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Laramie Movie Scope:
Back to the Future II

Back to the Future redux

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 27, 1989 -- The smash hit ``Back to the Future'' has returned as a sequel, ``Back to the Future II'' featuring most of the same characters and situations as the original.

Unfortunately, the story is not as novel or as funny the second time around. It is entertaining, but suffers by comparison. Since ``Back to the Future'' was released in 1985 it has had many imitators such as ``Peggy Sue Got Married.'' The story's power has been diluted.

The sequel utilizes numerous scenes from the original, which further weakens a once fresh story. With VistaGlide motion-controlled cameras, Michael J. Fox, playing Marty McFly, goes back to 1955 and interacts with himself, in the original movie.

The plot is imaginative, using the so-called ``paradox of duplication,'' whereby a time traveler can meet himself, to good effect. The possibilities of manipulating past and future events is also explored extensively in the film. As in the original, the best character in the film is Doc Emmett Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd.

Lea Thompson is also good as Marty's mother in an alternate universe, created by Biff, ably played by Thomas F. Wilson, messing around with the space-time continuum. There are a lot of plot twists leading up to the moment when we are informed where the next sequel, already filmed, will lead us. Notably absent from the original cast of ``Back to the Future'' is Crispen Glover, who played Fox's wonderfully nerdy father in that film. Perhaps Glover was considered too hard to direct, judging by his wacky appearances on the David Letterman show.

It looks like the next sequel will be better than this one was. It takes place in the Old West. In that one, let us hope, they won't reuse a lot of film already shot on this sequel. This film rates a six on a scale of one to 10.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)