In the final chapter of this franchise, Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) must travel back 70 years to rescue Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) from the dangers of the Wild West. During this adventure, the Delorean breaks down thus leaving both Marty and Doc Brown stuck in the Wild West. Our dynamic duo must utilize the resources around them to return to their correct era. Marty must also disentangle a love struck Doc Brown from a local school teacher and fight off the notorious gunslingers, most notably Bufford ”Mad Dog” Tannen (Thomas F Wilson).
Back to the Future Part III is by far the least competitive entry in this franchise. I say this due to my own personal distaste for Western films. This movie has all the tropes of a Western movie; the cowboys, the horses, the saloon where men go to drench their sorrows in alcohol, the fancy old locomotives. In my view, nothing “new” has been added to this genre since its inception into cinema, making films of this genre very predictable.
One of the most prominent story arcs that this film has to offer is the romance between Doc Brown and Clara Clayton, the latter of whom was played by Mary Steenburgen. I found this aspect of the film sometimes excruciating to watch. On one hand, I appreciate the fact that the writers attempted to add a little more soul to the character of Doc Brown by introducing a love interest. But the way this was handled was way too cringeworthy. I’ve seen such a scenario play out a thousand times before in a number of different movies.
The areas in which this film delivers include its ending and performances. The film has a good message at the end; ”The future isn’t written for you. Only you can decide on your own future”. Its a good takeaway for all audiences. The movie once again is carried heavily by the performances of Christopher Lloyd and Michael J Fox. Even though these actors practically mimicked their performances in the previous two films, I will never get tired of seeing them on screen because of their charisma and energy. I also love how this franchise reuses some of the side actors in all three of the films and puts them into different roles. For example, Thomas F Wilson practically plays the same character but in different time periods; old Biff Tannen, young Biff Tannen and Bufford ”Mad Dog” Tannen. This is something unique to only this franchise.
Overall, Back to the Future Part III is nowhere close to the greatness that were the previous two films. My main problem with this movie is that it is a Western; I am not a fan of this genre. The romance between Doc Brown and Clara Clayton was also not executed as well as I had hoped. But Back to the Future Part III does has splendid performances from its cast and closes the curtains on this franchise with a heartfelt message.