[Trilogy Thursday] Back to the Future

Hi, gang. Max and I have teamed up again for another edition of Trilogy Thursday. This week it is the Back to the Future series, starring Michael J Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown. If you’ve seen all or just one of the series, leave a comment and let’s get chatting!

Back to the Future (1985)

Claire Until about four weeks ago I’d never watched the Back to the Future trilogy before, much to the surprise of a certain person called Dan who writes the blog Top 10 Films! I don’t know exactly why this was but, at the age of 23, I have finally watched all three.

Up until 26th January all I knew about Back to the Future was that it involved time travelling and that Michael J Fox was in it. On that basis, however, I thought the film would be something I’d enjoy.

Was I disappointed? Not in the slightest. Back to the Future is a fantastic film that combines sci-fi, comedy and action. I did guess the plot within the first 10 minutes but it was very enjoyable nonetheless. Seeing what my parents were like when they were teenagers is something I’d love to be able to do. In Back to the Future, Marty (Michael J Fox) has this opportunity. Much hilarity (and calamity) ensues – fantastic.

Max There’s something really satisfying about Back to the Future that I can’t quite place my finger on. Whether it is the perfect chemistry between Marty and Doc or the science foundation behind the time-traveling, it’s just something special. Marty is fully believing of Doc’s inventions when others could’ve just thought he was nuts. This time Marty gets stuck in 1955 and he better be careful because the events he could change might even effect his birth! One of the most classic scenes is when Marty takes the stage and starts playing Johnny B Goode. Also who can forget the clock tower that is always striking towards the deadline.

Back to the Future 2 (1989)

Claire The De Lorean is back but this time it takes Marty and Doc Brown to the future instead. Marty and Jennifer (Marty’s girlfriend from Back to the Future) children, which haven’t been born yet, are in trouble and it is up to Marty and Doc Brown to prevent this from happening.

While I did enjoy Back to the Future 2for me it is the weakest of the three. The main ingredients haven’t changed, and it is fun to what things may have been like for Marty in 2015, but there was something about the film that I didn’t enjoy as much as the others. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more when it was released in 1989 and 2012 seemed like a long time away.

Max Instead of heading back in time, Marty and Doc head forward. They have learned that Marty’s kids might be in trouble. What they fail to acknowledge is that old Biff has discovered the time machine for himself and has changed the future to how he seems fit. If you watch Back to the Future 2 right after the original it really feels like a mirror image. It follows the exact formula from the first film and even the villain is the same. It’s funny to see how they imaged 2012 to be back then (we still don’t have those awesome hover boards!). It took me a long time to ever see the second film and while people generally hold it in the same esteem as the first, I’m not one of those.

Back to the Future 3 (1990)

Claire Marty and Doc Brown are back once again, though this time it’s a rescue mission. Following on from Back to the Future 2, Marty must travel back in time to the Wild West, where Doc Brown has got trapped. While the comedic element does still remain, a new element has also been introduced: a love interest for Doc Brown.

This adds a whole new dimension to the plot, but Marty and Doc Brown are the same loveable duo that they’ve always been, helping each other get out (and in to) of trouble. Back to the Future 3 is also a satisfying end to the series, with all loose ends tied up nicely.

Max I hadn’t watched this for years so all I remembered was the famous train scene at the end of the picture. It’s no surprise because that’s easily the most enjoyable thing to come out of this money grabbing three-quel. This movie felt completely unwarranted and the convoluted storyline at the beginning of the picture had my head spinning. This year’s Doc had to go back in time to save that Doc, but Doc might die, so Marty has to save him? Maybe? The movie certainly makes lots of nods to the classic western film, A Fistful of Dollars, featuring Clint Eastwood. While things do get tied up in a neat bow in the end, the picture just felt tacked on.

Final thoughts

Claire My favourite of the three has got to be Back to the Future. It’s straight forward but not in a boring way, and it does something that I’d love to do: see my parents when they were younger. If you’re a BTTF newcomer like I was, and a fan of 1980s films with a light hearted edge, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Max There’s no question about which of the three I like the best. If you only watch one of the three watch Back to the Future. If you enjoy the formula and characters enough for more there’s plenty of the same in the sequels. Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are the glue that holds the franchise together and it would never be the same without them.

Films featured in the Trilogy Thursday series so far:
Toy Story 1, 2 and 3
The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum
Back to the Future 1, 2 and 3

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5 thoughts on “[Trilogy Thursday] Back to the Future”

  1. Probably my favourite trilogy af all time. So brilliantly structured and featuring the perfect pairing of Marty and the Doc. Love the set pieces, the clocktower in the first, the hoverboards in the second and the train at the end of the third. Some of the most nail biting sequences in cinematic history. and Biff! Probably the best villain ever! Part two used to be my favourite as a kid but recently I switched to number one. So much to love in all three though!

  2. Nice write-up once again guys, but I’m afraid I’m not as in love w/ this films as most people are. I like it the first time I saw it, and was even excited to take the ride at Universal Studios, etc. but the excitement has worn off for years. Anyway, I look forward to your next pick of the trilogy post 🙂

  3. This is my favourite trilogy of all time. I love it. All the films are great – even number 3!

    I note you felt it was convoluted Max but I think that criticism is more merited to BTTF2 with its manufactured first half hour before the proper story begins which seamlessly moves into part 3. What I love about part 3 is that it is the simplest of the BTTF stories and provides Doc the chance to shine as well as get a love interest.

    Very interesting that Claire feels BTTF 2 is the weakest of the three. I agree with you there Claire. I think there’s too much going on in it but that is mainly due to Zemeckis and Gale having to get around their conclusion to part 1. BTTF was never supposed to have a sequel originally and the writers used the open-ended ending as a joke more than anything. When the idea for a sequel came about they wanted to look at the old west, Doc Brown’s character etc., and had to figure a way to make the new story work despite the first film shooting Marty and Doc off into the future to save Marty’s kids.

    But overall this is a wonderful trilogy that I return to again and again.

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