Photo courtesy of Grace Parks
Right now, I’m sure many people would love to hop into a time machine and go back to before this pandemic started, or skip forward to when it ends. The technology for that has unfortunately not been invented yet, at least not in real life.
In the 1980s film “Back to the Future,” Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) lives out the dream of time travel. McFly is a California teenager who just happens to be close friends with a mad scientist, “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd). Brown is an avid inventor who stumbles upon an idea that will make time travel possible.
“Back to the Future” was directed by Robert Zemeckis, who is the director of other classics such as “Forrest Gump” and “The Polar Express.” Unlike those movies, this one has a sci-fi kick that’s paired excellently with comedy. Depending on your age, this movie is either a nostalgic throwback or a glimpse at life in the 80s.
McFly lives a pretty average life in 1985, despite his somewhat dysfunctional family. All that changes when Brown calls him in the middle of the night to show him what he’s invented: a working time machine built into a DeLorean.
A disruption causes McFly to involuntarily drive the machine 30 years back in time, where a number of unlucky interactions with McFly’s teenage parents risk the existence of McFly himself. While playing cupid, he has to locate the 1955 version of Brown and convince him to help McFly get back to his time.
I think that this movie was ahead of its time regarding CGI and the storyline. Several elements that could have looked obviously fake were pretty realistic. The time machine disappears in a flash, leaving a cloud of smoke and a trail of fire. Lightning strikes a clock tower and travels through a wire, crackling with electricity.
To make it even better, the humorous, riveting plot makes it hard to take your eyes off the screen. One second you’re laughing at McFly telling his parents not to get mad at their future kid’s mistakes, and the next you’re gripping the edge of your seat, unsure if Brown’s plan will work and McFly will make it back to ‘85.
If you’re wondering why I’m just now recommending a movie that came out 18 years before I was born, it’s because Netflix just added it to its selection, along with “Back to the Future II”. Now all three movies in the saga are available for binging. In my opinion, the first one is the best one, but I can never watch it without watching the second and third as soon as possible.
Whether you’ve seen any of them before or not, I highly suggest pressing pause on reality to strap in and travel through time with Doc Brown and Marty McFly.