Thursday, November 12, 2015

Recap: "Back to the Future Part III" Part 3: End of the Line

The final act.

The conclusion to not only this film, but the two films beforehand.

And let's face it. This movie was never going to live up to people's expectations when it came to a fitting ending, simply because it was a Western. But will it be unexpectedly satisfying? Let's find out.

Seriously, though. Robot spider. Done.
Doc arrives at the local saloon and orders... whiskey.

Bartender: "Emmett, are you sure? You know what happened to you on the Fourth of July."

But Doc insists, and gets his shot. And probably wishes that it came from Buford Tannen, because he's simply shattered. There is no sadness in his eyes. No pain. There is no emotion on his face. Emmett Brown is a man who simply does. Not. Care anymore.

A nearby barbed-wire salesman sees this look and instantly recognizes that Doc's been having problems with a woman. And he dispenses the time-honored advice that he'll get over her.

Doc Brown: "Clara was one in a million. One in a billion. One in a googolplex. The woman of my dreams, and I've lost her for all time."

The salesman tells Doc that you never know what the future might bring, which... well, that seems to be Doc's trigger word.

Doc Brown: "Ohhh... I can tell you about the future...."

Oh no, Doc's going to give him the formula for transparent aluminum!
The next day, Marty wakes up by the DeLorean, finds Doc missing, and rides off into town as Mad Dog wakes up his gang to do the same. Meanwhile, Doc is playing havoc with causality. Because at this point, screw the space/time continuum.

Doc Brown:
"And in the future, we don't need..."


Doc Brown: "...horses; we have motorized carriages called 'automobiles.'"

The old-timers laugh at this and ask if anybody runs anymore. And when Doc tells them that people run for fun, they start laughing even harder. Thankfully for linear chronology, they assume he's drunk as a skunk and simply spewing authentic frontier gibberish, but the bartender insists that he hasn't even had his first shot yet.

Bartender: "He just likes to hold it."

Marty rushes in to get Doc and go, but not before Doc proposes a toast to the future and downs his drink, passing out instantly. Lightweight. So the others fetch coffee as the clock strikes 7:45. And over at the station, Clara buys a one-way ticket to San Francisco.

With the coffee doing nothing, the bartender goes to make some "wake-up juice." After mixing some Tabasco and other assorted things together, he plugs Doc's nose and pours it into Doc's gullet with a funnel. Instead of killing Doc by heading down his windpipe and choking him (seriously, don't pour things into an unconscious person's mouth), it seems to work right away, sending Doc outside to cool his throat in the horse trough before he passes out again.

Bartender: "That was just a reflex action. It's gonna take a few more minutes for this stuff to really clear up his head."

Meanwhile, the train arrives, and Clara boards as Seamus McFly arrives at the saloon, bringing his oh-so-faux Irish accent with him.

Bartender: "Seamus! Wouldn't expect to see you here this morning."

Especially since Mad Dog Tannen told him not to go in there anymore.

Seamus: "But something insoide me told me Oi should be here. As if moy future had something to do with it...."

Again, Gale? Again?  You got through two movies without this "I don't know why I'm acting all narratively convenient" bullcrap, why did you start it now?

"As if Oi was suddenly brought here boy the pen of a man who was getting a bit toired of the trilogy he was wroiting."
Unfortunately, Doc is still out cold and Mad Dog Tannen is calling for Clint Eastwood.

Marty: "It's not 8 o'clock yet!"
Mad Dog: "It is by my watch!"

Whoops. Should have set something up to slow them down.

Why not? It worked in Blazing Saddles.
As Mad Dog accuses Marty of having no gumption, Marty sees the name "Clint Eastwood" appear on the photo of the tombstone. And with the whole town watching, he asks for a forefeit.

Mad Dog:
"What's that mean?"
Gang Member: "Uh, it means that you win without a fight."
Mad Dog: "Without shooting? He can't do th... Hey, you can't do that!"

He calls Marty a coward again and gives Marty until the count of ten to step outside.As Marty tries to wake Doc up, the old timers talk about how Marty will be branded a coward forever if he doesn't go out there.

Cowboy Pat: "Everybody everywhere will that that Clint Eastwood is the biggest yellowbelly in the West."

...They wrote this whole movie just to get that one line to happen, didn't they?

They slide Marty a gun, but he refuses to use it. And not just because he has a gun of his own. He's not going out there because Buford Tannen... well...

