Back to the Future's two sequels were filmed simultaneously so as to prevent Michael J. Fox from aging further. Despite his youthful looks, you can't play a teenager forever.
This ploy has also been used by ABC for the past 5 years to keep the 'Dick Clark still looks like a teenager' myth perpetuated. For those that did not know, the Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve celebrations have been pre-taped to run through 2015. If you were wondering what happened to Clark. It seems that after looking young, for so many years, Dick Clark aged rapidly during an episode of The Other Half and turned to dust. Then he was accidentally snorted by Danny Bonaduce.
The film opens exactly when the other one ended. One MAJOR difference, Claudia Wells has been replaced by Elisabeth Shue. Shue is a decent actress, but for some reason she is AWFUL in this film. Every single line she says sounds like it she is re-dubbing a karate film. Very bizarre.
At the end of the last film Doc showed up in the Delorean, and crashed into the McFly's trashcans. For some reason he chose broad daylight to reappear. Marty, still hung over from the most harrowing week of his LIFE, doesn't want to go with Doc. Marty wants to spend time with Jennifer. Doc refuses to listen, and INSISTS that Marty come with him.
Poor Marty. HE JUST GOT HOME! In the past week he has endured 2 time jumps, was almost RUN OVER by Biff's car and he was shot at by Old Man Peabody! Last night alone he was locked in the trunk of a Chevy, endured the Hill Valley lightning storm and ALMOST made out with his mother!
FOR CRYING OUT LOUD DOC, LET HIM SPEND TIME WITH JENNIFER!
Doc decides, instead, to bring Jennifer along. They hop into the Delorean and blast off to the future. Suddenly, Biff exits the house hopping up and down like a school girl (a school girl that likes to hop.)
BIFF: Marty! You gotta check out these new matchbooks I had made up for my auto detailing.
This is really stupid. Much later in the film we actually see the matchbook cover. On the front it says 'Biff's' in cursive. On the back it says 'Auto Detailing' in plain print. Not really that exciting. Jeez, Biff became really lame after George punched him.
Biff notices the flying Delorean and we are off to the future. Doc re-emerges INTO oncoming traffic. First he crashed into trash can in broad daylight, now he almost gets them killed. Does Doc put no planning whatsoever into his time jumps? Or, is he just a really bad driver?
Elisabeth Shue starts doing her best to screw up the movie when suddenly Doc shines a flashlight in her eyes that kills her. OK, she isn't dead, just unconscious for MOST of the next two films. After Doc knocks her out, Marty asks the question moviegoers are still asking today.
Marty: Well then, what did you bring her for?
Doc: She saw the time machine. I couldn't leave her there with that information.
Doc then lands in Hill Valley in the year 2015. Doc and Marty pull Jennifer out of the car and put her on top of the GARBAGE. Hmmmm, maybe she IS dead!
Marty: We can't leave her HERE!
Doc: Relax; it will just be for a few minutes.
WHAT? So you can't leave her in 1985 with the knowledge of a time machine, but you can leave her in the GARBAGE in the year 2015? With the knowledge of a time machine?!?!?!?
If you look closely at the garbage you will see it is composed primarily of laserdiscs. I guess someone waited reeeeaaaaallllly long to make the jump to DVDs!
Doc gives Marty some future clothes to wear, including a 'size adjusting jacket' and sneakers with 'power laces.' I am frightened of the year 2015. I hate to think of the grotesque stories of children being strangled by their own jackets and having their feet severed by faulty laces.
Marty is being sent to the Cafe 80s to prevent his kid from being involved in some hoodalihoo with Biff's grandson Griff. So he enters the cafe where he finds Ronald Reagan arguing with the Ayatollah about weather he should or should not order the "hostage special." Mmmmmm. So Marty orders a Pepsi.
Marty, Mr. 'can I get a Tab or a Pepsi Free' suddenly drinks regular PEPSI? SINCE YESTERDAY?!?!
Griff and the gang burst into the Cafe 80s at the same time as Marty Jr. After a (thankfully) brief Abbott & Costello routine with dad and son McFly, Griff invites Marty to join him in some shady activity. Marty says no, until Biff calls him chicken. Marty is enraged!
Marty: Nobody calls me chicken!
