Still holds up after 31 years. So this is about a high school student named Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox). When his close friend and scientist Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) puts together a DeLorean that can travel through time, Marty is accidentally shot back to the 1950’s and may have disrupted a very important event in history: the introduction of his parents to each other. What can I say about the great Back to the Future that hasn’t already been said before? It’s one of those classics from the 80’s that is likely shrouded in nostalgia for most of us 20 or 30 somethings out there. But unlike a lot of childhood movies that we look back upon with rose-colored glasses and remember as being better than they actually are, Back to the Future still holds up, and there’s lots to appreciate about it in this modern day.
My wife and I recently caught up on the brilliant animated series Rick and Morty, a show that was obviously inspired by this story about a boy and his mad scientist. There are even subtle jokes that are easy to miss unless you’ve recently watched Back to the Future, such as one about bird watching, but I digress. This is a fast moving movie that is skillfully thought out and masterfully layered, and every scene has a purpose behind it and flows smoothly into the next one. Michael J. Fox manages to play this character perfectly with charisma, and he hits that sweet middle spot where he is cool enough that kids want to be him, but respectable enough where adults like him as well. The stakes are high as Marty slowly starts to fade out of existence, and because there is time travel involved, problems are solved in unconventional and interesting ways. And it is such a unique dilemma Marty is placed in, trying to get his own, younger mother not to fall in love with him and to divert attention back onto his timid father.
I mean what’s not to love about Crispin Glover?
There are some serious topics that are made light of, like incest and sexual assault, but a special ability that the movie posses is that it makes it easy to blur your eyes and ignore, because it is always moving that fast. It is laugh out loud funny, and the chemistry between Doc and Marty is alive whenever they are onscreen together. The setup to this is perfect, and you don’t realize how much framework it built in the 80’s until you get to the 50’s. It is over the top, but in the best way possible, and I will always walk away from this with a smile on my face.
Back to the Future (1985) *****
– Critic for Hire