Robert Zemeckis directs Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Mary Steenburgen in this cowboy finale to the teen time travel trilogy.
I realise this is beloved by many and while it still is a superior summer blockbuster it rarely, for me, hits the giddy time looping heights of it predecessors. 1 & 2 took risks and explored the edges of family entertainment with an effortless air, while this sets it sights just a little lower and aims for a simple rerun of past pleasures in John Wayne’s cosplay… Sorry… Clint Eastwood. The Wild West setting allows for set-pieces to actually be life and death propositions for once and the production design is faultless. Someone had a lot of fun regressing Hill Valley into a timber and steam settlement. Christopher Lloyd’s excellent Doc Brown gets to be the romantic lead and man of action this variation, and Steenburgen is a sweet foil to that twist as our first new character in half a dozen Delorean rides. It is a rousing spectacle to end one of the best Hollywood franchises ever on… just a little safer, a little less mind blowing, than you might have expected after previous episodes rewrote the rule book twice. By the point where Marty and the Doc are dangling off an exploding steam train, their only chance to return to 1985 racing up on them… who cares if this just wants to be a gunslingin’ retread of past glories? Familiarity breeds contentment.
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