If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Starting off immediately after the first film, we find Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Jennifer (Elisabeth Shue) traveling forward in time to the far-off date of 2015. There, Marty buys a sports almanac with the prospects of bringing it back with him and making a fortune, but the Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) of the future gets the same idea and steals the time machine. Marty has to undo his mistake in order to set the past, the present and the future back to normal.
I mentioned in my review of the first Back to the Future how simple the story was, making it easy to understand the flow of time and the way things are being altered. It's to be expected that delving further into this universe would bring about complications, but while this film does try admirably to explain things in their simplest terms, it does get a tad overwhelming at time. By the end of the first movie we had two timelines: The original and the altered. By the end of this film we have no less than five different timelines going on and it does start to feel like a bit much. This movie is also far too long and drawn out, with a little too much unnecessary filler padding it out. And while there are some brilliant payoffs like in its predecessor, there are also a lot of them that either end up anticlimactic or go nowhere at all.
One thing they added to the character of Marty McFly is that he hates being called a chicken, which is explained to us in some incredibly shoddy, heavy exposition. I guess they were trying to develop the character more, but it's not needed and ultimately doesn't really get used very well. That and they keep bringing it up constantly, which just gets annoying after a while. I feel like they really misused Doc Brown as well, having him exist mostly just for exposition and mugging. The mugging is way over the top and doesn't work, at least not for me. I do like some of the things they did with Biff this time around, giving him more age differences and screen time to become a more fleshed out villain. Seeing his plan unfold is interesting and he's more threatening than before.
This movie clearly has a much bigger budget than the first and they use it to its full extent. The future is very intriguing and it's actually shocking in just how accurate some of its predictions and gags are to how things really have turned out. I like that they understood how nostalgia works and were able to rather accurately predict how it would be treated in the future. I find it kind of amusing that one of the major plot elements is the fact that in their prediction of 2015, there are hover boards instead of skate boards and that they seem to be incredibly popular with kids. Meanwhile in reality, we just got a new Spider-Man movie that makes him a skateboarder specifically because it's not considered "cool" anymore.
I feel like this movie's biggest problem is that it's too ambitious. The story is interesting but it just drags along a lot of the time, and the reason for them even going into the future in the first place is really lazy. Why would you go into the future to change something when you're in the past? Why not just change it in the past? Regardless, if you're a fan of the first then there's no reason not to check this one out. If you don't care for the first then this will probably only make things worse. If you've never seen the first, it's pretty much required to have done so in order to get a lot of what's going on here.