My time with the Sci-Fi Chronicles is coming to a close, and I made sure it ended with a couple of my fave films, from one of my favourite trilogies… Back to the Future: Part II. Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd bring the beloved time travelling pair of Marty McFly and Doc Brown to the screen in a follow-up to the box office sensation of 1985, Back to the Future.
It’s hard to believe that the entire film now takes place in the past. When Marty, Doc, and Jennifer (Elisabeth Shue taking over for Claudia Wells) head to the distant year 2015, as the film picks up right where the first one came to its conclusion.
The film riffs on familiar scenes from the first, executing them in new ways – a hoverboard chase around town square in the 21st century as opposed to the skateboard chase of the 50s, saving the clock tower, the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.
While in the future, Marty picks up a sports almanac in the hopes of making a bit of money from future knowledge. Unfortunately, Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) steals the DeLorean and travels back to 1955 and gives his younger self the Almanac, and when Marty and Doc return to 1985, they find themselves in an alternate time line.
Using Trump as the basis of their character, Biff in the alternate 1985 is crude, money-loving and proves to be a threat no matter what decade or timeline he is in.
Shue gets to play versions of herself from 1985 and 2015, Lea Thompson as Marty’s mom, Lorraine, runs the gambit from 1955, alternate 1985, and 2015, while Fox plays not only Marty from 1985, and the previous film, as well as his older self and his two children.
The film is a lot of fun, and the two Bobs, Zemeckis and screenwriter Gale work hard to keep the continuity, the paradoxes, and the riffs on familiar dialogue and scenes perfectly balanced.
I love the first film and have seen it countless times, and while I would never say no to the sequels being made, I can also say that they didn’t have to. The first film was perfect on its own, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love all these adventures with Marty and Doc.
The series gets to play with a variety of genres, and Fox and Lloyd’s sheer charisma and likeability make the entire adventure worth taking, time and time again.
So buckle up everybody, we’ve got one more trip to make, and we are heading back to the future… Or in this case, as we know from the cliffhanger ending of this film, we’re going back to the Old West for one last adventure with our dear friends.