Everyone dreams of second chances or knowing the future for better or for worst. Those are the reasons Time Travel movies have always captivated audiences. Who wouldn’t want to check out the Dinosaurs or know what’s in store for your life with a glimpse of the future. Maybe you could prevent a life altering event or change a decision that could change your fate. Since there’s no time travel devices created, we have to look to the movies for our time hopping fix. These are ‘The 4’ films that bend the laws of time and amaze audiences.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
He told us he would be back and boy did he mean it. Terminator 2: Judgment Day is one of the best sequels of all time (See The 4: Best Sequels) because it takes the time travel assault to the next level. The original film put forth the idea of killing the opposition via time travel before he or she is created, but T2 uses time travel as defense. When a new liquid metal terminator called the T-1000 is sent to the past to kill a young John Conner, the future resistance sends the original T-800 model to protect him. Another reason T2 makes this list is the idea of “There’s no fate, but what we make for ourselves”. The mission in T2 turns from protection to a prevention mission with the Conner Gang taking out Skynet to prevent the bombs from ever dropping hence stopping Judgment Day. T2 changed the ways movies were made with its cutting edge computer graphics and caused a 14-year-old kid back in Virginia to bite his lip as the T-800 was lowered into vat of molten steel.
Time Bandits (1981)
I know some will say Terry Gilliam’s bleak 12 Monkeys should be on this list and I totally understand their argument. 12 Monkeys is a mind bending mystery which leaves you wondering if James Cole really is crazy or moving through time as his doomsday predictions suggest. That’s part of the reason I left it off the list is time travel verdict isn’t revealed to the end. The other reason is Gilliam’s true time traveling masterpiece is Time Bandits. The film tells the story of a group of dwarves who are low-level employees of the Supreme Being. Sick of creating shrubs, the group steal the map of time with a plan to rob the ages of all its riches. Along the way they pick up a neglected young boy named Kevin who loves history and serves as the crooks guide. The time bandits run into Robin Hood, King Agamemnon and even wind up on the Titanic. The outlaws end up at the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness taking on Evil who wants the Map of Time for himself. Time Bandits is a beautiful non stop time hopping spectacle with a final scene that ends with the Supreme Being simply rolling up the map of time. A great last shot that ended up on ‘The 4: Final Scenes‘ as well.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
This was a tough one for me. I understand this film is far from perfect, but there’s too much of the 1980s wired into my DNA for Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to not be on this list. I even consulted childhood friend Danny McBride and my ‘The 4’ collaborative soul mate Drew Garabo (Drew Garabo Live 3pm – 7pm on 102.5 The Bone) on this selection. Both said Bill and Ted has to be on this list and you know what? They’re right! Who doesn’t want to see two wannabe rock star slackers travel through time via phone booth to pass a final exam. Along the way the Wyld Stallyins snatch up Billy the Kid, Socrates, and many other historical figures as consultants on their project. We get to see the cultural clash on both ends with Bill and Ted goofing off in the past and our historical players experiencing life In 1988. Plus we get to see a scene stealing Napoleon in 1980’s San Dimas run amok and fitting right in with the times. Ziggy Piggy Ziggy Piggy!
Back to the Future (1985)
The hands down number one on this list is Back to the Future. This isn’t the first time Back to the Future has found its way onto ‘The 4’ making appearances on ‘Sacred Movies Part 2‘ and ‘Final Scenes‘. This movie made us all think if we drove 88mph we would go back in time and what equals 1.21 Gigawatts. That’s a bolt of lightning for you novices. Plus every DeLorean is now a time machine. The time travel aspect also keeps Back to the Future preserved as a classic with Robert Zemekis capturing the vibe of the 1950s and 1980s creating a perfect culture clash with Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) trying to make sure his parents fall in love. Throw in Biff, some comical insestual lust and one of the most satisfying movie endings ever makes Back to the Future the ultimate time travel movie. There’s a reason this movie hasn’t even been discussed for the remake treatment. We don’t need a second chance. It was perfect the first time.