After two years of blogging, I'm finally using this picture in the proper context.
Marty: "I don't care what Tannen says! And I don't care what anybody else says, either."

As luck would have it, Doc wakes up, so all they need is a secondary route. Marty asks if there's a back door, or something.

Bartender: "Yeah, it's in the back."

Story checks out.

They head out the back way, but they get spotted and shot at. Marty, ducking for cover, finds a cast-iron stove door.... Elsewhere, the train gets underway as Clara overhears a barbed-wire salesman talking about a wild-haired old man in the bar last night. Speaking of him, Tannen has him and is more than willing to shoot him if Marty doesn't come out of hiding. Back on the train, Clara realizes that the man behind her is talking about Emmet Brown, mainly because they mentioned her by name and he fits the description of the man they're talking about.

Of course, so does William Hartnell. Hey, either or, right?
So she grabs the emergency brake and exits the train, running back for Hill Valley.

As Mad Dog Tannen prepares to shoot Doc dead, Marty comes out of hiding.

They stare each other down.

Mad Dog: "Draw."
Marty: "...No!"

He removes his gun belt, saying that he was hoping to settle this like men.

Mad Dog: "You thought wrong, dude."

Marty goes down in a single shot.

Just kidding.
When Mad Dog inspects the body, he gets quite the shock.

"Are... are you a wizard?"
Then he gets hit in the face with the cast-iron plate Marty was using as a bulletproof vest.

Wonder where Marty got that idea....
With a few more punches, Tannen gets knocked into the blank tombstone, breaking it, before Marty knocks him into some manure. The deputy comes over to take care of the aftermath and arrest Tannen for the arrest of the Pine City Stage the other day.... but not the death of Marshall Strickland.

The reason that the deputy is arresting Buford is because originally, in a scene mirroring the drive-by shooting of Principal Strickland in Part II, Buford was supposed to have shot him dead as he tried to keep Buford from entering town. Unfortunately, this left audiences disappointed that Marty didn't simply shoot Buford, so the scene was cut and the line here was redubbed. And killing Buford wasn't an option, because he has yet to father a son to keep the timeline intact.

Deputy: "You got anything to say?"
Mad Dog: "...I hate manure."

Thomas F. Wilson, I don't know how much actual manure you had to be in for these films, but I salute you.
The photo of the tombstone turns into a photo of a patch of ground... which pretty much screws up the timeline, doesn't it?

Why did Marty take a picture of the ground?

Why did it spur him to take the DeLorean back in time to save Doc?

How did he know Doc would need saving?

Remember, Marty was perfectly willing to follow Doc's wishes and return to 1985, knowing that Doc would live out his final years in 1885. And it's not like Marty would have looked up Doc's history anyway, because he straight-up told 1955-Doc that that would be a bad idea.

With the picture showing a bare patch of ground, the only way this paradox could be resolved is if Marty took a picture of a random patch of ground and then decided to go back to 1885 without knowing that Doc would die... which still slightly alters events, because then Doc and Marty might not have been on their guard around Buford Tannen.

The Back to the Future Trilogy has been incredible at resolving its own paradoxes up to this point, aside from the hiccup with Old Man Biff returning to 2015. So to see this happen is simply inexcusable.

But enough paradoxes, Doc and Marty have a train to catch.

Doc Brown: "We'll have to head 'em off at Coyote Pass."

"Head them off at the pass? I hate that cliche!"
But before they go, Marty tosses his gun to Seamus McFly.

"Maybe Oi'll trade it far a new hat!"
Marty: "Right, and take care of that baby!"

As Doc and Marty leave town, Clara arrives at his stable, finding not only the model train set, but the model of the time machine clearly labeled "time machine." And as she rides off to follow them, Doc and Marty successfully board the train and aim a gun at the conductor.

"I guess it is, now that he mentions it."
Doc Brown: "...It's a science experiment!"

Hypothesis: Tooting the whistle is fun. Conclusion: Yes.
The train halts, and the cars are quickly uncoupled after Marty switches the track. They head down the unfinished track and quickly join up with the DeLorean. Doc has some chemical-soaked logs to make the train go faster, and they load them up as Clara starts to catch up. The train soon takes off as Clara rides after it. Doc puts the logs in after Marty sets the destination, and explains that the new readout on the dashboard will tell them when each chemical log will catch fire and increase their speed.

Doc Brown: "Hopefully, we'll hit 88 miles per hour before the needle gets much past 2,000."
Marty: "Why? Wh-what happens when it hits 2,000?"

