Movie Review: Mad Max – Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

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We are finally here, the final part of my series of “Mad Max” reviews (“Fury Road” not included). It has been a… strange journey to say the least. From the revenge story of “Mad Max” to the vehicular insanity of “The Road Warrior” and now we have the finalé left.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome”.

Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is back to be scruffy-looking and badass. This time he stumbles upon a place called Bartertown where he meets the town’s leader called Aunty Entity (Tina Turner). But after some shit hits the fan, he gets exiled into the wasteland and left to die. But then he is taken in with some children who live in a forest/jungle/how-did-that-end-up-there-in-the-sandy-wasteland whom he then teams up with to rebel against Aunty Entity. While I was entertained through the entirety of the movie, I feel like the plot got a little… stupid. I love the first half where he is in Bartertown/Thunderdome, fighting for his life, but when he ends up with the kids it feels like an entirely different movie… and not really in a good way. It started to feel less like a “Mad Max” movie and more like a Steven Spielberg movie. And I was not the biggest fan of how the plot developed, even though it was enjoyable to watch.

I think it’s safe to say that Mel Gibson is fantastic as Max. He nailed it the first two times, and he nailed it here too. I would even say that he got some great character development in this movie, with Max evolving a fair amount as a character which is great to see. I was however worried about the casting of Tina Turner in the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love her, I think she is a fantastic musician… but since I have never seen her act before I was worried that she would suck. Did she suck? Not really. While she wasn’t as terrible as I thought she might’ve been, she was still not great. Her performance was at a lot of times over-the-top and a little campy, but she was still fine. All other performances on the other hand were pretty great. And since this is a “Mad Max” movie you can expect that everyone have lost their fucking minds and are all very colorful, which is always fun.

The music was done by composer Maurice Jarre. And as per usual it was great, with Jarre showing that he can create pieces of music for all moods a movie wants to show. There were also one or two tracks done/sung by Tina Turner and those were pretty great which is to be expected. All of the music was in fact very well composed and really enjoyable to listen to.

George Miller returns as director, but is this time also joined by George Ogilvie who I have never fuckin’ heard of. No offense to the man, I’m sure he’s a nice guy, I just haven’t heard of him before. Anyway, holy shit this movie looks amazing. Out of all the movies so far, this might be the best looking one out of them all. The cinematography is beautiful and the pans and zooms and overall directing is simply great. It also has some pretty great action scenes. Mainly two of them; The first one is the fight in Thunderdome between Max and a huge, muscular man named Blaster. The second one is the big chase at the end which is typical “Mad Max” badassery. What is a little weird about the movie is that it is the only one in the series (“Fury Road” included) that is rated PG-13. Why the sudden change of age rating, Miller? It doesn’t really take away from the movie, I just find it weird. Answer me, damn it!

This movie has gotten some mixed reception to say the least. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

“Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” is a strange movie. It has an entertaining plot that still derails itself halfway through, but it also has really fun characters/great performances, and excellent soundtrack, terrific directing/cinematography and awesome action. Time for my final score. MAAAAAAAAAAAD MAAAAAAAAAAX! My final score for “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” is an 8,78/10. I’d still say that it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

I have finally reviewed the final part in the “Mad Max” trilogy (A.K.A. “Beyond Thunderdome”).

Who runs Bartertown?

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