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Back to the Future Part II

Back to the Future Part II (1989) Movie Poster
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  •  USA / Japan  •    •  108m  •    •  Directed by: Robert Zemeckis.  •  Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson, Elisabeth Shue, James Tolkan, Jeffrey Weissman, Casey Siemaszko, Billy Zane, J.J. Cohen, Charles Fleischer, E. Casanova Evans, Jay Koch.  •  Music by: Alan Silvestri.
        This movie picks up where the last one left off; with Doc Brown and Marty going into the future to help Marty's future offspring. After doing that they returned to their own time, only to discover that things have changed. They discovered that while in the future, Marty's nemesis, Biff Tannen got the sports book that Marty bought so that he could know the results of sports events and make a killing, but Doc Brown nixed his plans, but Tannen who overheard their conversation, got the book and the time machine and went back into the past and gave the book to himself, who has not only amassed a fortune but also extremely powerful. So Doc and Marty have to go back to when Biff got the book and get it away from him. And it seems that it was in 1955 on the night of the dance that Biff got the book. So not only must they get the book but they must also avoid the other versions of themselves.

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Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Image from: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
"Back to the Future Part II" has this particular merit that it takes the opportunity to make a sequel of a great classic and push its concept to the most extreme -yet scientifically acceptable- limit. Exactly how far you can go with time travel without repeating the plot of the first movie? Well, putting their efforts together, the two Bobs (Gale and Zemeckis) took a new trajectory with one parameter to take into account, the ending of the first movie and its iconic line "Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads" until the De Lorean flashes its way to 2015 before the eyes of a speechless Biff Tannen.

And 2015 is the problem with movies set in the future, their chances of unfortunate miscalculations get higher as we approach the crucial year. As there was no mission to Jupiter 10 years ago, in 4 years, we know there would be no Hover Board, no flying cars, not even auto-adjusting shoes and auto-drying jackets... but seriously, what would you have expected from a comedy? The interest of 2015 was less to discover a nightmarish dystopia nightmare a la "Soylent Green" than to REdiscover 'Hill Valley' REdesigned as a futuristic universe not supposed to be taken seriously ... Zemeckis didn't expect to make a sequel, but considering the high popularity of the first opus, what was a just-for-laughs ending became the involuntary cliff-hanger to introduce the second film. Cars had to fly, and there had to be a mission in the future.

And the first act set in the future might disappoint for this lack of nostalgia feel from the first film, and something maybe too forced or artificial. However, the script gets more interesting when we discover the future of the McFly, carrying much more serious undertones and I guess we accept the silly elements of the first act (Marty's kids looking like him, to name one) because the second and the third act kind of redeem it. I'll go even further by saying that the gap between the first act and the rest of the film is the only thing that prevented that one to be my favorite. This is the film that inspired my fascination for movies featuring time loops and the ripple effect, thanks to its terrific story about the exploitation of time travel, to have a second chance in life, like in the first film, but this time, for evil purposes.

On that level, "Back to the Future Part II" exploits the great villainous potential of Biff Tannen, who deals with our heroes every time ... literally, demonstrating the limits of time travels when handled by the wrong persons. Marty realizing that he can take advantage of this little trip in the future saves the Gray Sport's Almanach ... for 'his' future, and from that very point (that needed to be exploited in a time-travel film) a destructive ripple effect would create a new chain of events and ultimately, the infamous alternate 1985. As soon as Marty and Doc get back in that 'new' reality, there's the extraordinary hellish feeling of a world belonging to Biff Tannen. Honorable mention for Thomas F. Wilson who deserves more praises as the third important character of the trilogy, if only for the priceless scene when an older and wiser Biff finally corrects his younger alter ego's verbal idiocy.

The Alternate 1985 is the emotional highlight of the film allowing us to breathe and meditate on the real dangers of time travels. And the icing on the cake is yet to come. After all, this is a sequel, sure, but think of one thing, why wouldn't you use time travel to revisit the same period from a new perspective? Remember the first opus when Marty got back in 1985 and witnessed a second time the dramatic 'killing' and how mislead he was by his déjà vu appearance. In "Part II", the climactic confrontation takes place in the same time than the first one, Marty has a feeling he went there the day before, the funny thing is that he meant it as a figure of speech. And for our greatest delight, we live the same scenes from the new Marty's perspective. And the thrilling part is when the characters get so close that the risk of a paradox aren't to be neglected, and the smartness of the script strikes again by using elements from the first movies as plot devices.

What a pleasure to live again classic punch in Biff's face and the 'Johnny B. Goode' moment getting two times more classic. "Back to the Future Part II" is indeed one of the best sequels, because it obeys the very purpose of sequels, creating a feeling of deja vu with an original plot, making a film in the same vein as the first, if not with more heart, but with more gutsy creativity and the obligatory references that would become the trademarks of the trilogy, "Mom is that you?" "Great Scott", the newcomer "Chicken!" revealing a new interesting facet in Marty's personality.

And neither of the Bobs chickened out when at the end, they felt the movie still had some more potential, so instead of a convenient happy ending, as a flash of creativity, Doc aboard the DeLorean floating in the sky, is struck by lightning and disappears... and one minute after, Marty receives a letter from a Western Union agent, a letter written by Dog 70 years before, and we realize that at that moment, we know the ropes of time travel, because we 'got' what happened.

And what a better conclusion to re-watch the most iconic part of the trilogy when the DeLorean gets back to 1985 followed by the greatest cinematic cliff-hanger: a Marty McFly back FROM the future ....


Review by ElMaruecan82 from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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