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The third instalment in the Mad Max trilogy delivers its share of
adrenaline, no doubt about that, but it also comes with a pretty hokey
screenplay, that is surprisingly unexpected. For an action hero film
that intends to be taken seriously, Mad Max 3 is way too quirky. With
this in mind, the film feels like a bit of a forerunner to Waterworld.
It's ironic, that despite some pretty blatant similarities (feeble
screen writing being one of them) the financial success of the two is
totally dissimilar. Makes you wonder what people see in this that they
don't in Cosnter's famed box office flop. Personally, I prefer
Waterworld, because it's a more adventurous tale.
Mad Max 3 tries to improve on that which the second entry was missing (story) while at the same time maintaining its muscle mass. What George Miller and his screen writers come up with (in a failed attempt to be clever or fresh) is a sort of desert oasis munchkin land. Despite being surrounded with such hokey characters, Mel Gibson maintains his serious face, and in fact, I think Max is at his best in this movie. Bruce Spence is back too, but he plays someone else, and he only gets half the screen time he did in the previous entry.
The ending of the film (sort of) opens the doors to the possibility of one more instalment, but there is certainly a stronger sense of closure to this one, than the previous two, as Mad walks into the sunset across the flat desert, to whatever future. Needless to say there is no fourth instalment, and frankly I don't think one is necessary. The Mad Max trilogy together form an interesting little entry in science fiction genre.
After he is attacked from the air and relieved of all his belongings by
Jedediah the Pilot and son (Bruce Spence and Adam Cockburn), Max
Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) wanders through the desert until he arrives at
the trading settlement of Bartertown, ruled by Aunty Entity. Keen to
recoup his losses, Max strikes a deal with Aunty to kill Master, the
strong half of MasterBlaster, a dwarf/bodybuilder duo who control the
town's power supply.
Max picks a fight with Blaster, and the two enter Thunderdome, the arena where disputes are settled with a fight to the death; however, on defeating his opponent, Max discovers that Blaster is mentally disabled, and refuses to kill him, thus breaking his agreement with Aunty; his punishment is to be tied to a horse and cast into the desert without water. On the brink of death, Max is found by a tribe of children, the descendants of the survivors of an air crash, who mistake him for their mythical saviour, Captain Walker, and nurse him back to health at their desert oasis.
When a handful of the children leave the safety of their home in a desperate attempt to reach civilisation, Max tries to bring them back, knowing that there is nothing beyond the oasis but a world in ruins. After a long walk through the desert, Max finds the kids, but with water in short supply, a return journey proves impossible; the group have no option but to head for Bartertown...
Mad Max 2, the perfect post-apocalyptic action film, was always going to be a tough act to follow, and for the third film, a change in direction seemed inevitable; but when director George Miller sold out for the almighty dollar with a Hollywood-style action/adventure blockbuster that is often played for laughs, a legion of dedicated fansmyself includedfelt somewhat betrayed.
The superb photography, fantastic set design, brilliant costumes and spectacular stunts were still present, but gone was the relentless, gritty, bone crunching, and realistic violence of the first two films, replaced by a couple of admittedly fun, but extremely unbelievable, family-friendly action set-pieces (the Thunderdome fight and a final chase scene) interspersed by ill-advised attempts at humour and cringe-worthy moments of over-sentimentality.
Worse still, Miller cast pop/rock legend Tina Turner in the role of Aunty (meaning the film had a catchy theme song, but a lousy lead villain), brought back 'gyrocopter captain' actor Bruce Spence in a role that still confuses the hell out of me (is he supposed to be the same character?), and virtually cloned the climax of Mad Max 2 for the ending: Max and the kids flee Bartertown on a train (exactly how and why there is a perfectly usable railway track leading into the ever shifting sands of the desert, is never explained), hotly pursued by Aunty and her cronies driving a cool selection of customised vehicles.
Whilst I like the basic idea of turning Max into a quasi-mythical figure, and appreciate that, as a mindless slab of slick, slam-bang entertainment, many viewers will find that it does the trick, Beyond Thunderdome definitely lacks the power of the previous films, is a bit too bloody silly at times, and will no doubt prove to be a huge let-down for those who like their 'road warrior' to have a harder edge.
I rate Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome a disappointing 5.5 out of 10, which I will very generously round up to 6 because I like Turner's song, 'We Don't Need Another Hero'. Let's hope that after a 25 year hiatus from all things Rockatansky, Miller will finally put matters right with Max's long awaited fourth outing, Fury Road (due 2011).
