4 Ways We're Failing to Live Up to 'Back to the Future 2'


As you may remember, the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II saw Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to the distant year of 2015, a year filthy with cyborgs and self-lacing sneakers. And a few days ago, Nike announced that they will market said shoes next year, which is smashing news for those of you who have yet to figure out Velcro.

But how far along are the other technological marvels as depicted in Back to the Future Part II's 2015? Well, a scan of the latest headlines is not heartening. If the following innovations don't come to pass in the next 300 days, we'll have to seriously rethink our company policy that all movies are nonfiction.


Hoverboards are the best part of the Back to the Future films, for the sole reason that they're so much fun, they'll erase the trauma of being sexually propositioned by one's own mother days earlier.

4 Ways We're Failing to Live Up to 'Back to the Future 2'
Universal Studios

Between incest, bestiality, and Tom Cruise, the '80s were a weird time for Lea Thompson.

And even though Mattel sucks at inventing hoverboards, French researchers have made some headway with the Mag Surf (which requires a liquid nitrogen-powered superconductor and a magnetized track). More consumer-friendly is the Onewheel, a Kickstarter-funded conveyance that resembles the end result of a Goldschlager-fueled evening between a skateboard and an electric unicycle.

4 Ways We're Failing to Live Up to 'Back to the Future 2'

They basically did this to a Segway.

The Onewheel cites the hoverboard as an inspiration, but it doesn't levitate, which really is our yardstick to gauge all incipient technology. (Genetically modified crops too: Don't tell us you've improved the lima bean unless that shit can fly straight into our damn mouths.)

Jaws 19

In Back to the Future Part II, 15 new Jaws films had been released between 1987 and 2015. This is surprising, as the last Jaws film -- Jaws: The Revenge -- was far from auspicious, what with its roaring shark and star Michael Caine admitting that he never watched it. ("I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.")

Universal Studios

Above: Two things audiences won't be watching next year.

Yes, Jaws: The Revenge was so inept that it somehow killed a franchise that rested on the simple joys of a shark eating people, but one fan refuses to accept this. The Jaws 19 Challenge asks independent filmmakers to direct 15 more feature-length Jaws sequels in an effort to preserve the space-time continuum. So if you ever thought that Jaws would've been a better film if the shark was instead a bicycle or an angry broom, now's the time to stick it to that Steven Spielberg dude.

Flying Cars

According to Back to the Future Part II, not only will cars in 2015 be able to fly, but citizens can easily "hover-convert" their older cars, meaning you should be able to skim Earth's ionosphere in your 1999 Toyota Tercel by Labor Day.

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Universal Studios

Finally cabbies, drunks, and the elderly will be able to commit vehicular manslaughter on a three-dimensional axis.

Unfortunately, the auto industry's got its work cut out. The closest we have to a market-ready flying car is the yet-to-be-released Terrafugia Transition, which resembles the doomed flying cars of yesteryear. But instead of just crashing, the Terrafugia can drive, fly, and act as a studio apartment (because chances are you can't afford to casually blow $279,000 on it).

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"It's fueled by a combination of premium unleaded and fiscal regret."

It's cool, but come on -- the prospect of an unstable elderly man going for long, secretive rides with a teenager from a broken home is even more dubious if he's tooling around in this contraption.

Mr. Fusion

Back to the Future would've been a much darker franchise if Doc and Marty had to steal plutonium from Libyan terrorists every time they wanted to embark on a time-traveling romp. That's why the second film introduced Mr. Fusion, a tiny nuclear fusion reactor that converts garbage into power, not unlike Michael Bay.

4 Ways We're Failing to Live Up to 'Back to the Future 2'
Universal Studios

"One Pearl Harbor DVD can power this baby for five trips. Ten if it's Blu-ray."

The good news is that recent experiments have demonstrated that nuclear fusion reactions are possible in laboratory settings. The bad news? In order to facilitate such a reaction, 2014's scientists needed 192 lasers and a building large enough to hold three football fields. So yeah, your Tercel's definitely going to fall out of the sky if science doesn't get its shit together fast.

J.M. McNab writes and podcasts for Rewatchability.com. You can also find Rewatchability on Twitter.

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