the Future Part II” as it’s not only from one of the most iconic trilogies in cinema, it’s kind of a sequel/sidequel all in one. Thus, proving why I didn’t enjoy it much as the first.

After visiting the future, or present day of 2015, Marty and Doc set out to change things up so that the future McFly’s aren’t washed up and unsuccessful, as well as other things. After getting too over his head, Marty acquires a book that lists every sporting result until the year 2000 and sees it as an opportunity for some significant financial gain.
After it gets into the wrong hands, Doc and Marty must go back from 2015 to 1985, back to 1955 and back again to ’85 in what becomes a very convoluted and confusing escapade of exposition, silliness and repetition.
Noroads-HQStraight off, I must say that I do think it belongs on the all-time 500 list, perhaps even a little higher than it’s antepenultimate position of 498. It’s just that a major praise I had for the original was the simplicity of it all, and how well it was handled.
For me, a solid sequel for “Back to the Future” would be set entirely in the future (which would be really interesting to live in) in which Doc and Marty would return to ’85 at the end. It sounds like a complete replica to the first, but at least the simplicity factor would continue on, and the tone would remain relatively continuous.
One thing about the sequel is that it is a lot darker than the first. There’s more emotion, more punishment and even death which changes things up significantly.

All that said, “Back to the Future Part II” is quite well done given how all over the place it is.
I can think of plenty of sequels that ventured as far out as this and completely failed, at least this one held it together relatively well.
As usual, Doc Brown is brilliant as he guides Marty along his journey, and Michael J Fox is fantastic as usual. We see a lot more of Fox, as he plays about 5 different characters!
There is even an Eddy Murphy-style dinner scene in which we see Fox dressed up as a female relative, what?!

vlcsnap-2012-01-18-21h52m02s33_largeFor a prediction of the future, “Back to the Future Part II” didn’t quite get it right, but it doesn’t matter. We technically have a few months to invent the flying car, hover boards and film “Jaws 19”, so it can’t be completely disproven just yet…
Unlike how 1993’s “Demolition Man” predicted several modern occurrences and inventions, “Back to the Future Part II” was not as accurate. But it’s all part of the fun, plus I’d love to get my hands on one of Marty McFly Jr’s caps!

Overly excited on the popularity of the original, “Back to the Future Part II” appears to have bitten off more than it could chew. That’s not to say it’s not engaging and entertaining for the most part.
There are clever nods to the first, fantastic special effects for the time and very good use of the central antagonists. Also the inclusion of Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea is a major plus!
It’s a lot of fun and professionally executed at the end of it all, but does it have anything on the first? Sadly not.





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