Thursday, March 14, 2013

MR Back to the Future 3

And it's time for one last trip through time.

Indians! Cowboys! Flying Trains! The ZZTop! And even bears!

Gotta get back in time? Check these previous reviews below!

Movie: Back to the Future Part III
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Release date 1990
Genre Science-fiction/comedy/western/adventure
Country USA

Doc and Marty are back!

Due to the immense unexpected success of the very first film, Universal Studios and Steven Spielberg really wanted to see some more Back To The Future films.
So naturally, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale came back for a sequel Back to the Future Part II.... and Back to the Future Part III!

The shooting of this 3rd episode took place back to back with the second one. That means while the post-production was being handled, Zemeckis left it aside to the rest of the crew to focus on this last film right away. (something he has gone on record to say he sort of regretted, not giving more attention to Part 2)

The idea sort of came from Michael J. Fox actually.
After the reception of the first one, he was asked by Zemeckis what period he would have liked to visit, and Fox apparently said the old west. Shooting a period piece with cowboys and all, something he had never been given the chance to do.
Bob Gale loved the idea, and mixing it with science-fiction, it was original enough if they were able to pull it off, but they kept it for the final 3rd film.

The story takes place directly after BTTF2.
Doctor Emmet Brown was struck by lightning when he was in the DeLorean and was sent back accidentally in the year 1885.
Marty McFly was left alone, stranded in 1955.
After finding back the 1950s Doc to help him go back to his own time and uncover the old 100 years old DeLorean in a cave, they discover the future-Doc in the 1880s got shot.
It was apparently a certain Buford Tannen who killed Doc over a matter of 80 dollars! Marty decides to rescue Doc before setting home.

But once he's back in time, things get complicated.
Between "Mad Dog" Tannen and Doc's new love interest Clara Clayton, Marty has a lot to juggle with before setting things right for their departure.

That is, if they still have a working time machine...

This time the film is more straightforward than the second one.
For most of the film it sort of is a modern day (for 1990) western film with bits of science fiction here and there.
The thing that still carries the film is Marty and Doc's friendship, here more than ever. Seeing them struggle in another time period.
While showing old west ancestors and the Hill Valley of old.

This third movie really is Doc's turn to shine, he gets a lot of screentime and character development.
I really liked his fascination with Jules Verne. It builds more of the mythology around the characters.

This film uses a lot of actual locations compared to the others.
Including the famous Monument Valley and an abandoned heritage line for the final act's train scene.

Most of the cast of the second film came  back for the final installment.
Everyone's got at least a little scene to shine through.
Thomas F. Wilson and Lea Thompson got to play different characters, but they really put some great performances. Tom Wilson even got a coach to help him play a pretty believable cowboy and dud akk if his stunts.
New to the series is Mary Steenburgen as Clara. She actually already played Christopher Lloyd's love interest in another western Goin' South.

The cast got a great chemistry interacting with each other.

The film features some random "music" cameos.
The most notable one being the ZZ Top playing a band at the Hill Valley Town Festival. They also did a rock interpretation of that song "Doubleback" for the promotion of the film.
They join Flea, the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers who comes back from Part 2 in a minor role.

It's the last one, so there's a lot of jokes playing on past situations, repetitions, etc.
I love that lil' scene in which Doc and Marty exchange catchphrases. Marty finally get to say "Great Scott!" to which Doc answers "Yeah this is heavy..." Classic BTTF moment.

This film sees the story coming to an end, coming full circle.
Our heroes went through a lot of character development in three films. Marty and Doc mean a lot to each other and they aren't afraid of messing with time and the paradoxes that might come from it for each other. (Doc has all these rules about time travel, yet he did come back to Marty in Part 2 to change events in history)

The series can also be seen as a whole from a whole different angle.
There's an entire "free will vs. predetermination" theme that you could explore from all these past ancestors in the McFly or Tannen family. The Tannen being constantly on the wrong side of things.

Plus it does end on a flying train, what's not to like about it?


Overall, a fantastic end to what is in my eyes one of the best if not THE best cinematographic trilogy ever made.

BTTF3 was generally better received than Part 2 at the time. Though nowadays some tend to dismiss it.
Perhaps due to audiences losing interest in westerns.
If for one absolutely love it.
It perfectly blend these very different genres that are westerns with scifi comedies. And that was what I loved about the original, being a 1950s period piece with a time travel twist.

Zemeckis actually thought about making a sequel in the 90s despite the very definitive ending.
Bob Gale had some ideas for where things could go from here...but alas, that is also about the time when Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
And they couldn't imagine Back to the Future without him, so they quickly abandoned all these thoughts.

The End.

I give it:
2.5 / 3 UFOs!

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