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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In 1979, the first Mad Max came out (Although the story goes it was actually filmed in 1977, as Director George Miller's Film School Project).
At any rate, it was a low-budget film that achieved a cult status.
Then came 1981's MM2: TRW. One of my all-time favorite movies, largely because Miller combines a tortured, minimalist performance by Gibson, offset by almost cartoon-like violence, comic relief by other characters, along with some of the best cinematography in any 1980's film, all so brilliantly, that the result is much greater than the sum of its parts.
In addition, Brian May's brooding operatic score was so good, & contributed so much to the overall feel of the film, that I have pondered over the years that it must have influenced Danny Elfman's soundtrack to Tim Burton's 1989 ' Batman '.
At any rate, it was a great movie.
But Miller could not just quit while he was ahead-He had to go for the ' Hat-Trick '.
The result being 1985's MM: BT: A film that starts with Gibson,' The Road Warrior ', looking more like ' Lawrence of Arabia ' as he trades his Bad-Ass Black Ford Falcon Interceptor for-A covered wagon pulled by Camels???
A film that trades May's score for pop tunes by Tina Turner.
A film that trades SOME plot in TRW, for NO coherent plot at all!
A film that is so absurdly campy, that Turner herself looks like she is trying to be a drag queen!
A film where NONE of the action makes any sense, least of all the ending.
So if this trilogy were a Three-Course Meal, then MM would be the appetizer, TRW would be the Filet Mignon Entree, and BT would be Miller's big steaming dump in a dessert dish.
Shame on you, George.
I am going to keep this review of this film short and to the point.
This film was a mess. Which is a shame because it had all of the
makings of a good Mad Max film... For the first 5 seconds.
We start off with Gibson's character Max in this latest incarnation of the trilogy. He plays a broken nomad, the type of person to which he once scoffed at in his days in the Main Force Patrol (Mad Max - 1979). His family and his best friend are brutalised by gang members of a nomad biker clan, making good of turning the highways of Australia into a living hell. All of which is portrayed onto film in a very violent fashion.
We progress onto Mad Max 2, which sees our character roaming the 'wastelands' of Australia. These desolate and baron lands become Max's home, as he has nothing left for him in civilisation. He comes across a populated Oil refinery, which is being marauded by a viscous army of scavengers, pillagers and murderers. He brings back a half dead member of the small tribe of people within the grounds of the fortified Refinery and cuts a deal with them, a truck cab for as much Fuel as he can carry. The film progresses and again Mad Max saves the day albeit being left alone again.
Then this brings us on to Mad Max 3, if you can even call it Mad Max. This could have been a good film, had they have named it 'Peter Pan and the Quest for Tomorrow-morrow Land.' This film is completely out of sync with it's predecessors. In comparison, this is a tame and softened film of a franchise to which violence is its main selling point. Mad Max with children humming all of the time is not only slightly cringe inducing to watch, but it is not what Max is about. They call him 'Mad' Max for a reason, in this, he is more like a stressed out Babysitter. The most violence you are likely to see is Blaster being shot with a Speer, and Max knocking Savannah Nix out with a single punch, as well as a tribes-man of Bartertown being knocked out with a frying pan a couple of times. That's it. No people being impaled with spears, no kneecaps being shot out, nothing. Even Aunty Entity escapes Max's wrath, compared to her predeceasing king-pins in previous films being blown up, ran over, and blown up again.
This film is nothing more than a joke to a brilliant franchise, and not a particularly funny one at that. If I were you, I would just watch the first two films and call it quits there. Pretend that Max is still wandering the Wastelands, helping tribes-people out when they are needy, etc, etc. Although I cannot help but think that this way of thinking is only going to be made harder with a fourth member to the franchise with the pipeline. Lets hope that the directors have learnt from their mistakes made in this dog.
1/10. There nothing for you here...
Every time I've seen this movie I get the same impression: some parts of it are so amazingly stupid/bad that they crack me up, they aren't intentional, and there are a lot of them; the rest is just plain bad, stupid and/or irrelevant. A movie like Evil Dead gets credit for being bad at it's own expense because it's the intended result-it' stupid and cheesy because Sam Raimi succeeded at what he was trying to do. This movie doesn't have that excuse, it's stupid and cheesy because the filmmakers failed so miserably. The crap result gets heaped on top of the crap writing and crap performances to make it a shame that the lowest rating a movie can be given is one for 'awful.' Watching this movie has the same effect as listening to a Billy Madison essay--"Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it." I should be able to give this movie something around a -5.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Now I do enjoy the MAD MAX films. They're the epitome of Australian
cult filmmaking on a budget: filled with uniquely Aussie humour,
outlandish characters and plenty of action. In fact, MAD MAX 2 is one
of my favourite films ever, finishing with that massive, sprawling
chase sequence that's still inspiring filmmakers today (Neil Marshall's
DOOMSDAY, anyone?). For some reason, I'd never got around to watching
this, the third in the series, although I had seen snippets of it on
TV. I wasn't impressed by the scenes I saw: it seemed cheesier and
sillier than what had come before, more child friendly. And the
presence of Tina Turner seemed a definite distraction.
