Back to the Future (1985) – Film Review

Marty and Doc are back in cinemas as Back to the Future celebrates its 25th anniversary...

Riotous fun and an esteemed classic loved by millions, Back to the Future captures everything that is excellent about 80’s films; classic one-liners, eccentric fashion (even though the majority of the film is set in 1955), the fantastic soundtrack and the effects are all present. Whilst today’s cinema is overly concerned with producing dark psychological thrillers, over-done comedies or lengthy sagas, the 80’s produced light-hearted entertainment that never took itself too seriously. With Back to the Future you can laugh at Doc’s hair-brained antics and the ludicrous situation Marty finds himself in – you wouldn’t exactly find Robert Pattinson trying to fend off his mother’s rather amorous attentions after being propelled backward thirty years high in HMV’s best-seller lists.

The cast visibly enjoy the experience of bringing the 1950’s to life; Crispin Glover excels when tasked with playing the humdrum and rather too easily manipulated George McFly whilst Lea Thompson provides a convincing performance of Marty’s rather forward (and hypocritical) mother. Thomas F. Wilson’s memorable Biff provides the film with its baddie, his oafish exuberance, fuelled by his cronies (who include a very young Billy Zane), being matched only by his idiocy.

The abundance of historical in-jokes add a further layer to the film. Instead of relying solely on visual gags (Biff’s car being flooded with manure being a prime example), lines like ‘who the hell is John F. Kennedy?’ and Doc’s reaction to the idea of Ronald Reagan ever being president add a cheeky smirk to the film’s already chirpy demeanour. The story is well-rounded with various themes being cleverly interwoven whilst Marty’s rendition of Johnny B. Goode is a definite highlight in an already great film.

Having been produced by Spielberg and directed by Zemeckis, two men recognisable by their surnames alone, Back to the Future reminds audiences of a time before internet, a time where skateboarding existed instead of heelies, walkmans were used instead of iPods and films were unadulterated fun.

Best line; It’s a toss-up between ‘make like a tree and get outta here!’ and the classic ‘Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads’.
Best performance; Michael J. Fox is perfect as Marty McFly, but Einstein’s naïve trip into the future is almost a scene-stealer.
Best song; Power of Love by Huey Lewis of course, although the film’s score is a close second.
Best bit; The awkwardness of the Calvin Klein scene is great, as is the scene where George is visited by ‘Darth Vader’.

Lea Thompson, who plays the part of Marty’s mother Leanne is in fact only ten days older than Fox whilst Crispin Glover is three years younger than his on-screen son.

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