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Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
Movie Connections:
Mad Max
> Mad Max (1979)
> Mad Max 2 (1981)
> Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Genres / Traits:
Action, Road Movie, Sci-Fi Action, Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic
Directors:
George Miller George Miller
George Ogilvie George Ogilvie
Starring:
Mel Gibson Mel Gibson
Bruce Spence Bruce Spence
Adam Cockburn Adam Cockburn
Tina Turner Tina Turner
Frank Thring Frank Thring

5.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 22, 2007
Sequels are supposed to be creative voids. But now here is "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," not only the best of the three Mad Max movies, but one of the best films of 1985.
Roger Ebert - July 10, 1985

People often ask me why I hate Ebert so much, and my reply is always the same: I don't hate him personally (after all, I've never met him and I'm sure that he's a great guy to shoot the shit about movies with), but I do wonder how in the hell he got to be so prominent with his horrible decisions regarding what makes a good movie. Beyond Thunderdome is the best of the Mad Max films?! One of the best films of 1985?!?! I won't attack the latter claim here, as that is a purely subjective one; sure, it's sort of silly to say that this was one of the best of '85 with other releases from that year including Back to the Future, Cannibal Holocaust, Day of the Dead, and of course, my personal favorite film of all time, The Return of the Living Dead. However, even excluding that piece of the quote, to call this the best of the series is pure and utter nonsense and makes me wonder how much he got paid to promote this film. Beyond Thunderdome is about as entertaining as the pig shit that the characters wallow around in, and unless you have a scat fetish, I assume that it goes without saying that that's not a very good way to spend an evening.

Taking place years after the previous film (or in an alternate timeline, depending on how you look at it), the third and final entry in the series finds Max (Mel Gibson) in a world that is even more bleak and unforgiving than the worlds we came to know in the last two movies. Civilization as we know it has come to an end, although there is at least one new town that has popped up where people meet to chat, barter, and watch people duel to the death in a giant cage known as, appropriately enough, Thunderdome. Max finds his way to this town and soon learns that it's ruled by Aunty Entity (Tina Turner), and to cut to the chase a bit, he's soon forced to enter the Thunderdome, fight off a hulking retard, and is eventually ran out of town for not finishing the job.

Max then finds himself wandering through the desert, but thankfully for him, he's eventually rescued and taken in by a tribe of children who have been waiting for their captain to return and take them to the "tomorrow land." At this point, the film shifts away from being a story of an ass-kicking nomad and becomes something along the lines of The Goonies with Mel Gibson. Pathetic.

As a matter of fact, The Goonies was released just one month prior to this, and I have to wonder if one of the writers heard about that movie while it was in development and figured that they should jump aboard the kiddie wagon while putting Max in the driver's seat. Nothing else can explain why they would take this film in such a radically different direction and basically piss all over the preceding two films. Gone are the savage men who wouldn't think twice to rape and murder the innocent citizens of a small town if it meant filling up their gas tanks, and in their place, we get midgets and a lot of jokes about poop. Gone are the great action sequences, and in their place are unrealistic action sequences that try to emulate the far superior scenes from the previous films while failing miserably. Seriously, a guy can get hit by a train and be engulfed in flames as a result, then be dropped fifty feet off a bridge from said speeding train, and be immersed in another explosion... yet he's fine enough to flip Max the bird? What the hell were they thinking?

The first chunk of the film had potential, as it placed us inside a damned nice environment and presented a lot of neat ideas as to where society went after the big war that basically destroyed the planet. There was a lot of potential for some great action sequences in this town and in the Thunderdome, but sadly, all of that was tossed out the window in favor of putting some bratty kids on the screen. Potential: it may put asses in the seats, but it surely won't pull a good rating. 3/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 06/22/2007, 01:10 AM
Hate to be a douche, but Cannibal Holocaust was released in 1980, not '85.
Dametria #2: Dametria - added 06/22/2007, 01:35 AM
So clear this up for me....Jedediah the Pilot was played by the same guy who was the Gyro Captain, and he had a kid, Jedediah Jr, that was about the same age and general look as the feral kid (played by a different kid tho). So were these supposed to BE the same characters somehow evolved within the year? Or was it some kind of a weird joke? I never really did get that bit.....
Chad #3: Chad - added 06/22/2007, 01:38 AM
I should have been more clear - Cannibal Holocaust was released in the US in '85. My bad.

And Dametria - as far as I can tell, it's supposed to be completely different characters, but the similarities are uncanny. No telling what was going through their minds with that.
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