29 January 2013

Back to the Future (starring Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd)

'Back to the Future' is one of the few films I saw at the cinema, shortly before my first son was born. Science fiction and time travel are not exactly my chosen genre, but this film was extremely popular and highly recommended... and I enjoyed it very much.  About twelve years ago I discovered a DVD set on special offer, featuring not just this, the original film, but the two sequels. We watched them with our sons - teenagers by then - and I was pleased to find that it was well worth seeing again.

Now we're introducing some teenage friends to suitable items in our DVD collection, and suggested this to them.

The story is probably well known. Marty (Michael J Fox) is a teenager, the surprisingly sane product of a wimpish father and a controlling mother.  His brother is unemployed, his sister whiny. As the film opens, Marty's father is being verbally abused by 'Biff', his bullying boss, who has just managed to wreck their car but is blaming Marty's dad. And Marty is very unhappy about this because he was hoping to drive his girlfriend Jennifer (Claudia Wells) into the mountains the following day...

Marty is friendly with the eccentric 'Doc' Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and is thrilled to be asked to film his time travel experiment: sending his dog a minute back in time in a Delorian. (It was years before I realised that a Delorian is a regular brand of car in some countries. I assumed, back in 1985, that it was invented specifically for this film).

Then, due to some political activists, Marty finds himself going back in time by thirty years in the same car. He meets his parents just before they have their first date, and a younger Biff - the school bully.  Unfortunately he doesn't observe the rules of time travel, becoming involved in people's lives, and thus  is in danger of changing history in a way that endangers his own existence...

There are plot holes, of course. But it doesn't matter. It's amusing, fast-paced, and very well done - particularly given the era when computer graphics for special effects were rather basic. The reconstruction of Marty's home town in 1955 works brilliantly, and the story is quite gripping, once it gets going..  There's great excitement at the climax - even though I remembered the majority of the plot - and an ending which I had not completely recalled.

'Back to the Future' is rated PG in both the US and UK, which seems about right. There are some minor instances of swearing, and one or two incidents of minor violence and sexual implications.  I don't think it would be of much interest to anyone under the age of about nine or ten anyway.

Our teenage friends (a girl of 15 and boy of 13) thought this a great film, and are hoping to see the sequel at some point.

Highly recommended for teens and adults.

(Note that the Amazon links are to the single DVD versions of this, but in both the US and UK it can be bought as part of the trilogy of Back to the Future films).

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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