Just about everyone has weighed in on the accuracy of Back to the Future 2. I know. But when all of pop culture waits 26 years for a single moment in time, it'd be kind of a waste to let it pass by. So here we go!
What the movie got right
- digital cameras (which no one seems to have noticed)
- weather predictions - this appears to be presented as weather control, which we (allegedly) don't have, but I do have a weather app that now tells me exactly when, for example, rain in my area will start and stop, down to the minute
- 80s nostalgia
- crazy clothes/hair - it doesn't look like what we're wearing, obviously, but I imagine someone from 1985 might balk at a girl with a half-shaved head or some idiot with his pants down around his ankles
- a car that costs $39,999.95
- flat-screen TVs
Neither here nor there
- the Cubs winning the World Series. Unfortunately as of this moment they have dropped three games in a row to the Mets in the NLCS (why? because Cubs suck) but they could still come back tonight, win four games straight, and go on to the WS. We'll blame it on the magic of Hollywood
- multi-channel TV. This is an option on some TVs but the majority of people still watch one thing at a time. But the other day I was nonchalantly scrolling through Netflix and it reminded me of this movie...I don't know, for some reason I feel like the two are similar
- the visors Marty's kids were wearing. They were alerted when the phone rang and as to who it was, so you have to wonder what else they were used for. Watching TV? Natch. Maybe listening to music? I would say cruising social media but they, uh, didn't have internet. Anyway, wearing the visors is pretty much like everyone staring down at their smartphones
What the movie got wrong
- flying cars
- sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generators
- the enduring popularity of almanacs (hahahaha)
- power laces, powered clothing
- the abolition of lawyers
- fully automated gas stations (completely skipping the inevitable reality of self-service)
- in the day's newspaper, a town named Wilmington was preparing for 'Queen Diana's Visit.' Awwwwwww :(
- voice-activated everything
-and much, much more
My main gripe
Instead of taking Marty thirty years into the future to impersonate his son, just have him make a freaking time capsule with a note that says 'on Wednesday, 10/21/15, take son camping.' A plot that revolves around changing a future that hasn't even happened yet is...interesting, but not logical. As we learned from the Terminator, 'the future's not set. There's no fate but what we make for ourselves.'
It's not easy to accurately project the future. A creative, imaginative effort should be applauded - just not counted on. To me, the most accurate futuristic films are the ones in which the world looks dirty and unkempt - films like Judge Dredd, Robocop, and the bone-chilling Children of Men. In them, there are plenty of technological advances but humanity is raw and unpredictable, not presented as wearing all white and moving with creepy fluidity, as if advancing into the future means shedding what actually makes us human.
To create a logical depiction of the future, I would focus more on the shifts that we ourselves endure; culturally, economically, socially. (I would say politically but come on - any vision of the future MUST be totalitarian). I would make any fictional tech a part of the woodwork rather than front and center, on display. (The near-perfect movie Her gets this really right) Changes in how we relate to each other; how the norms of today can create the nightmares of tomorrow; whether advancing technology will draw us together or push us apart - that's what the future is really about. The future of us.
Happy Back to the Future day. :)