Film (1989). Amblin Entertainment/Universal. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, with Steven Spielberg among the executive producers. Cast includes Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and Thomas F Wilson. Written by Bob Gale, based on a story by Zemeckis and Gale. 108 minutes. Colour.
Panned by many critics as a typically disappointing follow-up to Back to the Future (1985), in part because its plot remains unresolved at the end, this film and Back to the Future Part III can properly be seen as two halves of a single film, and indeed were shot simultaneously. In fact it is perhaps the most sophisticated Time-Travel film ever made; what was supposed by critics unfamiliar with the genre to be an incoherence of plot was in large part the perfectly well realized convolutions of a Time-Paradox tale. The story, involving Marty and Brown's trip to the future, where the older Marty is interestingly a failure and his son a potential hoodlum, is too complex for synopsis. A trip back to 1955 generates a Dystopian 1985, an Alternate History run by Biff, the bully of the previous film. The scenario is dark; the acting suffers from Fox's television sit-com mannerisms and Lloyd's hamming; but the story, ambitious and intellectually complex for a popular movie, is a joy. The good aspects of the film were perhaps ahead of their time, demanding a knowledge in the audience that not enough of them had. [PN]
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