Monday, 17 June 2013

Back to the Future Review

Because of the whole notion of paradoxes and catastrophic consequences, time travel movies tend to be very bleak.  That's why Back to the Future will always stand out from the crowd.  The bleakest part of this movie is close to the beginning when Doc is confronted by the terrorists.  It's a light and humourous film that never takes itself too seriously even though it had the potential to do so.

You need to know going in that this movie (and its sequels) is wrought with contradictions, plot holes, and time travel paradoxes that are almost enough to make your head spin.  But most time travel moves are simply because it is scientifically impossible so there's no way to properly reconcile all of the questions.  When you realize that and decide to just focus on the characters (especially Marty McFly) and less on the ridiculous situation,  this becomes one of the most entertaining movies of its generation.

I think it's Michael J Fox's crowning achievement and he's had a lot of good performances.  But to people my age, he will always be Marty McFly (and to a lesser extent, Alex P Keaton).  In Back to the Future, he is able to convey just about every emotion from humour (playing Johnny B Goode) to awkward (his mom has the hots for him) to fear and sadness (his future and existence is in doubt).  From when he goes back in time right up to the end, he brings a sense of panic and urgency that makes the movie fly and keep the viewer interested.  All of the other characters are pretty much over the top cartoony simply to be able to give focus to the absurd situation that McFly has gotten into.

See it.  Chances are, you already have and, if that's the case, see it again.  In fact, make it a great Saturday night and sit down with all three.

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