Could be worse. Marginally.
Right after Clara grabs onto the train from her horse, the first log goes. She manages to hold on, though, as they hit 35. Doc climbs along the outside of the train to the DeLorean as Clara yells for him on the other end of the train.

Hey, if you breathe that smoke, could you get super powers? That's how it worked in Spider-Man.
After the second log blows, Clara gets Doc's attention by blowing the whistle from the boiler. You know. The one that will explode as the train goes off a cliff. Uh oh.

Doc goes back to get her before the final log blows, but they're going past the point of no return, meaning that they'll have to take Clara with them to the future. I'll get to that in the Review, believe you me.

The final log blows as Clara climbs along the edge, causing her to lose her grip. With few options, Marty slides Doc the hoverboard, which he rides back to rescue Clara.

So now there's the little problem of controlling a hoverboard at 80 mph. No biggie.
Unfortunately, Doc and Clara ride the hoverboard away from the tracks as the DeLorean hits 88 mph right before the bridge gives out.

Some would call this an apt metaphor for the film.
Three sonic booms later, and Marty is back in 1985, driving a DeLorean on the train tracks by what is now called Eastwood Ravine. As if to destroy all hope of Marty saving Doc Brown, he barely manages to get out of the time machine before an actual train comes along to destroy it.

Marty: "Well, Doc... it's destroyed. Just like you wanted."

Marty returns home to find Biff yelling at him... have things changed?

Biff: "I didn't recognize you in those clothes!"

False alarm. His family is just as they were as they were at the end of the first film, and they're wondering why hes not at the lake with Jennifer. Marty heads off in the truck to go see if she's alright, and she is. Finally, the two share that kiss on he porch.

Jennifer: "I had the worst nightmare."

"I was babysitting these kids, and one of them had this weird obsession with Thor."
But later, in the truck at a red light, Jennifer begins to suspect that perhaps her dream was real. After all, Marty refers to "Hilldale" as where they're going to live someday, like in her dream. But before she can make much progress figuring things out, Needles (Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) pulls up and challenges Marty to a drag race.

That hair. just... that hair.
Marty declines, so Needles calls him a chicken. And with the gauntlet thrown down... Marty heads backwards and turns the truck around as Needles speeds off.

Jennifer: "Did you do that on purpose?"
Marty: "Yeah, do you think I'm stupid enough to race that asshole?"

"Not a sure why I had to spin the truck around, though."
But Needles's truck nearly gets hit by a Rolls-Royce at the next intersection, which Marty would have definitely hit. Remembering something, Jennifer whips out the piece of paper she took from the future, where the words "YOU'RE FIRED" slowly disappear.

They go to check out the wreckage of the DeLorean, and Marty finds the torn-up photo of Doc in front of the clock as a memento.

The train crossing starts dinging... but there's no train to be seen.

But suddenly.... a sonic boom.

And a second.

And a third.

And then a train happens.

Having had time to rebuild, it seems as though Doc Brown has rebuilt the time machine into a train.

Doc Brown: "Marty! It runs on steam!"

Clara and her well-dressed, older Doctor have traveled through time and arrived by train.

Close, but no cigar.
Doc reintroduces Marty to Clara, and also shows off the rest of his family. Two sons, Jules and Verne.

"I just got back from faking my death in 1885 to prevent the paradox of the vanished tombstone. You're welcome."
Doc explains... ugh.

Fine, I'll mention it.

Yes, one of the kids is pointing to his crotch, apparently trying to tell someone that he had to pee. Or maybe he was seeing if her could get away with it, I don't know.

Because of course somebody made a gif of it.
Doc explains that he had to come back for Einstein, and he didn't want Marty to worry. Speaking of worrying, after Doc gives Marty a framed photo of the picture they took together, Jennifer asks exactly why the words "YOU'RE FIRED" disappeared from her paper.

Doc Brown:
"It means your future hasn't been written yet! No one's has! Your future is whatever you make it! So make it a good one. Both of you!"

Doc preps the train to leave, and Marty asks where he's going.

Marty: "Back to the future?"
Doc Brown: "Nope. Already been there!"

And while he was there, he apparently had his train hover-converted, because it takes off into the skies.

I know it's supposed to look cool, and it does...
But I'm still reminded of this.
And so, both the film and trilogy end.

For reals, and forever.
So. They say that the more sequels you make, the worse they get. But... does this film break that rule? Let's review.

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