When I saw MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME was showing on TV again, I decided to bite the bullet and sit down and watch it, fearing the worst. I didn't get that, but this is definitely the weakest MAD MAX film of the series. The heart and soul of the story is missing from this one. It seems like a tired repeat of the last movie, with an unwelcome American presence in the likes of Tina Turner and more Hollywood ideals. Much of the blame must lie on the troubled production: the producer died causing George Miller to back out and only direct the action sequences while another hand took over the character and dialogue moments. The result is a mixed production. The action scenes, of which there are only really two the 'gladiator combat' scene in the Thunderdome, and the final chase are exquisite, as good as that which has come before, and very entertaining. Not original, but still entertaining.
The non-action scenes drag like heck. The colony of feral children are mostly irritating, with too many attempts to make them 'cute'. They actually reminded me of the Ewoks in RETURN OF THE JEDI. Gibson's character is underwritten in this one, so that he barely speaks and seems like a void at the centre of the film. There's no sense of his desperation or his primal nature here, he's just a stock hero character. I found Tina Turner to be pretty insipid as the would-be villainess, although I was happy to see Bruce Spence returning as the helicopter pilot, albeit he plays a different character this time around. I was also delighted by the casting of veteran dwarf actor Angelo Rossitto who bags something of a swan song performance late on in his career. So, the final result: a hit and miss effort, soon forgotten. The final chase scene, though, is worth watching, even if it is a case of revisiting past glories.
From the opening shot of wandering nomad and mulleted anti-hero Max
Rockantansky (Mel Gibson), travelling along the endless Australian
plains in a makeshift vehicle put together from spare auto-parts and
whatever junk he came across on the road and pulled along by camels, we
know that the world George Miller created back in 1979 has descended
even further into apocalyptic turmoil, and we are now even further from
civilised society than ever before. Max has his vehicle and supplies
stolen by Jebediah the Pilot (Bruce Spence), so he is forced to wander
barefoot through the desert until he comes across a community dubbed
Bartertown, a place where you can trade anything or anyone.
Like the vehicles in the world of Mad Max, Bartertown is hammered together from spare parts. It is ruled by Aunty Entity (Tina Turner), who is locked in a constant power-struggle with Master Blaster, a grotesque tag-team who overlooks the pits below the town where pigs are farmed and harvested for methane gas. Master is a dwarf played by Angelo Rossitto who rides on the back of Blaster, a giant of a man who wears a huge concealing helmet, and is played by Paul Larsson. Master Blaster may be George Miller's most interesting creation, and as Max inevitably faces Blaster is the arena known as the Thunderdome - where all quarrels are concluded as two men enter but only one leaves - one of the most inventive scraps in cinema history plays out, as they bounce at each other on huge elastic bands and hack at each other with all manners of weapons.
Yet that is only half of the film. Miller resigned himself to just directing the action scenes following the tragic death of his friend and location scout Byron Kennedy, so the rest of the film was put in the hands of George Ogilvie. Narrowly escaping Bartertown with his life, Max discovers the young survivors of a plane crash who has developed their own little tribal society, and it's here that the film goes a bit Peter Pan. Whether this was down to Miller's absence or not - Beyond Thunderdome lacks the edge of its predecessors, occasionally dipping into traditional mainstream fantasy fare and losing focus of its antagonists motivation. Still, the film delivers where expected - the action scenes. Again we get a tanker being chased down by an army of baddies in doomsday vehicle's, and again we are treated to some awe-inspiring stunts that hold up even today. It's the weakest of the original trilogy but hugely entertaining stuff.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The thing that I have noticed about the Mad Max movies is that while
the first one finished with a chase between a car and a bunch of motor
bikes, the vehicles in the next two became ever more exotic, to the
point that in number three they are just down right strange. Look, a
lot of people seemed not to have liked this particular movie, but this
was actually the first Mad Max that I had seen, and it is also the
first that was actually a big budget version.
It has been fifteen years since the previous movie and Max is still a loner, but this time he is without a car, most likely because petrol is simply impossible to get. After being ambushed by a guy in a plane (who is identifical to the guy in the plane from the second movie) he is left to wonder the desert on foot, but the guy in the plane is not that smart, because Max is able to follow the tracks to Bartertown, where is gets into fights, thrown into an arena known as the Thunderdome, and then is sent back out into the desert where he is rescued by a group of children who are waiting for the return of Captain Walker, a messiah like figure from the past.
Where the first movie was set at the brink of social collapse, and the second one after the said collapse, Mad Max Three has come full circle to the point where society is beginning to bring itself back together. Gone are the roving gangs, as they have now formed colonies that are governed by laws, even if they are the law of a dictator. Even more so we have groups within the colonies fighting for control.