Well, what really bothered me(And I do mean REALLY bothered me)when I saw this movie the day it opened up at the "Bruin" theater in Westwood, ca. back in '85, was the "Gyro Captain" from the "the road warrior" not knowing who MAX was. I'll never forget that night at the theater, packed house, midnight showing, Friday night, 70mm six-track presentation. Everyone was expecting an "Empire Strikes Back" sequel with "Gyro Captain" from "Road Warrior" getting caught in a situation with Max again. Not unlike "Hans Solo" to "Luke Skywalker." Indeed when the "Gyro Captain" first showed up in the plane, knocking Max off the wagon, in the beginning of the movie. The whole theater audience broke out into cheers and applause. When everybody realized later on, that Max and Gyro had no previous knowledge of who each other was...my heart sank! In fact, I think everybody's heart sank that night. Why would "George Miller" do this? If this was a sequel, why would they not know each other in the "Road Warrior" film? My feeling that night was "George Miller" blew it! He could have had a mega-blockbuster franchise not unlike "Star Wars." I had the strange feeling Mr. Miller wanted to deliberately kill the series. If that was his intention, he succeeded.To this day,I long for the classic Mad Max blockbuster series that will never be. Good going George!
The Madmax and Madmax 2 are some of the best films ever to come out of Australia, I think they are brilliant and they made Mel Gibsons career.As Mad Max 2 is my favourite film ever i was truly disappointed with this attempt at turning a Vigilante cop film into Sci-fi genre.I think that George miller (the director)tried to make a film that was kid friendly and failed.I am not a fan of Censorship certificates and that is one of the main problem with cinema these days.Lethal weapon,die hard and mad max all produced disappointing sequels when their age ratings were pushed from 18 to 15,Not that children should be forced to watch them but i watched the series when i was 12 and i loved them all but this one. The film has its moments but overall this is a sinking ship that needs a 4th film to redeem itself after this comedown.
I just watched that film and I must say I sensed too much Hollywood in
it. Where is the 'old good chaser Max'? This 'cowboy superhero' Max was
a little bit off the scale, someone else for me. Just too weird,
couldn't get much satisfaction from it, as from first and especially
I have seen a lot of action films, which are not very much different from Mad Max III. But Mad Max I and II are original, classical movies. Why not to stay in the same path? The third part is more or less ruined for me, Max was more like a beating-all-up hero and running around like Indiana Jones.
There was something special in first two films, but not in third, as it was rather usual action/fantasy film. But still, not too bad, there is no point why you shouldn't see Mad Max III.
If it's a typical sequel, it means it runs anywhere from a
"disappointment" to "my damn goldfish could've made a better film".
This sequel was not that bad, but undeniably a disappointment.
It fits that rare category that follows a SUCCESSFUL sequel that was even more popular than the original, and reinvented the story. "Alien" 1,2&3 fit the same pattern, except Alien 3 was a "goldfish" sequel.
I just read IMDb's Trivia about "Beyond Thunderdome", and discovered some backstory about how the "lost children" was a stand-alone idea, and then Max was attached to the concept. That was the biggest mistake of this film. It's never worked for me, trying to meld two essentially separate stories into one film. Not woven together, spot welded, and the joint is weak, very weak. When you come from a film thinking about the many ways you wished it was done differently, you don't have anything great. The "Lost Children" thing never worked, they should have kept the whole story focused on Bartertown. It could have been great.
And few chases will ever compare to Max 2 (the Road Warrior), but what I found lacking about the finale chase in Thunderdome was that - it was on a TRAIN. HUH???? Part of our hero Max's strength is his cunning behind the wheel of a mean V8. Or a damn semi. Crashing, ramming, shooting, outwitting, and crushing the opponent. But Mad Max is not a commuter, WHY A TRAIN? Both Alien and Mad Max were, in modern parlance "franchises" that were killed by a weak script. As a sci-fi fan, as an action fan, it's sad to see them whither and die, but there you go. At least Batman was resuscitated right proper.
In an interview once, mel gibson called this film "s**t"(and It was also
last Aussie film). OK the film isn't to bad But I found it kinda Sad that
Director george miller had to take what was originally a daring Idea...and
cater it to all ages, which was never what the Films were
Given the series popularity...It looks as if every aussie actor, man or child, who ever appeared on screen has found their way into this film..and not because of their acting abilities. And the final chase scene not only rips off the second film But is utterly Weak and devoid of energy. In fact it is pretty obvious that george Miller threw it in just to Keep fans of the first two films Happy...NICE TRY. And what is with all the cute kids, This is a mad max film for crying out loud. The original film was R rated, Low Budgeted, Nasty, fast and full of action....How did it sink to this level.
But the one thing that I truly didnt understand in the film was Bruce Spence. In Mad max 2, He played the gyro Captain. In this film, he is again Playing a pilot, and it took me till nearly the end of the film before I finally realized that he wasnt playing the Same role.(So in the desolate future, all pilots look like Bruce spence, Yeah right).
On the plus side, This Film has some good songs and george miller again Maintains the thunderous atmosphere he did so well with the first two. So it looks good on the screen. But not much else. George Miller Achieved his Vision with Mad max 2, the best in the series and one of my favourites, But i have no idea what he was trying to accomplish with this...maybe a more lighter vision or something.
