Today Marty McFly showed up in his hometown. He’s probably not staring down a 3-D projection of Jaws. Instead, the pedestrians around him are staring down at their smartphones. The only good thing about real-life 2015 is that no one dresses like they do in the movie version, which is sort of a “we’re in the 80s so here’s the 80’s equivalent of 2015” look.
I like Back to the Future a lot, by the way. It will be more fun to do this as a result.
Let’s over-analyze. First, the bully group. I appreciated the ethnic balance, as the blond WWII-era bully gets a little old. In the words of Bart Simpson, “Blond guys aren’t stupid, they’re evil. Like in “The Karate Kid” and “World War II.” This is a quote which I appreciate both as a blond male and someone who has witnessed the behavior of fellow blond males. It’s not a “jock” evil such as the one Biff demonstrates – it’s something much more frightening. But more on that another time. Back to the ethnic diversity. Throwing in the Asian friend helps but it’s worrisome that he has to sport cheesy calligraphic sweats. At least there was effort.
Under closer scrutiny, this crony has a hover-board that may take its design inspiration from the WW2 Japanese flag. So they went a little overboard on the WW2 villain schtick. The kid on the left has a strange Mayan face-paint thing happening and it’s not making him look scary, just kind of stupid. Or it’s supposed to look like a motherboard. Whatever. Who’s the girl? Biff/Jiff?’s girlfriend? A stepsister? What’s her name – Fliff? Tiff? These four are despicable and it’s a lot of fun. However, I imagine McFly is not being chased whimsically across a decorative lake by these four. His day in 2015 probably looks like this:
But back to The Future. In the second installment, which chronicles Marty’s arrival today, we explore Biff. He’s a very dark character, way darker than necessary, which is kind of hilarious. He morphs into a maniac in the middle of a family adventure movie. His various incarnations could be said to represent cultural eras.
In the 50s, teenage Biff is embarrassed to live with his grandma. But he’s more of a playful schoolyard bully mocking the dorky papa McFly (at least until the “Get your damn hands off her!” scene). It’s in the second installment that he becomes much less radio-show villain and much more sociopath, attempting to run Marty down in a hoverboard vs. car chase scene in a tunnel that makes the hair on your neck stand up.
In the 50s scenes of BTTF2 (I wanted to save you time and abbreviate “Back to the Future 2”) Biff bounces back and forth between high school jerk and raving lunatic, which may only be intended to serve the plot. A prime example of this is the following scene:
Good stuff! And fun for the kids. But wait –
Next we see a middle-aged fat Biff in the alternate 1985 Marty accidentally goes back to, in which Biff has shot his father and married his mother. This makes Biff Marty’s father. Interesting that they didn’t give Michael J. Fox a sudden physical transformation – bigger bone structure and a boorish personality perhaps, or at least a mullet and a trucker hat. This is pretty absurd stuff, and so the new Biff is absurdly wicked. He forces Marty’s mom to get breast implants, he has another woman sloshing around with them in his hot tub…his decor is tacky, hideous drug lord.
And the old west Biff-cestor is a classic moustache-twirler. So we see Biff’s wickedness serving a variety of cultural moods from the naivety of the 50s (with the exception of one scene) to a strange 80s drug-fueled kingpin and then a crazy old-west stacheman.
Or it’s possible none of that is true, which is the fun of over-analysis!
Now let’s over-analyze Marty McFly in true Southern Boulevard fashion. Not only is he literally the man, he’s the kind of guy that you looked up to in high-school because he somehow managed to come out on top without being a jerk or ever actually coming out on top, if that makes any sense. Not sure it does. Marty’s character is the one constant throughout the movie, supplying the audience with an extension of themselves that actually reacts to the various insane situations he is found in with a crazed “DOC!?!?! DOC!?!?”
The character of Doc is a pretty weird cat to say the least. However, his quick wits save Marty with many a well-placed Delorean chin-swat. In the alternate timeline ruled by Biff, he gets institutionalized which makes sense because everything is now under the control of a man who says “Make like a tree and get out of here” without even a trace of irony.
Anyway, hope Marty finds his way back ok.
Have a great rest of your day, and if a strange kid comes back here asking about a book…you know what to do.