I’ve watched this movie so many times, I can quote the entire movie. I’m not giving anything away by saying it was/is still ahead of it’s time. Although the characters’ belief that 2015 would be significantly different than our current 2015 actually IS, is irrelevant (actually, it’s a comedy so the guesses at reality just makes it funnier!). Robert Zemeckis directed a legendary movie mocked and satirized in many movies afterward. That’s the highest praise a picture can garner. This is as near-to-perfection as screen comedy/time travel gets in my book.
To put the writing/directing in perspective, I will tell you what my screen writing teacher said about this movie a few years ago when she screened just the opening sequence for our class… She said the opening sequence of nearly five minutes long with few editing breaks sets the stage for what is to come. She said this was how professional screenwriters dream about opening a movie. It’s just… flawless.
The opening reveals layer upon layer of story themes with very few words, just visuals and a few key noises in the background. Without a single actor in the midst. It’s just the setting and a moving camera. We have just been treated to circa-1985 without ever even seeing an actor walking across screen. THEN the actor walks in. It only gets better from there. Magnificence in direction.
Watching it again last night made me realize how special of a movie it really was. I simply enjoyed the experience. It transported me back to 1985 all over again. Knowing everything there is to know about the story. And it STILL makes me laugh. The fact they set it in 1985 was a stroke of genius. People in 2015 can only joke about what they believed the future would look like. But the writers/director so very wisely chose to say “1985” and not “Present Day” — a date-reference killer once a movie reaches an age where current present day looks nothing like the movie we’re watching. That 1985 date also allows for a perfect anchor to bounce around in the future two sequels in the series.
I remember watching this in the theater when it was first run in – yes, I was there – 1985. My best friend sitting next to me in the theater watched Michael J Fox stumble along 1955 Main Street and his comment at that moment in the movie was, “Nobody could play this character better than Michael J Fox.” I have to agree. MJF IS Marty McFly personified. He carries the picture effortlessly and heroically, along with the hilarious and severely underrated Christopher Lloyd as the genius/basket case, Dr. Emmitt Brown.
Two genius actors playing off one another, along with the perfect supporting cast, makes this a must-watch movie at any time in history. It is genuinely funny, sweet, nostalgic, witty, beautiful, and exciting. Every scene has something to do with another scene. There is literally not a single wasted frame in this movie. Later episodes of the series aren’t as perfect as BTTF1 but that’s a different story… If anyone ever creates a time-capsule, PLEASE make sure to include this movie. Future millennia of species will enjoy it too. :-)
If you haven’t watched “Back to the Future” before, regardless of your age or generation, please reward yourself with this near-perfect time-travel comedy. I loved it even more this time around. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. 10 out of 10.
What do you think of the film? Let us know in the comments below.