Back to the Future Part II (1989)

back to the future part ii poster 1989 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting ideas, I still want a hoverboard

Story jumps around too much, not as well rounded as the original

Movie Info

Movie Name: Back to the Future Part II

Studio: Amblin Entertainment

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Comedy/Family/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): November 22, 1989

MPAA Rating: PG


Every 13 year-old’s dream…a flying, time-travelling Delorean!

Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is back and this time Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) is taking him and Jennifer (Elizabeth Shue) to the future to save his family. While there, Marty makes a mistake which could doom the future of the entire world. Now it is up to Doc and Marty to travel from 1985 to 2015 to 1955 to stop the destruction of time.

Back to the Future II was filmed back to back with Back to the Future III by director Robert Zemeckis and released in 1989…four years after the the first Back to the Future. This did pose some problems with casting. Crispin Glover did not come back (stand-ins and old footage were used) and Elizabeth Shue replaced Claudia Wells as Jennifer. The movie was met with less positive reviews than the first film but still did amazing in the box office.


The future is now!

Part of the problem with Back to the Future Part II is that it just isn’t as streamlined as Back to the Future. Back to the Future‘s script was perfect and did a lot of fun things with time, within the context of the film. Back to the Future II also did a lot of fun stuff with time (particularly involving the return to 1955), but there were parts in the future and the “alternate” 1985 that seemed a bit wasted. This also negated the first movie a bit in that the future could be repaired and if that was the case, it seems like Marty’s fix in the past wouldn’t have been so important because time could have corrected itself…and the idea of an alternate timeline being formed in the first one really wasn’t developed.

What really works about all the Back to the Future is that they are firmly set in time. The first one is in 1985. That meant when the filmmakers were preparing Part II and Part III, they had to retrofit the costumes etc. to 1985 for the “present day” portions of the movie. Meaning that clothes and stuff were already dated in present day and that is kind of fun in itself.


The self tying shoes are now reality…where’s my damn hoverboard!

Another interesting addition to the Back to the Future storyline is the hoverboard (which also plays an important role in Part III). When the movie came out, it was marketed as a real invention that parent groups were keeping off the market in a documentary around the film’s release. People wrote Mattel and demanded the hoverboard. I actually remember thinking the hoverboard was real and wanted one also. I guess it does go to show how good the effects were for the time.

Back to the Future II is actually my second favorite of the trilogy. People loved Part III, but I had a lot of problems with it. Part II at least kept going even if it felt a little jerky and not as smooth as the original. When Part II and Part III were shot together, it was kind of a new idea and that idea has sense been used a lot. The end of Back to the Future II even has a “coming next summer” promo on most releases. It would have been nice to see the whole trilogy released like this because I had kind of already lost the flow of the first Back to the Future by the time Back to the Future II rolled around.

Related Links:

Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future Part III (1990)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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