Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Saturday, 23 October 2010
Back to the Future Part II
Picking up exactly where the original (1985) left off, Marty (Michael J. Fox) returns to 1985 from a brief visit to 2015, only to find an alternate, grim, bleak reality where billionaire Biff (Thomas F. Wilson) rules Hill Valley. Trying to piece it all together Doc (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty realize that the Biff of 2015 stole the DeLorean gave the Biff of 1955 a Sports Almanac containing all the sports results until the end of the 20th Century. To restore the proper reality Marty and Doc go back to 1955 where Marty must destroy the Almanac before Biff can ever use it, which is further complicated by the fact Marty must dodge the Marty of the original trying to get back to 1985.
The fact that there are so many ideas in the film is a problem, as you never feel like A) any ideas will get good development, with them coming one after another without a pause for breath and B) you feel such a sense of cramming in general. For example, when Marty and Doc go to 2015, the cars have really futuristic designs, like you would find in a futuristic sci-fi which is set in at least the 22nd Century; Jaws 19 is at the local cinema; cars fly; you play video games with your mind only - no hands; TVs are about ten feet wide with six sub-screens so you can watch at least six shows at once; and all of your clothes adjust to fit you and autodry. This simply feels ridiculous due to the fact that there could never be that greater advancements in technology in as little as 30 years - since 1985 we have barely even scratched the surface in the world's targets to one day make everything that technologically amazing; although it has to be said that it is all visually impressive. The other idea I feel didn't work was the DeLorean flying, as the magic of the DeLorean in the first film was the whole idea that Time Travel can be achieved in something as common as an everyday car, and make it an extraordinary flying car and that magic seems to go; though in all fairness if the car couldn't fly then that would have made it ten times harder for the third and final film (1990) to be opened and established and this film to end.
On the upside the film is fast-paced with not too much in the way of dull moments. There is a true lack of gags due to the fact this is all-in-all a much darker film, which works quite well as it builds up suspense, which makes it a fairly interesting film to watch; but also doesn't work as the Back to the Future films are meant to be comedies as well as sci-fis, and there's barely anything to laugh at, especially after the trip to 2015. Visually the whole film is very impressive with great effects in the lightning storm at the end, and naturally the journey to 2015 of course; which is enhanced by some very fast-paced and snappy editing, which features intricately created and memorable shots. There are also some neat references to the original in here as well, and it is quite fun both to spot them, and spot something that is used (possibly significantly) both later on in this film, and in the third.
So, all-in-all this is an enjoyable adventure, and, although it is nowhere near as good as the original, is still good fun to watch despite its flaws and builds it up for the concluding film.
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson, Lea Thompson, Elisabeth Shue, Billy Zane, Casey Siemaszko, J.J. Cohen, James Tolkan, Jeffrey Weissman, Crispin Glover, Joe Flaherty, Jason Scott Lee, Ricky Dean Logen, Darlene Vogel, Flea.
Oscar nomination: Best Visual Effects (Ken Ralston, Michael Lantieri, John Bell, Steve Gawley).