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Back to the Future

Reviewed By Ryan Arthur
Posted 08/31/98 23:42:42

"Whoa, this is heavy."
5 stars (Awesome)

Run for it, Marty!

I spent a goodly portion of my youth quoting from this movie. That's how you know a movie is so ingrained in popular culture - the more you quote from it, the more you liked it, and the odds are the more everyone else liked it.

Marty McFly is tearing across a mall parking lot in a souped-up Delorean (a time machine, if you will), a group of Libyan terrorists right behind him in a Volkswagen bus. "Let's see if these bastards can do 90," Marty says, and floors it. He hits 88, the flux capaciter goes off (creating the necessary 1-point-21 gigawatts needed for time travel), and Marty gets hurtled back to 1955, where he meets his parents as teenagers and has to come up with a way to get home (not to mention make sure his parents hook up) or he'll be erased from existence. Only Doc Brown (dead in the future, but alive in the past) can help save Marty.

Man, this was the quentessential movie of the 1980's.

Looking back on it, there's a few things that don't hold up now (references to things Pepsi Free and Tab, the popularity(?) of Huey Lewis and the News, as well as an ordinary schoolguy like Marty being a skateboarder), but it's still great fun. It's easily the best work of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd (outside of an occasional standout episode of Taxi) and helped define the term "slacker" for a bunch of now generation x-ers.

Forget the two sequels that follow: they don't have the magic of the original. There's something surreal about seeing a child of the 1980's being flung through time to 1955. Marty certainly feels it, and to an extent, the audience does, too. I could try and get deep about how Marty's quest to get "back to the future" is some sort of metaphor for our lives that we should all learn something from, but to me, Back To The Future isn't about that. It's harmless, escapist, sci-fi fun. It's not loaded with sex or violence, so parents could let younger kids watch it.

Solid entertainment.

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