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The Next Reel • Season 12 • Series: Back to the Future trilogy • Back to the Future Part II

Back to the Future Part II

“What’s wrong, McFly? Chicken?”

Joining Marty and Doc Again in Back to the Future Part II

The sequels weren’t part of the plan when Robert Zemeckis and team made the first Back to the Future film. With its success, however, it was inevitable for Universal to want to return to the property and build a franchise. so Zemeckis and his co-writer/co-producer Bob Gale decided to make not just one sequel but two and film them back to back. Hence, this trilogy. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our look at the Back to the Future trilogy with the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II.

Here’s a hint at what we talk about.

Right out of the gate, things feel different. They had to re-create the end of the first film with Elisabeth Shue playing Jennifer because Claudia Wells had to drop out. But why does the whole thing feel off? Like… more staged, perhaps? Crispin Glover also didn’t return, and that’s a BIG story. Aside from casting issues, we talk about the script and the ambitions to cover four distinctly different periods in the film. Some of that led to things that worked. Some didn’t.

We like the stuff that worked. The interesting use of the motion control camera technology to put the same actors fluidly into the same shot with themselves. And the complex story is fairly interesting.

But we do have to deal with the over-the-top cartoonish characters, particularly in the future. And the whole ‘chicken’ thing. Not to mention the horrible way Jennifer’s treated. And the way time travel kinda breaks in the film.

There are plenty of issues, the biggest of which may be that it all just feels written. But still, it’s a fun watch. So why do we like it still?

We have a wide-ranging conversation and it’s a great film to discuss so check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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