On October 21st 2015 when I went to the cinema to see the trilogy some people who had come, left after Part 2 had finished, and for the life of me I have no idea why. I will admit it isn’t the greatest of the trilogy, but in the grand scheme of film making, it is a great film, and seeing it in the cinema, the arena in which it was made to be seen, made me appreciate it a lot more.
I love seeing Hill Valley of 1885; it’s the saw of development of a place that the historian within me really loves. I especially love how the Town Hall is at the centre of everything that happens in Hill Valley, and seeing the iconic clock arrive is one of my favourite threads that tie the entire series together. That clock in particular is at the heart of the first film, and seeing it brand new, seeing it destroyed and then seeing the effort to preserve it is the perfect symbolism at the centre of a time travel story.
The story in the third part less about time travel and more about the characters of Doc and Marty; one who is discovering a part of life away from science (love) and the other who is maturing into an adult who won’t let himself be goaded into doing stupid things. It is also about their friendship and how far they are willing to go for each other.
The Doc has always gone the extra mile for Marty, and now in the third film, Marty is returning the favour to try and save his friend. And he does; he might not be able to get him Back to the Future, but he saves his life, which means the Doc can go on and have a loving marriage with Clara. It is a brilliant end to their story and their friend. Through the power of time travel their friendship goes from strength to strength, and they both develop into better people of having done so.
The only heart wrenching thing is the destruction of the DeLorean at the end of the film, and then the hope of more when the time travelling train arrives. I wouldn’t want another film though and I’m very happy that Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis are very firmly stating they will never make one. I am very much of the generation used to sequels and remakes, and while I like some of them and love others, there are plenty of times I very much just think that money rather than creativity is driving Hollywood. A sequel would ruin Back the Future, and I think my heart would actually break if that happened.
So while Part 3 might not have all the cool effects of Part 2, or the more complex storylines of Part 1 and 2, Part 3 is a great send off for Marty and Doc Brown, and well worth a watch.