We hope you are enjoying The Back To The Future Series! In addition to this final review for the series, FilmMunch is going to join forces with ThatMomentIn and have a lengthy discussion on BTTF via a podcast episode, so stay tuned.
Back To The Future Part 3 (BTTF3) is a wonderful conclusion to the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc. Brown. BTTF focused on George McFly, BTTF2 was centred on Marty McFly, BTTF3 is Doc. Brown’s time to shine. With re-newed appreciation for this final instalment, the ‘wild-western’ journey that this mighty duo take, along with the DeLorean (time machine) is as entertaining as the original. BTTF3 is my second favourite to the trilogy.
The story picks up straight from where it left of in part 2, and this time, takes us back in time to the year 1885. As the years have gone by, I have really become a fan of the western genre. In fact it was the Dollars Trilogy that filled me with enthusiasm to start writing my views and opinions of films. Hence, having the opportunity to revisit BTTF3 with a newborn appreciation for the ‘west’, was really enjoyable. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, scene after scene, BTTF3 provided great moments of nostalgia and even emotion. BTTF3 would have to be the more human story of the trilogy, with it’s cute but meaningful exploration of Doc. Brown and his love interest Clara Clayton, played by Mary Steenburgen.
Watching the scenes where Christopher Lloyd and Mary Steenburgen romance each other are perhaps the more enjoyable moments in this film, even amidst the intense action and special effects. The character development given to the Doc. is most welcome. By this point we are keenly interested in the fate of these characters, and BTTF3 provides a satisfying conclusion in which, yes, we are left wanting more, but we are also left satisfied and content. Interesting to note is that Christopher Lloyd’s very first onscreen kiss was in this film, with Mary Steenburgen, knowing this adds a new level of significance to this cinematic romance.
Although the set design to the 1885 Hill Valley looks predictable and maybe a little, ‘cheap’, the story more than makes up for these shortcomings. It was originally Michael J. Fox’s idea to have them travel to the old west, since he always was fascinated with the idea of acting in a western film. Comedically, Marty’s pseudonym for 1885 is Clint Eastwood, of whom they requested permission, to use his name, of course, and Clint Eastwood found the idea humorous, and obviously, obliged. The Clint Eastwood joke is fitting, because of all the iconic westerns he appeared in. Additionally, there are three saloon old-timers that add weight to the believability of this being a western, Pat Buttram, Harvey Carey Jr. and Dub Taylor who appeared in countless westerns previously.
The performances given by the entire cast are top notch, especially Mad Dog Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson), his energy and ‘bad-ass’ nature really makes us believe that he is a villain. Turns out that Thomas F. Wilson was so dedicated to the role, that he performed the majority of all his stunts. He got so into his performance that he accidentally hung Michael J. Fox, for real! Fox passed out. Christopher Lloyd is also stand out, and not only is his relationship with Clara instantly believable, we get to appreciate more of his friendship with Marty, which is truly touching. In once scene, the two unconsciously switch their expressions of amazement, Doc. says, “this is heavy.” While Marty uses Doc.’s line, “great Scott!” A cleverly written moment to amplify how strong the bond is, that exists between this pair.
Amazingly BTTF3 is able to establish an epic tone, a comedic tone, an action packed adventure, tone, and a romantic tone. Clearly there is something for everyone in this instalment, and could possibly be the more underrated of the films. BTTF3 is the way a trilogy should end, and almost effortlessly we say goodbye. Even after a fresh viewing of the Back To The Future Trilogy, FilmMunch is eager to revisit it again! If you haven’t seen this trilogy, or if you haven’t seen it for a while, there is no better time to watch it, as we celebrate it’s 30 year anniversary! – “your partner in time…”
TRIVIA COOKIES: In the epic ‘train pushing the DeLorean’ sequence, of which George Miller would be proud, for safety’s sake, the DeLorean had the capability to switch off the track at any time. The train that gets spectacularly wrecked was actually a model.
Apparently if you add up all the instances of time travel, it accumulates to a total of 570+ years of time travel.