Marty did not seem as mad when Griff's grandfather tried to sexually assault Marty's mom! Why is chicken such a major insult to Marty McFly?
I wish we could ask Doc Brown to explain these bizarre occurrences, but since he is a fictional character, I asked a guy who pretends to be Doc for the Universal Studios Hollywood Backlot tour.
Me: Why is Marty so bothered by being called chicken and why is he suddenly interested in drinking sugar laden soda?
Guy pretending to be Doc: Dude, do you want your picture taken, or what?
So, Marty says no to Griff, is called chicken and starts a fight. Next thing you know we are in the middle of a hover board re-enactment of the 'Biff tries to KILL Marty' scene from the first film.
Griff crashes into the clock tower, Jennifer is pulled out of the garbage by the police and Marty buys the SPORTS ALMANAC.
The Gray's Sport's Almanac. Fifty years of sports statistics, 1950-2000. Every single sporting event covered in a book the size of a Highlights magazine. The print must be TINY.
So Jennifer is taken home where we find out that the electronic window is broken, because the repairman called Marty chicken. I'm not kidding. This chicken thing is a HUGE subplot! How do you get called a chicken by a repairman anyway?
Marty: This is where the screen is broken.
Repairman: Would you like to sweep up Dick Clark?
Repairman: What are you chicken?
Marty: The streets shall run red, with your blood, repairman! No one calls me chicken.
So, they hydrate a pizza, George McFly hangs upside down and Marty Jr. watches 75 channels at once. We also learn that fax machines and pagers are plentiful in the future, and Elizabeth Shue will NOT age well.
It is at this point that the film starts running at full speed. Biff steals the time machine and cause a shift in the space time continuum. This causes the alternate 1985.
Let me say this about the alternate 1985: if Biff ever took over in the real world WE ARE ALL DOOMED.
In alternate 1985 motorcycle gangs ride side by side with tanks. TANKS. Chalk body outlines are EVERYWHERE and Sammy Hagar plays incessantly. It is like living inside Dee Snider's head.
Marty tangles with Biff, learns about the death of George McFly and is forced to travel back to 1955!
For reasons not clearly explained, Alternate 1985 Biff took the Almanac to himself BEFORE his 18th birthday. It just so happened that it was the SAME week Marty had visited. I wonder if Biff now has sugar cravings and is chicken intolerant.
Everything comes to (what seems like) a conclusion at the dance. It is weird to watch Marty stumble into the previous film. It kind of makes you dizzy.
Marty burns the Sports Almanac causing everything to go back to normal. We see this in the changes to the newspaper and Biff's matches:
Biff's Pleasure Palace changes to Biff's Auto Detailing
Local author murdered changes to Local Author Honored
Emmett Brown Committed changes to Emmett Brown Commended
This is the most amazing coincidences known to mankind.
1.Biff's Pleasure Palace changes to Biff's Auto Detailing
Let us assume that, even as a millionaire casino owner, Biff would STILL be drawn to the same matchbook maker that he would use as a 'run of the mill' car detailer. What are the odds that the printer would have used the SAME matchbook for the alternate order? He had to have made the order at the same minute of the same day. Even if he did, we would assume that he ordered MANY, MANY more matchbooks for his Pleasure Palace. Logically, the matchbook should have changed from Biff's to some other random business.
2.Local author murdered changes to Local Author Honored
Since when does 'Local Author Honored' headline the newspaper? Murdered, sure. But, honored? If it did, we have to assume that Biff murdered him on THE WAY to his ceremony of honor.
3.Emmett Brown Committed changes to Emmett Brown Commended
Again, why do people getting awards make the paper? This one really makes me laugh. The photo also changes, so instead of two men fitting him for a straight jacket, they are shaking hands with him, in what appears to be the SAME HALLWAY.
Then, just as they are ready to wrap the whole thing up, Doc is struck by lightening, and the Delorean goes into the future.
More bad driving by Doc? Perhaps, but I thought the car had to be going 88 miles per hour AND get struck by lightning! They made that VERY clear in the last film.
I have heard it explained that the lightning bolt propelled the car 88 miles per hour instantly. Then the lightning ordered matches for Biff and honored local authors. It's the least it could do.
The film ends with a cliffhanger. Many audiences didn't like that, but the heck with them. I left wanting more, and I wanted to eat the 'hostage special.'