The only movie to watch on 21st October 2015. Half of the film is set in the ‘future’ of 1985 when Marty and the Doc go forward to, yes, you guessed it, Wednesday 21st October 2015 at around 4.30pm. That would have been the exact time I was borrowing the DVD, I reckon. The film was made in 1989 and, regardless of whether that was a good idea or not, it’s interesting to look at a 1989 view of what the world would be like today. It looks pretty much like the 80s.
I’m not even going to bother explaining the plot. Just know that it was quite difficult to watch it with two children who hadn’t seen the first Back to the Future. Trying to explain who was Marty and who was his mother and why she was different to his girlfriend and who Biff was and why he looked just like Griff and Marty looked just like his son Martin and his daughter Marlene (Marty, Martin and, strangely, Marlene are all played by Michael J Fox) was, well, trying. But it didn’t really matter because the plot is pretty lame, a laboured attempt to cash in on one of the biggest box office hits at the time and the first time two sequels were made back-to-back – such confidence that wasn’t really justified when you watch Back to the Future III.
So the 1980s version of 2015 looks pretty normal although all the clothes are a bit 80s fluoro punk weird and have technology in them for important things, like doing shoe laces up (product placement). There are LED displays in odd places like on the visors of police hats and there are screens everywhere (that bit was pretty accurate). For some reason we don’t need doorknobs, we ride exercise bikes in cafes, we use rehydrators to create food (product placement) and we have hover cars and skateboards (product placement). And Jaws 19 has just been released – now there’s a franchise that didn’t last.
There was one absolute highlight. Look for the scene near the start when Marty goes to 2015 and visits the 80s cafe. There are two little kids playing an arcade game and Marty tries to show off by playing it. They are less than impressed that you “have to use your hands, how lame.” The kid on the left is an eight-year-old Elijah Wood. Frodo was soooo cute back then.
Bechdel test – pass
2.5 stars (for the fun of it and for Elijah)