BACK TO THE FUTURE 3 (1990) - PG
Time traveling teenager, Marty McFly, goes back
in time, to 1885, in order to prevent Doc Brown's death at the hands
of a bullying, bad guy, named Tanner.
This film features action, FX, and romance. The romance between
Christopher Lloyd and Mary Steenburgen (Time After Time) is the highlight
of the movie. An unforgetable scene involves a train pushing the Delorean
up to speed, as both head down the tracks toward a gaping canyon.
The FX of a flying, time traveling train are amazing!
The cast includes: Michael
J. Fox, Christopher
F. Wilson, Mary
Steenburgen, and Richard
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis.
To Doc Brown's surprise, Marty McFly returns, to 1955, almost
immediately after leaving. After finding an old tombstone with
Brown's name on it, Marty takes the Delorean time machine back,
to 1885, his plan being to save Doc Brown.
He soon encounters Brown, who is working as the local blacksmith.
And Brown soon meets the new school teacher, falling in love with
her immediately. Brown splits his time between romancing the school
teacher, and trying to figure out how to propel Marty and himself
back to the future.
Eventually, Marty defeats an evil hombre, named Tanner, saving
Brown's life. As the Delorean is being pushed by a train at high
speed, Brown chooses, at the last minute, to stay back in time
with his sweetheart, as Marty flies back in the time car, solo,
When BACK TO THE FUTURE 3 first hit the theatres, Universal Studios
used an ad campaign that stressed that they'd saved the best for
last. Strangely enough, in this era of "untruth" in
advertising, I think they were right!
I'm one of those Sci-Fi fans who liked "Back to the Future,"
but felt "Back to the Future 2" was an overly hectic,
meaningless look at an ugly future, with the great flying car
scenes, with the Delorean atomic time machine, offering the only
bright moments. With BACK TO THE FUTURE 3, on the other hand,
Producer, Steven Spielberg, and Director, Robert Zemeckis (with
Co-Writer, Bob Gale) have delivered a tasty time travel/Western/romance,
that neatly ties up all the loose endings, left by the first two
BACK TO THE FUTURE 3 begins, in 1955, immediately after Doc Brown
(Christopher Lloyd) at his most endearing, sends Marty (eternal
teenager Michael J. Fox) back to the future at the end of "Future
1". Almost immediately, Marty reappears, telling a startled
Brown that he's just come back from the future. Needless to say,
Brown is skeptical at first.
Eventually, using Brown's own letter from the Old West, received
by Marty at the end of "Future 2", Marty is able to
convince Brown he's on the level. Soon, they find an old headstone
with Doc Brown's name on it, the death date one week after he
wrote the letter Marty received. Using information contained in
Brown's 1885 letter, and despite Doc's written command, Marty
and Brown retrieve, (with the help of dynamite), the Delorean
from it's storage spot, in a long defunct mine. Soon Marty is
racing back to 1885, his mission being to save Doc's life.
Once back in the Old West, the real fun begins. Much of the real
charm of BACK TO THE FUTURE 3 has nothing to do with Marty's breathless
"Save the Doc" mission. Rather, it is Doc Brown's romance
with the pretty, new school teacher, played by the perfectly cast,
Mary Steenburgen, that dominates the picture. Steenburgen is one
of the most romantic of contemporary actresses, as she's proven
in such diverse films as, "Melvin and Howard" and, "Time
After Time". There is something irresistible about the love
connection between these two Jules Verne nuts.
The film is weakest in Fox's impersonation of his Old West ancestor.
Let's just say that Fox's strengths do not include character acting,
not yet anyway.
Marty's use of the name, "Clint Eastwood," as his Old
West handle is a nice touch. It's also the set-up for a cute visual
joke, that pays off at the film's end.
This film has a great message. When Doc Brown (Lloyd) says, "Your
future is whatever you make of it", the viewer can't help
The ILM special effects are as good as they get, particularly
at the climax, as the Delorean is pushed at high speed by a train,
with Marty, Brown, and the school marm aboard, heading at high
speed towards an uncompleted bridge over a gaping canyon. This
is my favorite scene.
BACK TO THE FUTURE 3 should be highly viewable for most Sci-Fi
viewers. This is pulse pounding, high stakes, Sci-Fi adventure
at its best!
BEST BETS: BACK
TO THE FUTURE and TIME AFTER TIME.