In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.
A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common; hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
Bartertown is a city on the edge of a desert that has managed to retain some technology if no civilization. Max has his supplies stolen and must seek shelter there in a post apocalyptic world where all machines have begun to break down and barbarians hold what is left. He becomes involved in a power struggle in this third Mad Max film where he must first survive the town, survive the desert and then rescue the innocent children he has discovered. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
In interviews about Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) (a.k.a. "The Road Warrior"), George Miller said that while Max's world was after the collapse of the social/political/economic system we know, it was not post-World War III. However, "Beyond Thunderdome" explicitly is set after WWIII indeed. See more »
Ironbar fires an arrow through the train/truck's door and through Pig Killer's leg. The arrow has a huge four-bladed broadhead on it, yet the hole in the door and the hole in Pig Killer's leg are only the size of the arrow's shaft. See more »
(* Spoilers Ahead *) In Mad Max, a single police department with a few highway cops and patrolmen maintain civil order in a desolated region of Australia, apparently post-nuclear apocalypse. "Max" ends up losing absolutely everything civilized in his life -- everything. Not a drop of heart's blood is spared "Max" as he rips himself apart, trying to free himself of the chains and bonds of civilization in order to take revenge on the men who stole his world away. When it's all done, he wanders away from absolutely everything.
Mel Gibson's "Max" character returns in "Road Warrior", where the remnant of civilization has been left behind in favor of complete anarchy in the middle of the desert where an oil well refinery is the strongly-defended holdout of some kind of corporate collective, against growing bands of interested investors who would like to trade bullets and lives for the thinning lifeblood of petroleum. The leader of the wackos is absolutely cartoonish, sort of a psychotic pro-wrestler genius, while the leader of the recluses is dripping with ignorance and a desperate need to maintain his egotism. Every single person knows why they are in that desert, fighting -- because they can't get away from the the vehicles and the combustion. It's everything in their life. The distance between meals and drinks is dozens of miles. The distance to the nearest "real" civilization is not even survivable. Those who hold the vehicles hold the supreme power. "Max" delivers the oil-barons into salvation, but at a heavy loss, then once again wanders away from all that has come to pass.
Finally "Max", come into his own with a well-outfitted gravy train, is wandering the desert apparently finally convinced that he is the beacon of civilization, not some building or crowd. His delusion is sorely broken right at the beginning of the movie, and with nothing but his boots and a flute he's forced to rejoin humanity, but why we aren't exactly sure. He's been through it before and he knows what will happen, but still he saunters into "Bartertown" where he meets the sexy "Auntie Entity" (Tina Turner) who rules with elegance and ferocity, and agrees to scratch her back if she'll rub his.
Tina Turner's delivery as "Aunty Entity" is passionate. When she is stood off by the uppity "Master-Blaster", you can hear the hurt pride in her voice as she admits her humility. And when the real loser of Thunderdome is swiftly decided, you can see the fear in her eyes as everything, all the orders of civility she has cherished and sacrificed who knows what for, falls apart right under her hands. As the chaos grows, she looks above for guidance but sees only the mindless crowd, just as desperate as she and even more powerless. Her delivery from the middle of thunderdome is moving, but short compared to the brotherly storytelling of the very artful "Dr. Dealgood" (Edwin Hodgeman.) Nevertheless, what small part Turner is given to play is played from the bottom of her heart and you are thoroughly convinced that she is who she portrays. Her chain-mail suit could have been a little more transparent, though. The rest of the characters in "Bartertown", some recognizable from the earlier films, are real in a faery-tale sort of way that seems to follow naturally behind the previous films: in "Mad Max", the characters' selves were all dying like lights on their way to burning out; in "Road Warrior", their selves were completely gone, wasted with nothing but animal behaviors left; in "Thunderdome"'s "Bartertown", the desolation of the human inner being has proved to be merely a loss of luxury and comfort, and we see that deep inside these layers of modern dross most man and women really are larger than life, in their hopes and dreams and their achievements. "Max", unable to abandon life on his own this time around, is forced out into the desert wilderness to die.
We soon see the inherent human worth proved again in "Thunderdome"'s "Crack in the Earth", where little people, who never grew up with the bleak realities of technology and its apocalyptic inevitabilities as anything but faery-tales, are all as large of life as nature can provide for. The gorgeous "Suzannah" (Helen Buday, rhymes with boo tay,) drags "Max" back into life in a veritable Garden of Eden where children and children's' children, who are absolutely hysterical, spend every day of their lives in summer-camp dreamland. Finally, "Max" chooses not to abandon but to stay around and support -- whether because he's too tired to fight any more, or because he's learned to see a good thing when he's got it and not drop it for something better, it's hard to say -- maybe this is where he was on his way to in the first place. And yet none of this matters. Somehow, once again, humanity goes wrong over the same superstitions and arrogance as before, and a schism in the valley dwellers leads to calamity and a reconciliation with the recent past. "Max" decides to abandon the valley after all, proving finally that he really, truly is "MAD", sacrificing everything to return one more time to the truth that he and every man carries his best civilization with him wherever he goes.
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