Dave’s 3-Word Review:
History repeats itself.
You know a movie is great when it can take an idea usually seen as terrible and make it great. For example, how many movie series do you know of that just borrows the same thing from earlier on in their franchise in order to create a similar reaction? That’s confusing. Try this. Indiana Jones does the whole shooting a guy with a sword twice, once again in Temple of Doom, because the first’s scene was so iconic that they wanted to do it again. Back to the Future Part II does the same type of thing, but all over the place, it’s ridiculous. Except, instead of it seeming like an unoriginal cheat, it felt more like a gag at itself – like…history repeating itself directly in a time travel flick. For some reason, that felt appropriate, hilarious, and quite a bit memorable…but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s talk plot.
Immediately after the events of the last film, and I mean immediately…we’re talking milliseconds here, Marty is sent into the future with Doc in order to take care of some business with his future kids. Apparently, Marty Jr. was about to get arrested, setting a chain of reactions that would ruin Marty’s life and family’s life forever. When Jennifer, who tagged along on the ride, mistakenly gets sent to the McFly’s future residence, Doc and Marty must save her before she is recognized, setting off another negative chain of events. When the time machine isn’t being looked after, Old Biff steals it and goes back to 1955 to make his life a little more…financially stable, setting off…you guessed it, another negative chain of events which Doc and Marty must deal with.
I have to be honest here, I love this movie for so many different reasons, but there’s just so much unprofessional business going on with the foundation that’s honestly hard to ignore. First of all, there is absolutely no reason to believe Doc would have Marty go save his future kid, when it is hugely known that Doc believes in staying away from disrupting major events, especially within your own family. It’s a noble notion, and Doc is a great guy, but you don’t mess with Doc when it comes to the space time continuum. Next, it’s so awesome to see the old McFly’s, but adding in that little subplot with Jennifer getting stuck in the house was adding to an already jammed story. Seriously, did you read my plot outline? It’s all over the place.
Though, I must admit, the main story of the film was clearly resetting time after Biff altered things tremendously. They just had to somehow explain how Biff got a hold of the time machine. Tell you the truth, if I was Biff, and I got a time machine, I wouldn’t just drive back to the future for Doc and Marty to conveniently get back. Plus if I did, as Doc Brown said in the film, going to the future in the Biff-altered timeline would land you in a Biff-altered future…really…how did Old Biff get back to the regular future, then? So the movie has its own plot holes, and for the most part, it did a great job at explaining everything, but with every time-travel film comes stuff you overlook. That’s fine. Just fun to think about.
The movie’s greatness really pops in when Marty goes back to 1955, and we see…pretty much…Back to the Future, but from a different perspective. Other movies have done the same thing since, but it’s an awesome idea. It almost makes you want to watch the first one all over again just to see if you catch anything, which you obviously won’t, because the camera trickery is amazing and well thought-out. I mean it, from that point on, it’s iconic, memorable, and just an entertaining adventure…the first of its kind, really…but there’s all this…muck surrounding the tiny details that make it what it is that’s just…muck!
Back to the Future Part II is definitely not perfect. If you’re really paying attention to the movie, you’ll see that there are way too many storylines going on, some traits are out of character, there are plot holes here and there, but if you’re a forgiving person and can have faith in a movie, you’re going to realize that the film is still awesome. Technically, it could use some help, but once the film is over with, you’ll still feel satisfied and that it did its job well overall. I will still back it up.