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Back To The Future Part 2 [MOVIE REVIEW]

In celebration of the classic date seen in 'Back To The Future Part 2' (21st October 2015) I have banded together with so many other film fans and had a marathon straight through of all three movies... all alone in my apartment, so I guess I didn't band together with anyone except in spirit.

It's kind of a well known fact that a lot of sequels to movies end up being the exact same thing again, what makes 'Back to the Future: Part 2' fun is just how fully aware of that fact it is and decides to have fun with it in a rather unique and obviously time travel style way. No this clearly doesn't live up to the original, but it is a very fun and entertaining sequel that's made with the same level of love. The glaring difference however is 'Back To The Future' is a wonderful movie that uses the time travel premise as a framework to hang themes of relationship and self discovery on - 'Back To The Future Part 2' drops all of that and shifts the focus to the action side of the story in a way that feels slightly disjointed. This doesn't mean the jokes and set pieces don't work as the movie at times is even more entertaining than the first film if you are in the right mood, but it certainly doesn't have the same lasting impact.

In my review of the first film (which coincidentally you can find on the site), I mentioned that I loved how the villain of the movie is just a typical high school bully, despite the plot revolving around time travel. I found that contrast really fun, and nowhere is that better shown than in 'Back To The Future Part 2' when the entire situation they find themselves in is all because of Biff Tannon messing about with time. It's a fun but flawed premise, relying on just enough laugh out loud ideas to get by. Thomas F. Wilson as Biff gets so much more to do here and he's a significant reason why a lot of it works.

A major negative I have about the movie is what they do with Jennifer right of the bat. From a character perspective I get it, but it feels cheap and more of a missed opportunity. Seeing her join Marty and Doc at the end of the first movie - only to suddenly be left unconscious for the entirety of the sequel is mildly frustrating because you really could've had fun things for her to do. Instead we get what feels like Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale realized writing themselves into a corner and had to pretty clumsily get out of. Of course Jennifer eventually does get some things to do a later on but after that she is just left on a bench outside her front door until the end of the THIRD film. They really could've used her more for a fresh perspective heading into their next adventure. If they had known full well they'd be making a sequel to the first film, we probably wouldn't even have seen her follow them along in the first place.

Once again the main reasons why this movie works as well as it still does are the performances by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd who are clearly having so much fun in these roles. Considering just how much more they both get to do here, I think it is fair to say that they both top their performances in the first film. The strongest part of the whole movie is when they travel back to 1955 and play around with the events of the first film and they just shine in every moment.

Overall, 'Back To The Future Part 2' does not hold up to the obscenely high standards set by the first film BUT it is still a worthy sequel that is a lot of fun to watch. Yes, the plot gets a little convoluted and there are several plot holes to be found for those who look - the performances and the craft involved are so strong that it shouldn't bother you too much unless you weren't even on board for the first film. The third act is when the movie really starts to shine as it uses the third act of the first film to sort of poke fun at how this technically is the same movie again. It's so much fun and it's such a unique sequel that has never really been done before, and I am glad the idea got to be directed by Robert Zemeckis.

★★★
7/10

- Lucas

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