Friday, March 05, 2010

“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need…roads.”

Right. So Back to the Future earned its accolades and in 1989, they decided to do it all over again with most of the people that made the first a success. So here’s Back to the Future Part II.

We pick up a minute or so before the first movie ends, with Doc Brown showing up in 1985 with a further modified DeLorean (it can fly now) and he grabs Marty and his girlfriend to deal with some trouble relating to Marty’s life in the future. So they jump to 2015 and Marty has to masquerade as his own son so as to avoid Marty Jr. from getting arrested, succeeds, but 2015 Biff Tannen sneaks a trip in the machine with an almanac, hands it off to his 50’s self, causing the timeline to change and when Marty, Doc & Jennifer get back to 1985, they find Hill Valley a dystopian nightmare ruled by Biff Tannen. So NOW they’ve got to get back to the 50’s and make foil Tannen’s rise to power after the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.

Trust me, it makes sense in context.


Hey, look over there! Its ADVENTURE!

Marty McFly: Michael J. Fox as his 80’s and 2010 self AND own son. Well, Marty’s still Marty, and he’s still incredibly charismatic as our hero. They did give him the new trait of going into a rage when somebody calls him chicken. He also gets a nemesis of sorts in Needles, played by Flea (yes, the bassist). Also, he gets a goddamn hoverboard in the future. This is both extremely awesome and infuriating, because its 2010 now and all we’ve got are stupid Segways.

Dr. Emmett Brown: Christopher Lloyd continues to be awesome. He knows what’s going on and what to do, but this movie is Marty’s show for the most part.

Jennifer Parker: Elisabeth Shue is Marty’s girl (and a different actress from who it was in the first movie). She’s a normal girl swept up in things, and gets hella freaked out when she meets her future self.

Biff Tannen: Thomas F. Wilson is back as the villain, and here, Old Biff is a hell of a lot more competent than his younger self, and throughout the movie, Biff engages in some first class dickery regarding the McFly family. Its kind of badass. Billy Zane remains one of his henchmen.

Griff Tannen: Thomas F. Wilson again as his cybernetics-enhanced, butthead of a descendant.

Lorraine Baines McFly: Lea Thompson is once more Marty’s mom, but she’s not as integral to the plot anymore.

George McFly: Jeffrey Weissman replaces Crispin Glover as Marty’s dad (aside from some footage carried over from the first movie). He’s an even smaller presence in the film.

Robert Zemeckis is back as director and Dean Cundey is back as director of photography, and having both of them back helps the movie seamlessly fit in with the previous one. Effects are more central, what with all the time jumping, but the movie knows not to linger too long after its done with a particular time period. And the ending proves to be just as epic as the one in Part I.

Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale again, and they tie everything together quite nicely. The movie covers a lot of ground, but to its credit, its not difficult to follow and holds its cohesion as much as you would expect a lighthearted time travel ADVENTURE! film to.

Alan Silvestri’s score picks right up where it left off: being awesome. There are some period appropriate songs, like “Mr. Sandman” for a lot of the 50s stuff (yeah, it was in the first movie too, but I forgot to mention it).

Its got the odd distinction of being the Back to the Future movie I’ve seen the least, but damn is it fun. Not quite as tight as Part I, Part II is still a rollicking good time.

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