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January 13, 2003

Back To The Future 1, 2, 3

Roller-coaster time travel yarn that's a lot of fun

Reviewing all three films at once is difficult, as they are all so different, but they are all are too interconnected to be taken separately.

BTTF1 is a jolly romp, and apart from some unexpected bad language and some violence from Arab terrorists, would make a great family film. Marty McFly gets sent back from 1985 to 1958 in 'Doc' Brown's Delorian car time-machine. He is stranded there, unless he can get the younger version of Doc to generate enough power to send him back to the future. Luckily Marty knows about a well documented lightning storm that will occur that weekend, so they decide to use the power from that.

If this was the only story then teenage boys would be the main audience, but there is a very clever plot for the female audience too - Marty's teenage mother falls in love with Marty, her son. So Marty has to persuade his mother that his hapless father George would make a better partner, otherwise Marty will never be born. So in a nutshell, Marty engineers his parents marriage, invents rock and roll, and goes back to 1985 safely.

BTTF2 is an altogether more dark and twisted event. Throughout the films Doc gets very excited about two things:

1. Don't do things in the past that will change the future

2. Don't meet your former self

otherwise the whole universe could be destroyed. At the beginning of BTTF2 however, he manages to break both these rules in the first few minutes, and continues to break the second one throughout the film for all the major characters, including himself. This reduces some of the tension, and spoils the story somewhat, though any time-travel tale is bound to have anomalies and paradoxes like this.

Basically what happens is that Marty's children are about to go to jail in the future, so Doc takes him there to try and prevent it. Unfortunately Biff, who was a bully at Marty's father's school, sees Marty. He streals the time machine and takes a book of sports results back to 1958 to give to his teenage self. When Marty returns to 1985 the world has changed into a horrible place because Biff made a fortune on betting (he knew all the winners). So Marty has to go back to 1958, again, and get the book back from younger Biff, to set everything right. He just manages this, and then gets stranded when Doc is accidently transported to the wild west in 1888. Phew.

BTTF3 was made at the same time as BTTF2, but it's lighter and more fun, reminiscent of the first film, and it even has a love sub-plot for the Doc. Every time Marty gets stranded in time, there always seem to be enough Docs and Delorians around to fix things up. So Doc sends Marty back to 1888 to save Doc, who he reads about in the local paper as having been killed in the wild west. The comic villain in this one is Biff's ancestor, and he is threatening to kill Doc for mis-shoeing his horse.

Obviously there is no fuel to get the Delorian running, never mind up to the 88 miles per hour required for time travel, so it's a race against time to find a solution before Doc gets killed. They hatch a plan, to steal a train, give it some concentrated fuel, and attach the time machine to the front, which they do of course, taking Doc's new girlfriend with them.

The film's plot is therefore fairly simple compared to the prior ones, and Marty and his girlfriend, who has been sleeping through most of the trilogy, are returned to a present where everything is perfect for them.

Overall then this is a roller-coaster ride from start to finish, with flying cars, time travel, mad professors and gunfights; what more could you ask for?


Posted by se71 at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)