Like in the second movie, there is also the colonies of innocents, but this colony is sheltered from the rest of the world, living in an oasis hidden in the desert. They have food and they have water, but what they also have are stories that have been passed down for them to remember. They have not become savages as is suggested in Lord of the Flies, rather the stories have given them not only a semblance of civilisation, but also hope in a future. In a way it is a contrast between the society of Barter town, where law may be brute force, but it is still law, and that of the oasis, which is in essence the land of a noble savage.
The problem with this film is that there does not seem to be much of a direction and there is even less of a plot. Some have said that the first part of the film is really good, but it seems like once Max returns to Bartertown the director and writer simply ran out of ideas and decided to rehash Mad Max 2 (and I must admit that the chases in both movies are very similar, it is just that the third one had a bigger budget to play with). Even then, the fact that a perfectly perserved railway literally appears out of nowhere also completely baffles me. However, if there is one thing I can say about this movie, it is that it has a classic cinema moment, namely after Angry Anderson's character dies, we see his hand hanging out of the wreckage, the hand shudder, and in a final act of defiance, flips the birdy. However, having Auntie (Tina Turner), after chasing them across the desert, salute him, and say goodbye warrior, seems a little odd (but that is probably because she had been defeated in that the little man, Master, had escaped).
Well let's get one thing out of the way right now. This film pales in
comparison to the pure raw energy and action of Mad Max 2 (The Road
and it definitely shows in the second half of the film. In the Road
there was little need to explore in great detail the reasons as for why
things went to hell. That film's explaining was done through the use of
violent action sequences and it is one my favorite movies of all time.
film appears to be more thought provoking, which normally I would embrace
film yet in this movie it leads to too much talk and not enough action
One thing I did enjoy and continue to enjoy about this story is the different cultures and ways of life that we are exposed to. I have no idea what director George Miller was doing when he dreamed up this post-apocalyptic world that operates under its own set of primitive rules but he has created a world that is every bit as interesting as Star Wars. Bartertown and Thunderdome are some of the greatest ideas ever conceived for a film. The battle inside the domed arena is one I don't think I'll ever forget. I also enjoyed being introduced to a completely different subgroup consisting of children that have survived in a lush, green strip of forest that has a source of water.
However, it is here where coincidently things get hampered by childish- like action. The rest of the movie's action scenes are like something I would expect to see in Ghostbusters or Indiana Jones. Which would be fine if this film didn't take itself so seriously in the early goings of the story. The final sequence is truly disappointing because it attempts to go for too much comical action and it just can't compete with the final chase in the Road Warrior. I would still recommend this film to those who enjoy sci-fi or action movies but beware of its flaws.
Some people were disappointed by this movie. When I first time saw it I was disappointed too. It was a little different from it's prequels and there were less action. But I think if they would make this movie more similar with The Road Warrior, it wouldn't be that good. Now Mad Max is a trilogy of fall and rise of civilization. In first part civilization just started to fall, in second - civilization has fallen and all the people are living like savages, in third part they begun to reproduce civilization. When I was watching this movie, it felt like I am witnessing historical events. This movie needs another sequel where they would show total re-creation of civilization. As always there were some good action sequences and I think a Thunderdome fighting scene is one of the most original fighting scenes ever filmed. There also was few colorful characters. So it's a great movie and all post-apocalyptic movie fans should enjoy it.
"Where there was desert, now there's a town. Where there was robbery,
there's trade. Where there was despair, now there's hope. Civilization.
I'll do anything to protect it. Today, it's necessary to kill a man. What
A savage parody of modern living with an action backdrop, this movie captures great attributes of old school golden age action/adventure movies (1980-1989) perfectly. From the film it was shot on, to the beautiful Austrailian settings, to the many, many great one liners and sharp humor this movie is high on my action movie list. The end of the world always fascinated me, the thought that civilization and technology could be lost and people could become savages rampaging the earth (more than usual) throwing spears and looking for M-16 ammo.
Max ends up in a strange place called Barter town in a plot that seems almost a remake of Mad Max 2... This film however has an X factor that puts it above the others in my mind, maybe it was the production quality. A certain Lord of the Flies bit is injected and it gives a welcome respite from the dusty dunes. Interesting characters almost everywhere Max goes, Tina Turner however gives an interesting performance as Aunty Entity and the two have magnificent chemistry. "Ain't we a pair..." Indeed.
People seem to be confused on how to classify this film, is it a sequel, remake?? But if you look at the others they all have similar traits. I think of it more like Sergio Leone's Man with No Name Trilogy... Similar, yet not quite sequels. George Miller leaves half puzzles around with the dialog and set pieces and interesting quirks in the scenery giving you a quirky feeling that draws you into this strange place.
A great film and well worth a watch late at night or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Mel Gibson put his heart and soul into this film and I admire his great acting abilities as the role of Mad Max along with Tina Turner. However, this is just a story about Mad Max going into a desert and giving children of the desert a new life with happiness. This particular film was a big disappointment to me and I could have found a better way of spending my time than looking at a film that failed to live up to other Mad Max films. I am sure there was plenty of money spent in making this film, but it certainly does not measure up to the other Mel Gibson films. Love all kinds of films but this particular film was nothing I expected and I am glad it was produced and can be forgotten completely about.
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