Back to the Future Part III (1990) starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson, Lea Thompson, Elisabeth Shue directed by Robert Zemeckis Movie Review

Back to the Future Part III (1990)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part III (1990)

Going Back Back Back in Time

So after all the time travelling troubles which filled "Back to the Future" and "Back to the Future Part II" we get a third outing for the unlikely partnership of Marty McFly and Doc Emmett Brown. But thankfully "Back to the Future Part III" is a different movie to what we've had before and instead of focusing on more time travelling antics it becomes more like a traditional get out of trouble movie with Marty heading back to 1885 and the Wild West to rescue Doc Brown from impending doom. It doesn't ignore all the time travelling antics and in-jokes which are a huge part of the "Back to the Future" movies, but comes across as happy to stay focussed on making the Wild West fun rather than confusing matters with breaks in the time continuum.

Having become stranded in 1955, Marty McFly (Michael - J. Fox - The Secret of My Success) receives a letter from Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd - Eight Men Out) who having gone back to 1885 realises that Marty will be stuck in the past and so has hidden the Delorean away for him in a cave to discover. But when Marty accidentally discovers that shortly after Doc wrote the note he was murdered by the Tannen gang he decides to head back in time to the wild west and rescue his friend before that fateful day and hopefully return back to the future with the Doc one last time.

Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future Part III (1990)

"Back to the Future Part III" certainly starts off in the same manner as the previous movies picking up where the last one left off with more time travelling confusion with Marty being stuck in 1955. Thankfully it doesn't carry on in this manner and once all the introductions are done and the Delorean is discovered as well as fixed we then get into a different story to what we've had before. As already mentioned it feels more like a traditional get out of trouble movie, a mad capped one at that but makes a pleasant change from Marty trying to sort out the present day rather than saving his friend in the past instead. Being more traditional you may expect for it all to be predictable but that is one of the things about the "Back to the Future" movies they are rarely predictable and "Back to the Future Part III" does a good job of keeping it all entertaining and fresh rather than unoriginal.

But at its heart "Back to the Future Part III" stays true to all which made the original movie and the first sequel so enjoyable. There are the continual in-jokes such as Marty calling himself Clint Eastwood and basically inventing the Frisbee, you have the clock tower again, the dance and of course all the quirky inventiveness to make it feel right. Some of the jokes by now are a little tired, but then it throws up some new stuff to keep it all feeling familiar but fresh. Plus of course it stays true to keeping it in the family with Marty stumbling across the first of the McFly clan to make it to Hillvalley and of course the Tannen clan who continue to be the McFly's tormentors.

With all of this in mind it's no shock when I say the performances are all familiar and carry on with what we have seen in the other "Back to the Future" movies. Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are still as good a partnership as ever and with Doc Brown getting an even more prominent role than before it feels a much more of an equal partnership. Thomas F. Wilson is as reliable as ever as Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen and Lea Thompson is a wholesome and humorous as ever taking on Maggie McFly this time around. Adding to the fun you also have Mary Steenburgen as a romantic lead for Doc Brown and in a similar way to Lea Thompson provides some sweet laughs.

What this all boils down to is that as the third movie in the series "Back to the Future Part III" is unsurprisingly good. It keeps all those intrinsic elements which make the "Back to the Future" movies entertaining but instead of concerning itself with breaks in the time continuum focuses more on a more traditional storyline, playing it simply rather than trying to confuse matters with more time travelling troubles. It is a perfect end to the original series and thankfully stopped before it all became a little tiresome. But who knows, it's been over 20 years since all the time travelling antics ended so maybe a spin off movie will crop up out of nowhere.