Director: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

Year: 1989

If Back to the Future Part I can be called an icon, Back to the Future Part II should be seen as its goofy cousin who comes around and raids the fridge but we love him anyway.  The original is basically perfect, hilarious and cool and fun, but the sequel is more fan service, giving us repetitive details because we loved them so much the first time.  Every score category takes a direct hit, but most audience members don’t mind, if only because we can always use some more Doc & Marty.  That said, this strange vision of the future and silly re-do of the past wouldn’t stand up to intense, standalone scrutiny, so don’t watch it that way.  Instead, sit back and enjoy the wild ride, because Part II has a ton of entertainment to offer, if you don’t look too closely at its flaws.

Immediately upon getting back to the future from his near misses in the past, Marty is whisked away by Doc into the further future, to 2015, in order to save his own McFly kids from ruin.  Things don’t turn out perfectly for Marty & Jennifer in the future apparently, and their children make some mistakes too.  So forward in time they go to make things right, but, as always, just being there out of place has its consequences.  Marty starts a disastrous chain reaction that ripples backward to 1955 where he was before, changing everything he made right his first trip back.  Now he & Doc will have to go back to the past and then back to the future again, without running into their other selves and tearing apart the fabric of reality.

That’s heavy, as Marty would say, or Great Scott, if you’re Doc.  That’s quite a plot, back and forth and back again, but that’s part of the fun, that’s what makes Part II enjoyable, while also being what muddles the mind.  Honestly, Doc should know that you can’t go forward to change something and then go back to “your time” because that would reset events, right?  But hey, no big deal, the perfection of quantum travel isn’t at stake here, we just wanna have a good time (and maybe the whole point was for Marty to learn something, because it comes full circle after Part III, if I remember correctly).  And that’s possible, even though the movie is silly, there’s no real reason why we can’t have a bit of fun.  Marty is still cool, there’s a different Jennifer (Elisabeth Shue), I like the repeating events from a different perspective, and the future vision is hilarious, now that we can say that 2015 isn’t anything like how these filmmakers imagined it.  I’m watching this trilogy all in the row, which I think is how it should be watched, which also helped in the enjoyment department, because I don’t know how well No. 2 would stand up completely independently.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆



By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils