Sunday, October 16, 2016

BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) - ****

Rated PG
Running time: 116 min.
Release date: July 3, 1985

Robert Zemeckis' time-travelling story Back to the Future presents an interesting premise: if you had the opportunity to meet your parents when they were teens, what do you think you would find? What would you say to them? What if your mom wound up having the hots for you instead of your dad? Zemeckis and his co-writer Bob Gale present some interesting ideas and then just end up having fun with them. There are plot holes, for sure, but there is no denying that the film is great entertainment. The differences between the cynical 80's and the naive 50's are explored and provide a lot of the humor. 

At the heart of the film are the performances by the cast. Michael J. Fox stars as Marty McFly, thrust into a scenario that has him thinking on his feet in order not to upset the very fabric of time. The paradoxes are outlined to him by his friend, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), the inventor of the time-travel device of choice: a souped-up DeLorean. Lloyd is his usual manic, off-the-wall self here. Lea Thompson as Marty's mom, both present and past, goes from worn down alcoholic to bright-eyed naivety. Crispin Glover gives a strange performance as Marty's dad, George. His 50's persona is probably overplayed a little, but you can see the heart in the role. 

Zemeckis provides great visuals with the special effects and the story is warm even if there are questions left unanswered by the plot. There are some contrivances within the plot that are a little too convenient. Back to the Future is not perfect but it is a rousing and warm-hearted movie that all ages should enjoy.

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