Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover.
Running time: 116 minutes
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis.
Written By: Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale.
Back To The Future was a film I grew up on. It is one of those that I always remember watching as a child and one that never failed to entertain me. I was completely shocked however when I watched it recently and couldn't remember most of it. That being said I was right in remembering one thing, it is a damn great film.
This is one of the only roles I really remember Michael J. Fox doing. Here he play Marty McFly, an iconic name to many out there today. He is a typical teenager, running late for school, eyeing up the girls and hating his family life. His father is a wimp, who is bullied by his boss, Biff and his mother is an alcoholic. His siblings also hold down poor jobs and aren't particularly lookers. Due to this Marty chooses to spend his time with Doc (Lloyd), a mad scientist who is planning an experiment at a shopping mall car park in the middle of the night and needs Marty's help to film it. The experiment is to do with Doc's latest invention, a time travelling DeLorean, much to Marty's shock and amusement. However during the experiment a group of Libyan terrorists barge in and shoot Doc for stealing their plutonium. Marty jumps into the DeLorean and drives at speed to get away but ends up blasting thirty years into the past.
Once in the past Marty comes across his parents, and accidentally prevents them from meeting, meaning his own existence would eventually cease to exist. He enables the help of the younger Doc who sets out on finding a way to get Marty back to the future whilst he must find a way to make his parents meet and have that all important first kiss.
The premise is fairly simple but has a lot of depth, the writing is just brilliant. The film drops in hints all over of everything that is going to happen. The opening ten minutes alone references the past constantly and ultimately sets us up for what is about to happen. Everything is sewn together at the end also and nothing is left loose, except for of course the very end but you will see for yourselves. All tiny plot lines are relevant and everything that is said has huge relevance, even the repetition of dialogue which mimics the characters in different eras of their lives. The dialogue at times is great and there is a fantastic reference to Star Wars and Star Trek. The writing, and the direction are a large reason to the great success of the film.
The acting is also a big reason. Fox is great as the teenager we all will on to win. He is a character we can all relate to and all want to be. Right from the offset we want Marty McFly to succeed. Christopher Lloyd is also great, it is as if the role was specifically designed for him. He plays the crazy scientist with ease and he is a loveable character despite his tendencies to do the wrong thing. Marty's parents (Thompson and Glover) are excellent, Glover maybe more so. They both portray the elder parents and the teenage versions of themselves as if they are the age of the role they are playing. In fact they are the same age as Fox and were cast based around the story in the past and made up for the story in the future. Glover is just brilliant as the bumbling nerd and the hair style just works on Glover and Glover alone. We also get a bully in Biff, played by Thomas F. Wilson, who is also so pivotal. The acting for Biff is also top drawer and you really do hate him.
The film has everything; humour, action, family fun, love, you name it, it has got it: even the creepy thunder storm and lightning strike. It will please any sort of movie fan whether it be the typical movie buff or the guy who only tunes in every now and again. It is a film not to be missed.
My slight negative about it though is the relationship between Doc and Marty within the past. In the present we really believe they are friends but they don't spend too much screen time together in the past and I didn't quite believe that they were going to 'miss' each other like they said they would. I would possibly have liked to have seen a few more minutes of them two together. Maybe that is just me but it is my only negative with the film.
I understand that this will probably make little sense. The referencing to past, present and future within this review is confusing. One thing I have thought about though is this: surely if you are watching the film Marty is always in the present? If there is a continuing time line on a constant loop will you ever be in the past or future? Wouldn't you just always be in your present? Just one to think about but do it before or after the film as it is one you just need to kick back with and enjoy.
4.5 / 5
Next film to review: TWILIGHT