Saturday, January 12, 2019

Back to the Future Part III

Movie Name: Back to the Future Part III
Year of Release: 1990
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Elisabeth Shue, Thomas F. Wilson, Lea Thompson, Matt Clark, Richard Dysart, Pat Buttram, Harry Carey Jr., James Tolkan, Marc McClure, Wendie Jo Sperber, Jeffrey Weissman
Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6 
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Synopsis and Review:
After the success of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", director Robert Zemeckis tackled the direction of the two sequels to his enormously entertaining "Back to the Future". The first sequel premiered in 1989 and the second in 1990. The film finds Marty McFly stranded in 1955, and having to resort to Doc Brown yet again, but this time around, to go back in time to retrieve the Doc Brown from 1985, who accidentally was sent back in time to 1885. When Marty does get back to 1885, he gets tangled with another of Biff Tannen's ancestors, a criminal by the name of Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen. As usual in his adventures, Marty miraculously manages to overcome Tannen, and he and Doc try to get the car on the rail-tracks in order to get back to 1985. However this time around, Doc has created emotional ties with a schoolteacher, by the name of Clara Clayton, which makes the separation a lot more difficult. 
The very talented Robert Zemeckis, is someone who has made a career for himself by being able to create compelling narratives, ones that marry deft, emotional and well layered screenplays, with technical prowess,  a marriage that makes his features truly memorable. "Back to the Future Part III" is the closure to one of his most successful films, and sadly not the most compelling one. His most action centric films always manage to combine humor, with just enough daredevil action, to make them engaging and satisfying, however the combination of science-fiction, western revival and comedy, is somewhat unbalanced and somewhat contrived. What was so deliriously satisfying about the previous installment, was the fact that the director (and the cast), knew they had the liberty to play with timelines and just generally play with pop culture references - the tone was definitely zany and almost hyperbolic when compared with the somewhat restrained first film. The third chapter tries very hard to be reverential to the Western genre, and it ends up not being sufficiently funny, nor sufficiently Western driven. The helium balloon which was powering the very funny series, deflates somewhat in this chapter. The film features nonetheless the committed Michael J. Fox alongside Christopher Lloyd, both of whom try to elevate the material as much as possible. The cinematography from Dean Cundey is wonderful, as is the classic score from Alan Silvestri. A somewhat minor chapter in an otherwise stellar series.