I didn’t see this film for the first time until last year, and I think I’ve seen it six or seven times since. There is something undeniably charming about this film, even if certain aspects of it haven’t aged well.
Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) knows a mad scientist named Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). The Doc has a time-travel machine, and when he shows it off, he gets killed by random terrorists in a parking lot. Marty drives away, and inadvertently goes back to 1955. Once there, he becomes the object of his mother’s infatuation, and he must work to ensure his parents still end up together, all while finding a way to the future to save the Doc.
The entire plot with his mother and father is more enjoyable than it is creepy, especially in the hands of writer-director Robert Zemeckis. When McFly is taken back to 1955, his every action carries a consequence, and yet he still manages to somehow keep the proper future in order. Watching it on TV, I think I had a smile on my face the entire time, if only because the hijinks fall so perfectly into place.
The only real problem is that the scenes in the present day (1985) seem to be more dated than the scenes in ’55. The filmmakers did not have the ability to look back on their present, and so it becomes a time capsule of the most unintentional sort.
Back to the Future paved new roads for films that could never quite measure up, but it never needed roads to find its own way. For a movie about running out of time, it’s pretty timeless so far.
Back to the Future is available on Blu-ray, digital, and DVD.