Movie #168 2021: Back to the Future (1985)

My girlfriend thought it was genuinely hilarious that I was reviewing Back to the Future (1985) in 2021. I mean, everyone’s seen it, right? Well – surprise, surprise – I hadn’t seen it. I knew of it, of course; I knew some of the most iconic quotes (“Great Scott!”) and I knew the DeLorean. I got the gist of the movie before I watched it. However, everyone knows that with high expectation often comes a lot of disappointment. So let’s see if that was the case…

For the three of you who don’t know, Back to the Future is set in the eighties, where teenager Marty McFly meets eccentric scientist, Doc Brown. Brown claims to have invented a time machine in the form of a heavily modified car, and one night, the two of them accidentally travel back in time to 1955. Marty inadvertently meddles in the night his parents first met, causing his very future existence to be in doubt. Doc and Marty must fix the mistakes that have been made in order to ensure he still exists in 1985 and then figure out to get back to their own timeline.

Ahhh the eighties. Remember when people were optimistic about the future and technology and less scared that there’d be an AI led apocalypse? It was a simpler time…

As I alluded to previously, Back to the Future is one of those movies I’ve seen the odd clip of here and there, but I’d never sat the whole way through from start to finish. I have to say, I did think it got off to a slow start and the opening scenes were a bit rambling and long… but after that I bloody loved it. I can’t even imagine how brilliant this would have been to a 1985 audience. Time travel in a major blockbuster? Ground-breaking for its time. 

Being a fan of Christopher Lloyd anyway, I just knew I’d be impressed by his performance. Put him with Michael J. Fox though and you have the perfect movie double act. Without them, this movie wouldn’t have been the phenomenon it became and I strongly believe that. Doc and Marty are now legendary, and it’s definitely down to those two actors in particular. 

Aside from the vaguely creepy storyline with Marty’s mother, the script is really well put together and the film’s influence is clearly still felt to this day. So quotable, so fun, and the blueprint for so many other timey wimey movies – the impact Back to the Future had on, well, the future, is profound.

I don’t think it’s perfect; I’ll confess that I was willing the plot to move a little quicker at times, but that’s just me being impatient as usual. As far as iconic eighties cinema goes, this one is up there with the best.

Onto Part II!

Back to the Future is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
Overall Rating: ½

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