Back to the Future Part II Movie Review
Coming out four years after the original, Robert Zemeckis directed Back to the Future Part II in 1989, successfully making a franchise in the process. And he made quite a solid film, if vastly inferior compared to the first one.
First, the plot. It is both the movie’s strongest as well as its weakest point. It is strong because it benefits from absolutely terrific world-building and in terms of that and the sheer epic scope, it certainly trumps its predecessor. But it is weak because it is way too convoluted and of course too action-oriented. The plot is simple from the beginning, but it quickly gets too complicated, highly unlikely to happen and very hard to follow. And it also gets tired near the end and even boring. Yes, all of that action can put you to sleep for it has action after action with no still moments whatsoever which is really troublesome and annoying. And the ending is very cheesy with the Old West along with of course being a not so successful call for a sequel as the first Back to the Future was and did it wonderfully. This ending is everything but, it is very idiotic and I wished for it to end soon how poor it was.
But the first act is what drives this film with a wonderfully depicted year of 2015. Yes, it is foolish and too fictional of course, but it is pure fun and it fits into this franchise and world perfectly. The world it creates is extraordinary here, brimming with detail and life. And the whole film, not just the first act, is a lot of pure-hearted and spirited fun. I love all the details from the future, from the games to the billboards to the hoverboards to the flying cars. It is all executed perfectly due to fantastic world-building, terrific imagination, an eye for detail and naturally magnificent visual effects. The effects are not only stunning but also incredibly advanced which made the movie age like fine wine unlike so many other 1980s films to which time was not kind to at all.
The acting is top-notch. Everyone gave a respectable performance although I found Thomas F. Wilson’s performance too theatrical and goofy and even stupid at times and quite mediocre. And his character of Biff is very poorly realized and idiotic. As for the other characters, Doc is once again excellent and I would even go so far as to say that he is better here than before owing to more screen time and better characterization. But Marty suffered a bit here not only because Michael J. Fox is clearly older, but also because the character itself is pretty weakly developed here and boring to say the least.
Technically, the movie looks splendid. The effects are superb, the direction is solid and the imagery and cinematography are both very good. However, the pacing is bad because it goes for too long, it somehow feels repetitive and, as I said earlier, it can become boring due to endless action sequences.