Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Full marks for concept, which isn't used as well as in Back To The Future, although the clueless teenage thing feels exactly right.

Zak (Jesse Bradford) has a science teacher for a dad. He's a bit of a disappointment on the student front, as he'd rather be practicing tricks on his bike than learning the theory of relativity. Also, he has his eye on Francesca (Paula Garces), a consulate's daughter, whose new at school.

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Zak's dad (Robin Thomas) is working on a time travel invention. Well, it's not exactly that. They call it hypertime and when you press a couple of buttons on a special watch, you and anyone in contact with you, operates at superspeed, which means that everything else is momentarily frozen like a statue.

During this period, you can do whatever you like, steal the crown jewels, perhaps, because you're moving so fast you can't be seen. As a weapon of war it would be devastating, which is why the FBI want to close down the lab where final modifications are being tested.

The bad guys are the businessmen, financing the the experiment, who kidnap Zak's dad to complete the trials before the Feds come back with heavy artillery. The good guys are Zak and his friends, who use the power of the watch to infiltrate the laboratory building.

What's good about this is Bradford's ability to convey that scary feeling of not knowing what to do next. Unlike the Spy Kids, who take the initiative and carry out plans of incredible daring, Zak's all over the place. He needs a girl to show him the way and he has one, which is not only true to life, but a bit of a boy's nightmare.

As a teen adventure yarn, with dazzling special effects - they get better and better, it's such a treat, all this magic - you could do a whole lot worse.

Reviewed on: 09 Oct 2002
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Science teacher's son in time speed travel thriller, as teenagers attempt to rescue kidnapped boffin.
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Director: Jonathan Frakes

Writer: Rob Hedden, J David Stem, David N Weiss

Starring: Jesse Bradford, French Stewart, Paula Garcés, Michael Biehn, Robin Thomas, Garikayi Mutambirwa, Julia Sweeney, Lindze Letherman, Jason Winston George, Linda Kim, Ken Jenkins

Year: 2002

Runtime: 94 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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Back To The Future