Movie Review: Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Thomas F. Wilson

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Another adventure involving Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown. Having just got back from the past, they zoom forward 30 years to the future to help prevent Marty’s future son getting sentenced to prison. Unfortunately Biff catches wind of the DeLorean and goes back to the past which sends the present spiralling out of control.

After watching Back to the Future last night for the first time I wanted to watch the sequels quite quickly while the movie was still fresh in my memory. The second part to the three part movie franchise literally picks up where the first movie finishes with Marty, Doc and Jennifer climbing into the DeLorean racing thirty years into the future to 2015 to intercept Marty’s son committing a serious crime which lands him a hefty prison sentence. First thing which was noticeably strange was the change in actress that plays Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer. After the movie finished I had to google the reasoning for the change which says that Claudia Wells, the original Jennifer, gave up acting because her mother had been diagnosed with cancer. This was a real shame as Elisabeth Shue who managed to be cast as her replacement was pretty terrible all round. While she only had a minor part, for me it was visible that she wasn’t a very talented actress and the opening handful of scenes suffered because of this.

Once again Christopher Lloyd as Emmett Brown was the highlight of the movie. He really does play this particular character so well, it’s truly a pleasure to watch him on screen. Constantly providing the laughs as the sequel relies a little bit more heavily on that aspect as opposed to the magic of the story. Also second time around Michael J. Fox doesn’t appear to have as much charisma and wit about him as he did previously. While he was still solid to watch and reasonably entertaining he seemed to be missing that something special that made his so captivating in the first movie.

One thing I thought was great about this movie was the vision of the future that the creators had. It was interesting to see what their version of 2015 would look like, albeit a little over the top, and when you compare it to reality and how far away from the truth they were although some elements they managed to kinda predict which is always a little spooky to see one mans imagination come to fruition. This movie had a lot more time travelling involved than the first movie and while it was interesting to see Marty and Doc go back to the 1950’s in order to stop Biff from helping himself to becoming a millionaire it made no sense why they needed to go there in the first place. While in 2015 an old Biff over hears Marty and Doc talk about the time travelling DeLorean and takes a book of sporting results back to 1955 so he could become rich and powerful. One thing that bugged me is the ease in which Biff was able to travel back in time and then back to the present without actually knowing how to operate the DeLorean, it was something that played on my mind throughout the entire movie and was frustrating that it was so easy to alter time. I didn’t really like the Biff character in the first Back to the Future movie but giving the character more time in this movie allowed me to appreciate the extreme over acting of the psychotic bully and I began to enjoy watching his interactions with Marty.

To summarise, Back to The Future Part II was another fun ride although in comparison to the first movie it doesn’t even come close. Christopher Lloyd was the star of the show once more as the overall quality didn’t seem to be quite there which was disappointing. With plenty of loose ends still to tie up I look forward to seeing what the third and final part of the series has to offer.

6/10

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