Back In Time: Review

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Back In Time: Review

To be honest, I seem to be one of the few film fans whose imagination was not captured by Back to the Future. I saw the films on Sunday evenings as a child, but unlike with Star Wars and the Indiana Jones adventures, I’ve never been inspired to revisit the trilogy since the mid-90s. So I was hoping that Jason Aron’s feature-length documentary about the movie might remind me of some of the magic I may have missed.

Purporting to explore the cultural impact of Back to the Future, Back in Time collects two years’ worth of interviews with cast and crew – including Robert Zemeckis, Michael J Fox, and Steven Spielberg – alongside items on the hardcore fans of the film, and even footage from Secret Cinema’s immersive experience event from 2014. We’re introduced to a few guys with custom converted DeLoreans, a cosplaying covers band, and one fellow that constructed a Back to the Future-themed crazy-golf course in his back garden.

Unfortunately, the whole film falls somewhat flat. It lacks much behind-the-scenes drama and insight, fails to explore any cultural or historical context, and is instead content to heap on gushing praise with fanatical fervour, but little flair. A far cry from the nostalgic fun of Zemeckis’ iconic flick, Back in Time is dull, repetitive, and shallow. While it’s hard to deny that Back to the Future truly has resonated through time, this documentary fails to investigate why, beyond shouting ‘Back to the Future is awesome!’ for 95 minutes.

With so little weight or merit as its own feature film, this documentary feels more like an extra on a special edition DVD and Blu-Ray re-release of the original movie. And sadly, it did not motivate me to go back to the future.

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