Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!
I recently asked on Instagram what film I should review next. From Magic Mike to Tangled, and even Kangaroo Jack, there was a wide range of responses. One was Back to the Future, the famous 1980’s time travel film. I rewatched it and fell in love with it again. I promised to review it for last weeks review, but I just had to review Final Space (check out my review for it here), so I’m bringing it to you this week.
From Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, Back to the Future is the story of Marty McFly, a classic 80s teen who’s in a band and is in a great relationship. Except, Marty is good friends with Dr Emmett Brown, a wacky scientist who invents time travel in a DeLorean using plutonium that he obtained from a trade with terrorists, but he scammed them. The terrorists soon realise that Doc scammed them and come to hunt him down. Marty escapes in Doc’s DeLorean and hits 88 miles per hour, the magic speed needed to travel through time. He winds up 30 years in the past, in 1955 and bumps into his teenage parents who haven’t even met yet. Now that Marty’s in 1955, he has caught the eye of his teenage mother. It’s up to Marty to help his parents meet, or he will change the course of history that leads to him and his siblings never being born. On top of all this, the DeLorean has broken down, so Marty must track down young Doc so he can fix the DeLorean and go back to the future. Get it?
Michael J Fox plays the role of Marty, and he did a fantastic job. For a young person when he filmed it, as well as juggling other roles, he was great. And Michael J Fox must have done a pretty damn good job playing Marty, as it is easily his most iconic character to date. This is more than evident in Back to the Future. The way that Fox plays a teenager who’s trying to wrap his head around all this sci-fi mumbo-jumbo is fantastic, and Fox brings elements of naivety and pluckiness to Marty’s character that makes the film even more enjoyable. Christopher Lloyd plays Doctor Emmett Brown, or Doc as he’s referred to for the majority of the film. He’s such an iconic character, and, like how it is for Marty, is arguably Lloyd’s most notorious role. The way that Lloyd executes his role is absolutely perfect, and I would honestly not change a thing about how Lloyd did it. He had the perfect blend of eccentricity with a hint of craziness and some good-heartedness (that’s a word, right?). The best thing about Back to the Future is the relationship between Doc and Marty. They’re easily one of the most iconic duos in the history of film. You have Marty, a kind of shy but sweet character paired up with Doc, an eccentric and wild character. It may not sound like something that goes well together, but the way that the actors play their characters is absolutely amazing. Crispin Glover played Mr George McFly, and I think he did a pretty good job as Marty’s nerdy dad. I don’t really have much to say on him, but the way that Glover made George a bit of a geeky loser was awesome. Lea Thompson played Lorraine McFly, Marty’s mother. I must say that Thompson’s character was hilarious, and it actually comes down to the acting from her. She was just the right amount of funny which was entertaining, but not so much where it ruined the film. The bully, Biff Tannen (because all 80’s movies needed some form of a bully) was played by Thomas Wilson. I honestly felt that there was no need for Biff’s character. We already had enough conflict with Marty trying to fix the DeLorean by locating young Doc in 1955 and his young mother having the hots for him, and having Biff there just seemed like something that Zemeckis wanted so that he could the pad the runtime, add a bit of humour and make Marty more of a hero. The way Wilson made Biff an unlikable character though was quite well done, but I still don’t really see Biff’s character as necessary.
The plot and storyline are really smart and awesome, but it actually does have its holes. The film is executed is impeccably, but after some thought, you do spot some plot holes. For example, Marty is set on getting his parents together at the under the sea dance, but do they have to kiss at the exact time for everything to be as it was? Surely if they just got together at some point then everything would be ok? And Marty also meets his parents in 1955. Wouldn’t they think it’s weird that their son in 1985 looks exactly like him with the same clothes and voice and everything as they would remember him from their youth? Just think about it, maybe even rewatch the film, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Now for my favourite moments. The opening was fantastic. It set the tone of the movie perfectly well. You have the watches and clocks for the time element, the setting of the 80’s being established immediately and some great music in ‘The Power of Love’. I love the reveal of the DeLorean time machine. Even though it’s a bit stupid, as Doc had to get in the DeLorean, drive it into the truck, then close the truck to only open it again and reverse out of the DeLorean to then surprise Marty with his invention, it’s honestly just such an amazing and iconic scene in cinema history. Then with Marty escaping in the DeLorean to 1955, it is truly an amazing scene. When Marty first meets his dad in 1955, it’s a great and incredibly well-acted scene. Then it kind of dies down a bit, with trying to fix the DeLorean, getting young Lorraine to like young George instead of Marty (her son!) and beating up Biff. I have no shame in admitting that from the under the sea dance to the end of the film, it is perfect in my opinion. You have the awesome Johnny B Goode scene, getting back to the future, ending on the best line of the film. ‘Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.’
Back to the Future is one of my all-time favourite films, and gets an 8.4/10 from me. Awesome music, amazing characters and just such a great experience, Back to the Future is incredible. I will criticise its sequels though, more so Back to the Future 3. Of all times in history to go to, the Wild West?! Imagine how amazing it would’ve been to see trying to get the DeLorean working in Ancient Rome or in medieval times. And the premise for the sequels is the same. Travel in time, fix the time machine and go back to the present day with the possibility of setting up another sequel. It’s well worth mentioning the popularity of Back to the Future. You remember back on October 21st 2015 when it was Back to the Future day? Only some films get that recognition, like Star Wars. Back to the Future is no exception, and it’s because it has helped to mould films to how they are today. It’s like Jaws. It was the first film of it’s kind to play with a new idea that had such an amazing reaction from audiences then and is still loved today. And the ripple effects of just how popular Back to the Future was and is are still evident today. You will see endless parodies and references in TV shows (like Family Guy) and movies (most notably, Ready Player One) relating to Back to the Future. Even Rick and Morty basically riffed off this sci-fi classic. which is why it’s such a great and awesome film.
Thanks for reading this weeks review. Sorry, it’s out late, but I returned from Turkey on Thursday morning. Follow my Instagram, @ryans.movie.reviews, for the latest in movie news, with behind the scenes and sneak peeks for the next blockbusters, and regular polls and chances to have your say. Also, follow this blog to be notified of when I publish my reviews, and you’ll be the first to read them!
Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. Join me next week when I review a film about dogs. See you then!