Saturday, December 12, 2009

Back to the Future Part II

Back to the Future Part II; Science-fiction comedy, USA, 1989; D: Robert Zemeckis, S: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson, Elisabeth Shue, Lea Thompson

After the exciting events in the 1st film, Doc Brown uses his now flying time machine-car to bring Marty McFly and his girlfriend Jennifer into the year 2015, where Marty's son made such an incident that it ruined his whole family. Thus, Marty disguises himself as his future son and turns down a shady deal from Biff's grandson, the juvenile Griff and his gang, who crash in the city hall and get arrested. After that, Marty and Doc have to save Jennifer who accidentally found herself in her future home. But the Biff from the future secretly uses the machine to travel back to 1955 and give his younger version a magazine that predicts all sport bets until 2015. Returning back to the present, Marty and Doc find the evil Biff now wealthy. They return back to 1955 and destroy the sports magazine. But Doc's machine gets hit by a lightning bolt and sent to 1885.

Some things are better left alone. "Back to the Future" was a great little film with heart that, as Robert Zemeckis himself admitted, wasn't intended to have a sequel, but the huge commercial success set some other priorities. Luckily though, even though it doesn't grasp the energy of the original, thanks to Zemeckis' talent he still managed to make the best out of it. "Back to the Future Part II" is surprisingly good and appealing in the first 30 minutes when it delivers the promise from its title and really shows a fascinating little glimpse of the future in 2015 with great design, technical innovations and amusing-sweet jokes (most notably when Marty goes to an 80s nostalgia bar where Michael Jackson's song "Beat it" plays in the background or when he spots a holograph promoting the film "Jaws 19"). The basic premise that continues the story from the first film is rubbish and contradicts the character of Doc in every way, since he would as a scientist never agree to "modify" Marty's future no matter what, let alone for such a feeble excuse to save his son from jail, yet thanks to dynamic direction and irresistible take at the future, the first third of the film works. We could almost feel sorry that a hoverboard won't be invented by 2015. The story sadly goes downhill when the characters leave the future and return to a changed, dark present where the evil Biff became rich: nothing in that part works, everything is pretentious and terrible, whereas the writers incredibly messed up the whole time traveling storyline until it became pointless. That segment is one excruciating "plot device" and is simply almost unwatchable. Still, Michael J. Fox is again in top-notch shape and at least the film is a solid shadow of the first one.


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