We goblins thought we’d review Back to the Future Part III between us. It might not work, but it can’t be much worse than the film.
The time travel saga set in the world’s most boring town – where the same events happen to the same people every 30 years – continues, this time going way back to 1885. Will there be McFlys? Will Marty get on the wrong side of the town bully? Will they get trapped and concoct an elaborate plan to get back to the future? You can bet your future on it.
Last month was Back to the Future day, where Marty (Michael J. Fox) and the Doc (Christopher Lloyd) travelled to in Part II. I wonder if there was a similar day in 1885, where the front pages of all the newspapers talked about how accurate the film’s depiction of their era was. Probably not, though. That was back in the day when news outlets reported news.
Filmed back-to-back with Part II (presumably because they couldn’t let Michael J. Fox get any older than the already unconvincing teenager he was playing), this threequel opens with some of the most confusing exposition of the century – and then the previous century. The characters spend entire scenes explaining the plot to each other, but we’re none the wiser.
While the original succeeded using interweaving narrative layers, this just goes through the motions in a wacky cowboy setting. Logic has been abandoned by this point, with Doc Brown lurching from highly competent physicist to shambolically incompetent liability depending on plot requirements and whatever it says in the script.
Where the franchise lost its way is squandering the initial promise of the time-travelling (flying!) DeLorean. You can go to any place or time and you choose to go to the same town, a few decades away from where you started? When they keep going backwards and forwards in time without ever leaving their small town it begins to look incredibly self-indulgent. How about killing Hitler?
Doc, Marty, do yourselves a favour: go back in time and stop these sequels from ever being made.