He told me one more thing. He told me some day a crazy, wild-eyed scientist or some kid may show up asking about that book. And if that ever happens . . . Funny. I never thought it would be you.
So, sure I went to the theater to catch this one. Hadn’t seen it in years; I’ve seen the first one numerous times and the third one a couple, but to the best of my memory, I’ve only seen this one once. It’s definitely the most flawed of the trilogy, but it has some real strengths. Thomas Wilson really proves himself in this one; he plays iteration after iteration of Biff in this film and he’s willing to go really dark in the film’s alternate 1980s section, a really grim and tawdry interlude in an otherwise pretty wacky movie. Fox fares not as well with his numerous roles, but then I kind of feel like the future section is the worst part of the film; Zemeckis has said in the past (lol) that he wasn’t that interested in the future and only wanted to get to the other stuff. Well, it shows; the props and costumes are tacky and the writing is just sloppy and stupid. The film really takes off, however, once the film gets back to 1955. Ironically returning to the exact same night as the first movie is somehow the film’s most creative and ingenious stroke and all the running around behind the scenes of the first film just really works. The film manages to make the sequence completely seamless. The matching of the first film is really incredible, from the recreation of the first movie’s final scene at the beginning of this one to the recreation of the Under the Sea dance. It seems impossible but the film doesn’t feel like it’s being clever; it really feels absolutely like you are back in the first movie. I don’t know how else to put it, really; it just feels so perfect. The special effects are amazing in this section of the movie, so perfect you kind of forget they’re there. I dislike the climax of the almanac plot; the whole hoverboard bit just goes so far beyond straining credulity as to be ridiculous. But the moment when the car arrives out of the rain after the DeLorean disappears is just phenomenal. That whole scene really captures the magic of this series when it really works; it feels just as mythic and strange as anything in the first movie. Well, obviously, the film is woefully inconsistent. The future segment and the movie’s climax are pretty dreadful, but the Under the Sea dance and the alternate 1980s segment really work. It’s ultimately, well, like I said, the weak link, even if it does have some delightful bits here and there. 2 ½ stars.
tl;dr – woefully inconsistent, with lengthy stretches that are absolutely awful, this film still has some delightful moments when it revisits the first film and in a surprisingly grim middle section. 2 ½ stars.