Tuesday, March 12, 2013

MR Back to the Future 2

"Hey, Doc, we better back up. We don't have enough road to get up to 88.

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads...."

Movie: Back to the Future Part II
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Release date 1989
Genre Science-fiction/comedy/adventure
Country USA

Released a mere four after Back to the Future 1, the idea of an actual sequel wasn't really planned at first.
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale left the ending of the first one open just for fun.
It wasn't meant to be followed or taken too seriously.

But success helping, Universal and Steven Spielberg were really interested in pursuing the adventure.

Of course they had to come back for more.
At least, they wouldn't let others continue it without them.
Like the first one, a lot of stuff changed during the production.
While Robert Zemeckis got really occupied with his hands full on Roger Rabbit, Bob Gale had the time to try several ideas.
In the very first draft, Marty McFly was gonna go back in the 1960s this time. He would have to make sure his parents stayed long enough together to allow him to actually exist. But that would mean having a mostly similar story than in the first one, played it safe like most sequels do.

When Zemeckis came back on the project he and Bob Gale went into a completely different direction with the story.
Why not try something no one ever did before, and simply go back into the first movie? With time travel as the main gimmick, they could revisit the previous story from a different point of view!

Part 2 picks right up where the original left us in 1985.
Marty was back with his girlfriend Jennifer when suddenly Dr. Emmett Brown showed up in front of them.
They have to go back, BACK TO THE FUTURE!

With the events of the first film, Marty had set ahead a good life for him and his family.
But 30 years into the future their kid will set and a chain of events which will cause the beginning of the problems for their entire McFly clan.
Now Marty must come to the year 2015 in order to fix this.

Things get complicated when he meets there Biff Tannen's grandson Griff. He's the one responsible for it all.
Marty decides as a reward he should allow himself to bring something back from the future. And gets a Sports Almanac with 45 years worth of history. Getting the knowledge of future events to come for a few bets,  I wouldn't hurt, right?
The old Biff finds the DeLorean and decides this his time for glory. He travels back to 1955 and completely messes up history!
Marty and Doc get stuck in a darker alternate 1985 before going themselves in the 1950s in order to stop Bigg and restore the original timeline!
repairing damages history

Things move along quickly in the sequel!
First we have this change of scenery from 1985 to that futuristic Hill Valley, then back to a dark Hill Valley before going back to the first film's setting finally!

It's a whole lot more fast paced sequel.

But the movie also had some slight problems to deal with.
First the actress for Jennifer had to be recast. Claudia Wells left Hollywood for a while because her mother got quite hill. (she wouldn't come back to films until at least 1985)
Thankfully, Elisabeth Shue filled in the role pretty nicely.
She did okay considering the circumstances and actually doesn't look that far from Wells in my eyes.
But that means they had to re-shoot most of the ending from the first film - not counting the stufff in the 50s that played in the film in the final act.

However, things got really complicated when they also lost Crispin Glover.
He was getting difficult to work with and was asking for a much big salary (which, him being a secondary character, was kinda ridiculous).
That meant also dealing with George McFly in the script.
So George was always wearing sunglasses/seen in rear shot or heard off-screen, upside down in one era and killed off in another!

Despite all that, they made it work.

BTTF2 is famous for having the most convoluted story. There's a lot of time traveling around.
The story looks a bit more complex..

Marty (Michael J. Fox) and Doc (Christopher Lloyd) are still the heart of the film.
The cast got to play various roles back and forth. Older-selfs, alternate characters..
The great Thomas F. Wilson being the highlight on Part 2 for me.

The movie does feature the most effects compared to the other episodes.
ILM was hired once again, to provide a lot of composites this time. Actors talking to themselves, the flying cars, etc.

The future Hill Valley was designed by Rick Carter.
Since Hill Valley is a fictional town conceived for the series, they could really play with it.
The Hill Valley from 2015 is very detailed.
They thrown in some general ideas of what they could imagine for the world of we'd get by now yet keeping it fun enough and different from was was found in films at time like Blade Runner.
It wasn't really meant to be accurate, remember what Doc said, the future is always changing! They could afford one paradox or two.
(funny how most things ended up becoming true, we still have two years left for flying cars and hover boards!)

Generally speaking, it's often the most forgettable film since it's sandwiched in-between Part 1 and 2 (people were already aware of BTTF3 at the time and BTTF2 was left as the middle episode...)
But I always liked it and still love it to this day!

Overall, it's a very fun entertaining movie.
It features more time travel mischiefs, so for scifi nerds it's usually the favorite episode.
It is perhaps the darkest episode of the series.

It brought back Back to the Future to the scene and is the one that established a franchise, no wonder we ended up getting an animated series (and several...err...games) in the 90s. It introduced the flying DeLorean, hover boards, multiple timelines and time travels back and forth, other generations of Biff Tannen...

Back to the Future 2 was shot back-to-back with the third one.
So naturally it doesn't stand as much on its own, leaving us on a cliffhanger in the end.
Marty is back in 1955 to fix the timeline, but something happened and Doc gets stuck in the year 1885!?
Great Scott!!!

To Be Concluded in...
Back to the Future Part III!

I give it:
2.5 / 3 UFOs!

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