Film Review: Back to the Future – Part 2



Back to the Future: Part 2 is easily my favourite film of the trilogy. I still get excited as you are flown through the clouds of the opening credits with the theme movie blasting away. There are many reasons why I love the film, one of course being that they went to the future.

This is of course is now technically the past. I blogged on the day, about Back to the Future being my first fandom, I was euphoric on the day (and for about a week afterwards) that the future had finally arrived.

The reason I was so excited was because Back to the Future: Part 2 has always been a massive influence on me and how storytellers use their imaginative force. I’ve never really been interested in wondering whether the filmmakers ‘predicted’ the future. I have always watched the scenes in 2015 with keen interest because of the creative energy that went into transforming the Hill valley of 1985 into the Hill Valley of 2015.

Until Lord of the Rings came out, the Back to the Future trilogy had been the only films I had been interested in learning about how they had been made. I absorbed the behind the scenes material related to the films. The majority of this came from books about the films, especially Part 2, which I would then watch again specifically to see the level of detail that had gone into the film making.

And then Part 2 was what introduced me to that classic science fiction storyline, the alternate timeline. As a kid I really hated the alternate timeline because it is just horrible, and I used to be relieved when they went back to 1955 to fix it.

As an adult now though I understand a lot better the horror that was created because of one man’s ability to fuel his greed and his lust of power, and just that has a knock on effect for everyone around them. Biff Tanner has access to an unlimited source of wealth for 30 years, and what he does with it is terrible, because with it no-one has the ability to say no to him and get away with it. Biff Tanner is a monster; he doesn’t tolerate Lorraine saying no to him, and older Biff give him the power to make sure she can’t. He is the representation of everything that is wrong in our society and the perfect villain, because there is nothing redeeming about him what so ever.

But what’s truly masterful is the brilliance of the script in executing such a complex storyline in such a short period of time. The film very much is a three act film; the wonder of the future of 2015, the horror of the alternative Hill Valley in 1985 and the desperate efforts of the trying to fix it in 1955. The story is masterfully produced, and the film has had a great deal of creative effort put into it, especially the first two acts. The direction of the three, where it is intercutting with the first film is time travel storytelling at it’s very best.

The film is a masterpiece in time travel storytelling; the first of the trilogy is brilliant, but the second is even better.


4 responses »

  1. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this betters the original BTTF film, but I think it stands up very well, unlike the third in the series, which is a huge disappointment. Nice review! 🙂

    • Thanks; I think my preference comes from what interested me the most as a kid. I have a greater appreciation for the first now as an adult than I did when I was six. I think I was very much taken in by how cool the second one is because they go to the future.

      • You’re right, the future bits are so clever and creative, as well as the overlapping events. Can you imagine if for Part III, they overlapped the stories of I & II??

  2. I think that might have ended up being too complicated and the universe would have destroyed itself like the Doc feared it might do. It would have been cool though.

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