Living in the Future
I saw Back to the Future when I was quite young and, like many, I was very taken with it. It had everything: comedy, sci-fi, action and heart. It was a wonderful movie cocktail that I could watch with my parents and we would all enjoy it together. Being that today is the unofficial “Back to the Future Day”, I’m remembering what came next after I fell for the original film. It was weird.
So 4 years after the first film was released, plans of a sequel finally came to fruition. In fact, this was one of those rare occasions when a studio decided to film two sequels back-to-back and release them a mere one year apart. So 1989 got BTTF II and 1990 had BTTF III. Craziness.
Well, like I mentioned, my parents were fans of the original movie like I was. They ventured out to the theater in 1989 and saw Part 2 on a date. Upon their return, the reviews were not good. By their figuring, the movie was not only inferior, it contained too much sex and profanity for a young man of 8 to see. So I was told that I wouldn’t be seeing the film. I was crushed! The promise of flying Deloreans seen in the stinger ending of the 1985 film was driving me mad and now I wouldn’t get to see it for real! Ugh. I remember the marketing blitz surrounding the film and how it felt like salt in the wound as crazy sunglasses and cool shoes taunted me.
Okay, fast forward now to 1990. I’m now a year older and, again, my parents went out and watched Part 3 in the theater. This time, they returned with better reports! The gratuitous sex and language had been left out of this entry in the series! I had a green light! So I actually saw the film in our local discount theater and thought it was great! What a fun spin to put Doc Brown in the romantic lead role and feature some sweet wild west train action! I only had one problem with the film:
What in the world is going on!? How did we end up in 1885?! What’s all this talk about a book!? Etc…
Yeah, some very crucial elements of the continuing storyline were missing from my memory banks since I hadn’t seen the Part 2! The writers tried to cover for this by having Marty recount to Doc the events of the previous adventure, but he does it in his frenetic Michael J. Fox delivery and it’s very, very hard to follow if you haven’t already seen it. I was so, so confused. And actually, I remained confused for probably 5 years before I finally saw a TV edited version of Part 2 on cable in the mid 90’s. That’s when the pieces all finally fell into place and I understood the trials of Marty McFly in the year 2015.
And having completed the picture, it was and still is clear that the first film is the real timeless classic of the bunch.
It’s true that the Back to the Future Trilogy is one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time. Like I said, the broad appeal of the movies does a lot to create love across demographics. Moreover, the movies haven’t (yet) been tainted by stale attempts at remakes and reboots. They still stand on their own as basically unimprovable! And maybe that’s the most incredible thing about them.
Happy BTTF Day!