Hello, McFly? I remember it so well. I was barely out of high school. It became the feel-good hit of the summer. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Back to the Future raked in piles of cash and made Michael J. Fox a household name.
This is one movie I’d love to spoil—but I won’t. If you’ve seen Back to the Future then you’ll know how wonderful a film it is. Shot in the mid-1980s, the flick features a time machine, plutonium, terrorists and a smart story wrapped in a catchy tune by Huey Lewis and the News called Back In Time.
Michael J. Fox plays a kid who travels back in time to save his best friend’s life. The story takes a comedic turn when he actually spends a good chunk of it playing matchmaker to his teenage parents. Through Marty’s eyes, the audience enjoys the treat of working through multiple plot connections between timelines and characters. What happens in the past does not stay in the past.
What I find fascinating about the film is how it possesses the ability to stir the imagination with a simple story that grows more complex by the minute. I call it the mushroom effect. Like a mushroom cloud that begins with a small impact so does this story propel the viewer into a world of hilarity. If you’ve seen a rendition of The Barber of Seville, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The film also deals with time in an interesting way. The theory that someone could go back in time is not new. Einstein proved time is relative. We are now receiving images of supernovas that have long since disappeared from the universe all because their light has finally reached our telescopes after nine billion years. When we look into the sky, we’re looking at a snapshot back in time. The Back to the Future series presents the idea of parallel universes based on a changed time continuum. Star Trek deals with the same idea, but I digress.
Marty McFly’s special nervous way about him makes him the ideal candidate to suffer through the nonsense of a time breach. His witty comebacks allow for unexpected results where they insult the class bully, but also attract the wrong kind of female attention. His love for music also brings a new twist to the theme of who really invented Rock and Roll. If anyone needs to relax, it’s Marty. He expends enough energy on the screen to power several nuclear power plants.
But overall, when picking my favorite Top 10 movie characters, I would choose Marty. No matter how bad a situation gets, he’ll always end up making me laugh.
Have you seen Back to the Future? Have you seen it more than once? What makes it so magical?