I did like the final scenes of a Sand covered Sydney harbour bridge..and Sydney Itself....But the Mad max films reached their peak with Number 2...Lets leave it at that Shall We. I give it 6 out of 10
Mad Max 3 is more weak than first and second. But it is sill a pretty nice movie . It doesn't have so much action like the second. It has, maybe, more big actors. A lower script. Almost the same direction. Anyway this is a nice movie to watch !
Changing a legend into a childish stupid action film is a crime. What the heck is this film wasted 2 hours of my life. Where is the gore of the movies before. Mad max was a merciless man now he is a child hero like spider-man or something wth? I don't recommend this movie to anyone except you are watching to complete the trilogy. It will waste your time and wont fulfill your expectation. No one dies in the film (except a child?!?) A guy gets hit by a train and his car explodes still he is alive and stuff like that. I don't know what they were thinking while making this movie but i bet they were high. I cant even tell something good about it...
"Now, when men get to fighting, it happens here! And it finishes here!
Two men enter; one man leaves."
Everything I loved about the first Mad Max sequel is what is missing in this third installment, Beyond Thunderdome, which is the weakest entry of the trilogy. I was surprised to discover that this film was so warmly received by critics in 1985 when it came out because I felt like they changed the entire structure of the series and the Max character. Whereas Mel Gibson played Max as a quiet and antisocial character in The Road Warrior, here he seems to enjoy chatting with others and transforms himself into a completely different person. Beyond Thunderdome also lacks some of the spectacular choreographed vehicle chases that the previous films had and which made the franchise such a hit. It isn't until the final 20 minutes of the film that we actually get these spectacular chases and by that time I really didn't care too much for the characters. It's unfortunate because George Miller's vision of this post- apocalyptic world is intelligently designed, but somehow the characters and the story arch take some absurd turns. The film itself seems like it's divided into two separate movies. In the first half we are introduced to Bartertown, a civilization that is being built in the middle of the dessert, and then the second half takes place in the middle of an oasis where a group of young teenagers and children are patiently waiting for a savior to lead them home. These two stories didn't feel like they belonged in a same movie together and the film takes an incoherent turn from what it was doing in the previous Mad Max movies. This seems to be a much more family friendly film and somehow the producers convinced Miller to include the Max character so they could bank on the success of the franchise, but it feels like a completely different story.
Beyond Thunderdome begins with Max (Mel Gibson) traveling through the dessert having his vehicle towed by a group of camels when all of a sudden a plane flies so close to him that it knocks him off the road. In a matter of seconds the pilot, Jedediah (Bruce Spence), jumps off the plane and steals his vehicle while his son flies the plane back home. Max is left with nothing in the middle of the vast wasteland. Fortunately he discovers that there is a nearby city called Bartertown where travelers exchange goods. The city is ruled by Aunty (Tina Turner) who is trying to bring back civilization after a nuclear war has nearly wiped out the entire population of the world. Of course in order to build this civilized city she governs the place by controlling the population with soldiers and slaves. She can't run the city on her own however, because the city needs energy which is powered by Master Blaster who is using pig manure to produce methane. Master Blaster is actually two characters, Master (Angelo Rossitto), a midget who rides on a giant's back named Blaster (Paul Larsson). Master is the brains, while Blaster is the brute force. Auntie wants Blaster out of the picture so she can control Master along with the rest of the city on her own. That is where Max comes in handy because she soon discovers that he is a talented warrior who might just be able to defeat the monster. He promises Max vehicle and gasoline if he accepts to face off Blaster in a death duel inside the Thunderdome, the place where all problems are settled and justice is served. The film takes some unexpected turns along the way leading Max through the dessert once again where he is saved by a group of tribal children who seem to confuse him for Captain Walker, a man who supposedly promised to lead them back to civilization.
The film suffers an extremely rare tonal shift once Max arrives at the oasis where the tribal children live, but it never ceases to entertain. The Thunderdome scene is by far the best action sequence of the movie and the film is almost worth recommending just for that. It's an inventive fight scene that is expertly choreographed and shot through some great camera angles. The final twenty minutes of the film are action packed, but it comes a bit too late. It's in these action scenes that George Miller's direction seems to excel, but the narrative structure and character development does suffer as the film tries to bring all these different archs together in an unconvincing and none-cohesive manner. The sequel seemed to have lost the heart and soul of Miller's previous visionary post-apocalyptic world, but I'll still give the film credit for trying to do something completely different from the previous sequel. Unfortunately that inventiveness didn't pay off and I would've preferred Miller stick closer to the world he had envisioned in The Road Warrior. I didn't care too much for the villains in this film either and that is why I found this to be the weakest entry of the series.
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