The tenth and final movie among the Memorial Day Movie Binge Watch Weekend is one of the great films of the 1980s, and a member of the EYG Hall of Fame. It is the Robert Zemeckis classic Back to the Future.
“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need…roads.”
Back to the Future is a near perfect film that is full of fun, adventure and comedy. The cast is wonderful, including Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as the EYG Hall of Fame character Doc Brown.
Doc Brown creates a time machine out of a DeLorean and, through a series of events involving Libyan terrorists, Marty ends up in 1955, thirty years ago. He immediately interacts with his mother and accidentally prevents his mother and father from getting together.
Going for help from the younger Doc Brown, Marty has to set things right by getting his parents back together while Doc has to go about solving the problem of getting Marty back to the future.
There is so much right with this movie that it is a wealth of positives. The cast is great, including Lea Thompson as Marty’s mother Lorraine, Crispin Glover as Marty’s father George, and the key villain Biff Tannen, played by Thomas F. Wilson.
The story is clever and funny, complete with surprises and unexpected twists. There is emotional beats with Doc and Marty as well as a suspenseful conclusion that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Who knew that Chuck Berry has Marty McFly to thank for his own Hall of Fame career?
SPOILERS (for a 33 year old movie)
There is only one plot point left dangling that I have always wondered about. When Marty gets back to the future, he returned ten minutes earlier to prevent Doc from being shot by the Libyans. Arriving too late, he witnesses Doc being shot and himself, the Marty of this time, jump in the DeLorean and go back in time. However, we know that this time line is not the same as the one that Marty had left from initially. His father was successful, Biff was not his father’s supervisor, his mother was thin, his siblings were successful. The Marty that went back in time here was the Marty who grew up in this environment. So what happened to that Marty? That is the one thing that Back to the Future has never sufficiently explained.
Besides that dangling plot thread, Back to the Future is a fabulous film that spawned two above average sequels, though neither reached the level of brilliance of the first one. Michael J. Fox, who was not the first actor cast for the role (Eric Stoltz was cast, but Fox became available and was the director’s first choice so they replaced him), became iconic as the time traveling teen.
Funny, exciting, dramatic, suspenseful, well-written, Back to the Future has it all.