This "ouch I can't believe they did that" clip showcases everything that's wrong with Back To the Future 2. It's a shot-for-shot reprise of a sequence from the first movie, where Michael J. Fox gets away from some bullies. Except this time, he uses a "hoverboard" and hitches a ride with a flying car. In other words, the future looks just like the past, except with a little pixie dust. That's why the sequel's future isn't as thrilling as the original's past.
A major problem with this version of 2015, of course, is that the technology is too unrealistic for just 30 years ahead. Besides the flying skateboard, there are hand-controlled doorways, self-fitting clothing and weather control, notes cranky blogger Kevin D. Hendricks. It's a common failing in media science fiction: depicting Mars colonies and levitation in the near future.
But BTTF2's real sin is lack of daring. The first two BTTF movies are all about culture shock, within one generation either way. In the first movie, Marty travels back to the 1950s. And it's so foreign he practically dies of culture shock. Not just the primitive technology, but the bizarre courtship rituals and general lack of guitar-shredding and skatepunking. So when BTTF 2 goes one generation in the opposite direction, it ought to deliver the same level of shock.
Instead, he spends a lot of time in a 1980s-themed cafe, and all the kids' fashions seem to be based on 80s nostalgia. All of the new technology has product-placement logos like "Mattel" and "Nike" prominently displayed. It's like the Jetsons, where 1960s cliches become futuristic just because you add "space" to them, like "space-napalm" or whatever. Another way the movie signals its futuristic-ness is to have fax machines everywhere, says Hendricks. Because, you know, fax machines are teh future.
If Marty McFly actually came forward in time and visited 2008, let alone 2015, his skatepunk ass would be freaked. The Internet, with its wealth of bizarre porn, would be the flipside of the 1950s and its uptight obsession with "going steady." Rampaging hustlers, furries and leather daddies on every street corner... well, maybe that's just my neighborhood. Not to mention our catastrophic climate change and terrorism obsession. BTTF2's future shock doesn't go far enough. [monkeyouttanowhere]