Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (George Miller and George Ogilvie, 1985) Review

With every film, it ALWAYS has to come to a trilogy, doesn't it. You just can't stop can you? Well, this Mad Max will be very different to the first two. Why? Because Hollywood got it's grubby little hands on Mad Max and decided to make it more noticeable to the American audience. It's pretty obvious that there is an American influence consdiering that Tina Turner has a main role in this film. Yeah. So is this is good way to end the Mad Max trilogy? Er...well....sort of.

After having his stuff stolen by a pilot (Bruce Spence...and no it's not the same one from Mad Max 2), Max (Mel Gibson) travels to find his stolen stuff and discovers a shanty town known as Bartertown watched over by Aunty Entity (Tina Turner). Max is hired to assassinate the Blaster (Paul Larsson) so that Entity can claim full ownership from the Master (Angelo Rossitto...yes, when paired they are called Blaster Master). To do so, Max must fight Blaster to the death in the Thunderdome. Max must  also learn of the mysteries (ahem) beyond the Thunderdome. 

I'll start with the bad stuff. My biggest complaint is that part way through the film, the focus is taken away from Bartertown and focuses on a Peter Pan-esque story with a tribe of lost children. I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't so disengaging or that the kids weren't so annoying. The film builds up Bartertown as quite an interesting location and the Thunderdome is only used in one scene! I really wish there was more time spent in Bartertown or at least sped the pace up when Max is out in the desert. Is this the weakest of the Mad Max films? No. It's not a Mad Max film, it's a film with Mad Max in it. It doesn't feel like the other two.

Yeah, so it sounds like I hate this film. No, I don't. There is some good stuff in here. Firstly, I think the ending is a surprisingly good way to end the trilogy off. It's kept reasonably subtle (well, after a massive train chase...yeah it went from bike to truck to train...only Mad Max can do that). Mel Gibson is still doing his best role well and the other actors like Tina Turner (who is surprisngly good) and the return of Bruce Spence are fun to watch. Even the idea of the Thunderdome is cool...just underused.

So Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is a bit of a mixed bag. I REALLY want to give this at least a 6 but the plot with the kids REALLY kills the film for me. It was a good way to finish off the franchise (stay back, Tom Hardy) and it did have some really good action scenes and actors but...the narrative needed some major tweaking. Well, that's that trilogy done...LET'S REVIEW ANOTHER!

There is so much potential but the narrative dies for about half the film. I want to love this film but just can't although it does finish off the trilogy very well.

Yeah, I had no idea that 'We Don't Need Another Hero' was from this film....although after hear her sing "Beyond The Thunderdome" makes me feel stupid now...

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