During my research, I found out parts II and III of BTTF were created and shot one right after the other. Many people are of the opinion that this was the worst movie in the trilogy, and I’m inclined to agree. The problem is, I’ve never been keen on Westerns or films set in the Old West, so I’m not sure how objective my judgement is.
Also, I never watch TV or films during the day. It’s just not a luxury I have the time or patience for, so it feels weird to be sitting on my couch, writing a review with the sun shining through my windows. Watching a Sci-fi film didn’t feel as adventurous and thrilling as it would have felt at night, but I have to wake up at 4:00 tomorrow morning to go to the airport, so this was my only chance. Taking all of these factors into account, I’ll write as objectively as possible.
BTTF III is just as well written, acted, directed and produced as I and II, but the presentation is a little choppy. The story isn’t as complicated as II, which was a little disappointing. There aren’t any gaps in the timeline, but at the beginning, I didn’t understand how Doc ended up in 1885. Maybe that was when I got up to pour myself a cup of coffee. If I and II were smooth as silk, III was more like a cotton-poly blend.
In BTTF III, 1955-Marty McFly discovers that Dr. Emmett Brown is trapped in the year 1885, and “Doc” has written a letter in 1885 for the future Marty and Doc to find, explaining the situation. As Doc and Marty are repairing the damaged time-machinge Delorean, Marty sees Doc’s tombstone, and discovers that Doc will be dead in six days. Once again, it’s Doc and Marty to the rescue.
Marty goes back to the year 1885 so try and save Doc from his future-murderer, a relative of Biff’s named Buford Tannen. Marty arrives in the middle of a cowboys-and-indians style fight and the Delorean is damged beyond immediate repair, so Marty hides the car in a cave. As he walks to his future home, Hill Valley, Marty runs into Seamus and Maggie McFly, who are his ancestors, and tells them his name is Clint Eastwood. The McFly ancestors are played by Michael J Fox and Lea Thompson.
There’s no way to repair or fuel the Delorean in 1885, so Doc works up a plan to get the car in front of a train to push it up to 88 mph. While exploring the railroad tracks, Doc and Marty see a runaway carriage. They abandon their explorations to stop the carriage, and Doc falls in love with its passenger, a school teacher named Clara (played by the lovely Mary Steenburgen.)
The love story between Doc and Clara is rocky and precious. When Doc tells Clara that he and Marty are time travelers, she “breaks up” with him, but of course in the end they end up back together, and everyone returns to the appropriate time. Doc and Clara depart in a train, along with their two children (one of whom makes obscene hand gestures toward the end), and Marty goes back to 1985 via the time machine. Everyone lives happiily ever after.
There were futuristic gadgets in BTTF III, but not as many, because most of the film is set in 1885. I missed the gadgets. Also, this film seemed to move a little slower than the first two. The characters weren’t as fresh. The producers capitalized on the fact that the audience had fallen in love with the characters, and didn’t provide quite as much entertainment. There was less action, and more emotional interplay between the main characters, with the supporting characters (such as Lea Thompson’s dual role as Lorraine McFly and Maggie McFly) fading into the background.
All in all, this film was satisfying. Although I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I enjoyed BTTF I and II, it was a good way to end the trilogy. I recommend that if you watch the first two, you shouldn’t skip out on the third for fear of disappointment, as I’ve heard and read some people do. Go ahead and watch it. Who knows? It might move you like it did the woman in this Youtube video: