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Back to the Future Part III

Updated: Oct 20, 2023


For me, the best film by a gigawat in Robert Zemeckis' time travel trilogy is BACK TO THE FUTURE III. The original set the tone brilliantly, Part 2 was a confused mess for most of its running time and Part 3 brings all the pieces together for a fantastic sci-fi/traditional western mash-up.

It seems the Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd in his best performance as the mad scientist, adding some quiet romance to the mix) has got sideways with an 1800's bad guy, Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen, Biff's old west relative.

Marty (Michael J.Fox) must go back in time to save Doc from his fate, or the future will never happen.

This gives Zemeckis and his great cast the chance to present a full blown Western, complete with a love interest for Doc in the person of new schoolteacher Clara, perfectly played by Mary Steenburgen.

From a town dance that's staged perfectly (look for ZZ Top in a surprising performance), Marty deciding his name in the 1800's is Clint Eastwood, to a fantastic conclusion in which Doc and Marty must use a locomotive to get that famed Delorean up to speed, its pure fun and loaded with laughs.

Fox makes it all look deceivingly easy as Marty, he's excellent.

The music score by Alan Silvestri is almost constant and one of his best, adding to the old west setting and the suspense.

It's great to see classic Western actors Dub Taylor (The Wild Bunch, The Getaway), Pat Buttram (Mr Haney on "Green Acres") and Harry Carey Jr (Tombstone, The Searchers) as old cowboys in the saloon, laughing it up at Doc's tales of the future.

That's just one of many deft touches Zemeckis brings together for this excellent closing chapter.

Talk about a perfect ending...

Part Three gets an A+.

(Roads? We don't need roads where we're going......)

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