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Empire's 50 Greatest Movie Sequels | The follow-ups that achieve greatness in their own right

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Back To The Future Part II
DIRECTED BY ROBERT ZEMECKIS
RELEASED: 1989

Why's it so good? Much-maligned when it came out in 1990, this first of a two-sequel salvo that fed directly into the Western-themed Part III has revealed its true brilliance with age. As Marty McFly zips forward to 2015, then back to a hideous alternate 1985 and finally 1955, where he must avoid his old self, director Robert Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale construct an ingeniously-plotted film that ties into, and toys, with the touchstones of the first film. We're still not sure about Michael J. Fox playing his own daughter, though.

Back To The Future Part II Back To The Future Part II
How does it stack up to the original? No, but it's a very different movie. Where the first was innocent and sprightly, this one is - yes, we're going to use that word - darker and more cynical. As a piece of plotting and scripting, it's genius-level, although we don't quite connect with the characters the way that we did in the original.

Glaring error: The idea that, by 2015, we'd have floating skateboards and Max Spielberg would have directed Jaws 19 - in 3D. Well, he does have six years left.


GAP BETWEEN SEQUEL AND ORIGINAL: 52 MONTHS


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