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Back to the Future II (Special Movie Review)

Holographic 3D sharks, shoes that fasten themselves and living room fax machines. Welcome to October 2015, where people wear double ties and DeLoreans can fly.

- This review is dedicated to my Mother, who has birthday on this very same day. -

Genre: Adventure / Comedy / Sci-Fi

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Elisabeth Shue, Thomas F. Wilson, Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Weissman Flea & James Tolkan.

Run Time: 108 min.

US Release: 22 November 1989

UK Release: 24 November 1989

German Release: 21 December 1989

Welcome to my special review of Back to the Future Part II. I will start with the second movie of this marvellous trilogy due to the nature of today's day, but I will review Part I and III over the next few weeks as well. The Back to the Future trilogy had a big impact on my childhood as well as the way I perceived movies, and although technically a little bit weaker than the first part, this sequel is still my favourite.

I did not watch the trilogy until I was 11 or 12, around 1998 and I remember being surprised at how long I waited to see this movie because until then I always switched channels on TV when it came on.

Back to the Future II had great reviews and was holding first place at the box office for eleven weeks. Roger Ebert, although complaining about the messy timelines, said: “And yet the movie is so fun because it’s so screwy”. Personally, even if messy, I was surprised at how well Zemeckis implemented the parts of the first film. It has one of the most goofy and yet best depictions of the future, and it is one of the reasons why I am such a great fan of this sequel.


This film starts off where the first one ended, at McFly’s garage just before the Doc (Lloyd) appears and ruins a romantic kiss between Marty (Fox) and his girlfriend Jennifer (Shue). From there on it is explained that they need to travel to the future as Marty and Jennifer’s kid Marty McFly Junior is going to commit a serious mistake that is going to tear the family apart.

McFly manages to avert that error, but not before Biff Tannen (Wilson) learns about the time machine and with a sports magazine, with all results from 1950-2000, in hand travels back in the Delorean to create a time paradox. When Marty, Jennifer and Doc return, they learn that Biff used the magazine to become rich himself and marry Lorraine McFly (Thompson) after George's death.

The Doc saves Marty from Biff’s clutches and both return to the 50s in hopes that Marty intercepts Biff from giving his younger self the magazine. The next few scenes are interloped with scenes from the first Back to the Future and by the end, Marty gets the magazine and burns it, but as he is ready to fly back into the future with the Doc, the Delorean is hit by lightning and disappears.

This movie has a lot of energy and is full of quirky and loveable memes. I liked how the two heroes are trying to rectify a wrong without changing the timeline, which of course backfires and they need to go back into the past to get the timeline on track again. It had a lot of positive, though not very deep, messages such as "a lot of money will not make you happy" and "greed will ultimately be a downfall".

I can’t decide on which part of the film I do enjoy most, because the depiction of the year 2015 was highly amusing, with flying cars and Black & Decker hydrating ovens. At the same time, I need to applaud Zemeckis for the way he merged different scenes from the prom of the first Back to the Future with new scenes filmed for this sequel.

But there is much more to this movie, such as the two main characters of Marty and Doc played by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd respectively. I forgot how completely exaggerated they portrayed their personas (although Lloyd usually exaggerates when acting) and even though it should have harmed the films, it is the over-the-top depiction of Doc and Marty that makes them so likeable.

As stated before, this is a very energetic and fast-paced movie. The whole film still looks amazing and the practical effects and costumes used, definitely helped Back to the Future pass the test of time.

Of course, this sci-fi motion picture has its fair share of special effects as well, but the use of practical effects overweighs them, something I find should be nowadays a norm. It is also to note that Zemeckis is one of only two directors to end their movie with a trailer for the third part of a trilogy.

The music composed by Alan Silvestri is still one of the most iconic scores for a sci-fi picture. Of course, it is overshadowed by the majestic music for Star Wars by John Williams. Nevertheless, it is a grand and epic composition that excites me every time I hear it!


Verdict: Back to the Future II is ultimately one of my favourite movie trilogies, with part two being my favourite of the three films. It is fast-paced, has enjoyable characters and the depiction of the future is highly amusing. This is one of Robert Zemeckis' best movies and I give it an 8.5 out of 10.

Which Back to the Future movie is your favourite of the trilogy? And how disappointed are you by the real 2015 in comparison with the one from Zemeckis’ vision? I mean come on; don’t we all want to have a hoverboard?

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