I called an audible on The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, brought to you by a/perture cinemas, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables. You’ll hear the movie of the week originally scheduled for this week, next week. This week it’s Back to the Future II (1989). The film stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and Thomas F. Wilson.
Per IMDb: “After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985… without interfering with his first trip.”
Doc Brown comes and picks up Marty and Jennifer and takes them to October 21, 2015 to straighten out his son, Martin, Jr. who’s on his way to becoming a hoodlum. Marty buys an old sports almanac that gives sports results from 1950 to 2000. He plans on using the book to go back to the present and make money. Well, his father’s old nemesis, Biff Tannen (Wilson) finds the book after Doc throws it away. Biff steals the DeLorean and travels back to 1955 and gives it to his teenage self. That changes the whole landscape of what 1985 is or should be. So, you guessed it, they have to travel back to 1955 to get the almanac back to undo the redo that was redone in the last movie. Yeah, I had to think that one out.
Well, a lot of things go wrong, as they would have to to be able to make this movie even last more than twenty-five minutes or so. It creates a lot of forward and back with the time periods. It gets a little confusing and creates questions. I know I have to have some suspension of disbelief for the whole thing anyway, but still. How about this: How did Biff know how to operate the DeLorean? Were the clothes that Marty was supposed to buy in 1955 really that much like what you’d see today (i.e. a fedora and leather jacket)? I know that leather jackets and fedoras were around and I know that Grease and Sha-Na-Na and whatever were based on 1950s nostalgia but this seemed really modern. Even for “futuristic” (gasp!) 1989, when the film was released.
Two of the original film’s cast members weren’t in the sequels, one inconsequential and the other possibly more important. Claudia Wells, who played Jennifer, was replaced by Elizabeth Shue and Crispin Glover who played George McFly was replaced by Jeffrey Weissman. George’s part in the film was quite minimal but it still seemed wrong that Glover wasn’t in the film, other than flashbacks to the original film. Lea Thompson, who I think is a fine actress was horrible with her “old” and “1985” voices that went with her character according to the time period. That’s a shame, too.
The FX in this film were atrocious. For example. There’s a moment when “old” Biff is in the car with “young” Biff and “young” tosses the sports book at the “old” man. For some reason, the book had to be “drawn” via very bad special effects. I know this was 1989 and a lot of technology was just rolling out, but this was Zemeckis and Spielberg we’re talking about. I don’t know, it just seemed quite bad. The story line was convoluted. I know the first one was, as well but, there was some fun involved with that one. I felt this one rehashed a lot of the first one instead of having to come up with that much originality. Now, granted, this is a two-part sequel that basically just ends and gives a warning that the third installment of the series, or part-two of this film was coming out in Summer of 1990. The abruptness of that also seemed weird.
Of course, I picked this one for today because of the date. Wednesday’s The Less Desirables happened on October 21, 2015, the date in the future in which they traveled to in this film. A lot of things didn’t come true. There aren’t flying cars, hopefully, the Cubs still haven’t won a World Series (go Mets, go Royals). But, some things have come true. There are hoverboards, at least in their infancy right now. There is a baseball team in Miami (who the Cubs were supposed to beat), Pepsi released a $25 version of Pepsi Perfect for 10/21/15 only. 1980s nostalgia while on the wane, slightly now, there still is a huge market for that kind of thing and, yes, I still buy into it. It’s probably some of the happiest times of my life and I love the ’80s.
All in all, the film was not very good. Especially, if you liked the first one. This one just seems forced. Not good. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 61% Fresh, whilst the audience score is at 85%. That’s a big difference. IMDb has it at 7.8 out of 10 stars. I have it only as a 3 star rating myself. I didn’t hate it but it certainly didn’t live up to its predecessor. I’d recommend it just to see how they think the future is going to turn out. It is only available on DVD with Netflix but I watched it from the Back to the Future Trilogy Blu-Ray set that I own. Have you seen it? What do you think? What do you want to see or hear me review? Let me know.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“The time-traveling is just too dangerous. Better that I devote myself to study the other great mystery of the universe: women!” – Doc Brown