Way late review: Back to the Future

Nostalgia heavily tints a movie like Back to the Future for someone my age. It’s not just another movie. It’s a phenomenon. Michael J. Fox. Huey Lewis and the News. 1985. As my son likes to say, “good times, good times.”

Watching the movie always feels familiar and comforting. This time around I watched it in a wonderfully remastered Blu-ray. Wow! What a difference that makes. If you like the movies, then I highly suggest picking up the triology on Blu-ray. The picture is so much better than what I saw last on DVD.

Watching Marty McFly travel 30 years in the past, make a mess of his own history and then scramble to fix it and get back to 1985 reminded me how much I enjoyed Michael J. Fox growing up. Even in some fairly terrible movies that came later, I still enjoyed them if for no other reason than the energy Fox brought to the screen.

Back to the Future is a fun watch. There aren’t any big laughs for me but the twists with time travel, no matter how convoluted they can get towards the end, make for some funny moments. The action is lively but never over the top, something most adventure films these days should take note of. The constraints of movie making circa 1985 weren’t all that bad for films like this. Instead of over stylized action shots we get interesting set pieces and construction of scenes.

Nostalgia is strange, especially when it comes to movies. When I think of Back to the Future without having watched it for a while, I think “great movie”. When I watch it, I think “very good movie”. The opening act is uneven, with the McFly family and other characters like Biff and Mr. Strickland played way over the top. It’s intentional but the intended laughs don’t come as a result. The scene with Marty blowing away the high school dance with his 80’s style guitar shredding is awesome until they have Michael J. Fox lip sync the song. On Blu-ray it was painful to watch. There are some other smaller nitpicks that I won’t delve into mainly because they aren’t important other than it all adds up to making Back to the Future a less than five star movie for me. Still a fun repeatable watch and a strong start to a solid trilogy. More on the other two films in the future.

 ★★★★☆ 

This post is part of my Way late reviews. Read more reviews here.