Saturday, December 12, 2009

Back to the Future Part III

Back to the Future Part III; Science-fiction western comedy, USA, 1990; D: Robert Zemeckis, S: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson, Elisabeth Shue, James Tolkan, Lea Thompson

After the previous tumultuous events, Marty is again stuck in 1955, meeting Doc Brown again. Since Brown from the future was sent back in 1885, Marty and Brown from 1955 read his letter and discover he managed to hide the time machine in an abandoned cave. But then they discover Brown's tombstone, stating he died in 1885. In order to rescue him, Marty again travels back in time, to 1885. The wild west really is tough and he finds out Brown there works as a blacksmith, but the outlaw Tannen has a grouch against him. Brown also meets teacher Clara and they fall in love. Since the car is out of fuel, Brown arranges for a locomotive to push the car to the 88 miles per hour and transport Marty back in the present, while he stays with Clara.

The third and final part of the "Back to the Future" trilogy is considered better than part II, but still weaker than part I. In an unusual turn, Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter Bob Gale took the storyline in a direction that's as far away from the original one as it could be when they placed it into the Wild West of 1885, though the film is so fluent, tight, dynamic and powerfully paced that it actually seems natural. A large credit for such a positive result goes to some irresistible jokes (one of the rarely mentioned funny lines is right after the two protagonists find the time machine in the cave and Brown asks himself: "Since I'm in 1885, maybe they mention me in the history books now!"), many of which spoof the western cliches, like when Marty introduces himself to the cowboy outlaws as 'Clint Eastwood'. Michael J. Fox is again in superb shape as the main hero, whereas charming Mary Steenburgen is a refreshing addition to the crew. The finale is a blast. As a whole, part III is a dignified conclusion to the trilogy that posed some amusing philosophical questions about chance and destiny, and in doing so it even turned out wise towards the end.


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