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The M.O.W.'s Movie Reviews (333)

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Back to the Future Part II 
Continuing (& revisiting) the fun of the 1st movie
3/4 stars

"Dr. Emmett 'Doc' Brown" (Christopher Lloyd) arrives from the future seconds after coming back from the past to find "Marty McFly" (Michael J. Fox) and his girlfriend "Jennifer Parker" (Elisabeth Shue, who has taken over the role from Claudia Wells starting in this movie). "Brown" informs them that there is a problem with their children in the future, and insists that they come with him.

In the future, after "Doc" renders "Jennifer" unconscience when she begins to ask way too many questions in the excitement of being in the future, "Doc" and "Marty" find "Marty Jr." (Fox), who is a complete nerd, being harassed by "Griff Tannen" (Thomas F. Wilson), the future grandson of "Biff Tannen" (Wilson), who is the high school archrival of "Marty's" father, "George" (Jeffrey Weissman and, in footage from the original movie to show the original actor's face, Crispin Glover). After "Marty" helps his nerdy, but look-alike son, with "Griff" and his gang, he comes across an antiques store and purchases a magazine that lists sports results from 1950 to 2000.

Eventually, the future version of "Biff" gets his hand on the magazine and steals the magazine, and steals the DeLorean time machine to go back to visit his younger self in 1955.

Now, "Doc" and "Marty" have to go back to 1955 again, get the magazine and avoid their other selves that are already there (from the first movie).

This is one of the most original sequels ever made, as it perfectly inserts many scenes from the original -- many of which were reshot at different angles. It is also one of the few where multiple actors are playing more than one character, even if the character is the same person. You get to see many versions of the same person in other words.

The performances are pretty fun, especially when the movie is in the scenes set in the future. Not only are we introduced to new characters, we see the same actors playing these comical characters -- especially Fox, who plays two characters in the future -- "Marty Jr." and his sister, "Marlene" (who gets very little screen time compared to "Marty Jr.). It must have been difficult for the cast to create variations of the character they originated in the first movie.

The special effects in this film are not very original, but still hold up for the most part. While watching, I only saw a few instances where the special effects have weaken over the years, and it was obvious that they were inserted during post-production.

I was pretty disappointed in the future "Hill Valley" for the most part. None of the vehicles looked authentic to me, and the clothing was fairly laughable with the choice of colors and design. There was some originality in the future -- the "Jaws 19" marquee, the self-tying sneakers (with light-up Nike logos) and the famed "Mattel Hoverboard."

The comedy is only worth some chuckles through out the entire movie. Some jokes are just rehash from the previous film, and are not set up well to the point that you don't expect it. However, at least one scene in the future is a nice rework of one of the more memorable scenes of the first movie.

Make-up effects are not up to par in this movie. You get simple make-up effects to only fairly elaborate make-up effects. The "aged" effects are not good in my opinion. It is obvious that the future version of "Biff". as well as the future version of "Jennifer's" cleavage, are prostetics (especially the cleavage, which looks more like rubber more than it does skin). Some performers even looked as if they had obvious hair dye jobs, instead of wigs.

A lot of the music came from the original movie, with some new songs add in. I think only one song was used really well to set the tone of the scene, the rest were just there if you ask me.

One thing that worked well, although it was a bit odd, was the scenes from the original movie reshot from the point of view of "Marty" and "Doc." If you notice, "Marty's" father, "George" is seen not looking at the camera, or his face is blurry due to being in the background of the scene where the pricipal characters are being shot. You are seeing a different actor in the role since Crispin Glover did not sign on to be in this movie, but you hear his voice from clips taken from the first movie.

This film can get a bit confusing at times, due to the time paradox that "Doc" explains to "Marty." Sometimes, you forget which version of the characters you are watching -- especially when another version is in the scene.

This is a good movie for the entire family. The language, and violence is pretty mild, and the comedy is never crude or adult-oriented. The only thing I would suggest is that you watch the movies back-to-back.


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