Starring: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence
Director: George Miller, George Ogilvie
Running Time: 107 mins
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is an Australian film and the third in the Mad Max series. As the world continues to descend into further anarchy, Max finds himself cast out of a desert town by its evil ruler, leaving him to join forces with the primitive tribes that inhabit the desert in order to get revenge on this tyrant.
Right, this isn’t a terrible film, but it’s like watching the Attack Of The Clones of the Mad Max franchise. It not only changes the darker, grittier feel of the first films into a goofier and more PG-13 one, but also has a terribly structured story, with little intrigue in a character that does little in the first hour and a quarter, and then too much happens at the finale.
On the positive side, this does fulfil the job of a sequel relatively well. It’s not a great film, but at least it consolidates the idea of this barren landscape further into the post-apocalypse, whilst the presentation of such things as the desert town and the Thunderdome adds to the world a little more, showing the rebuilding of society in a very primitive and basic way, which was quite interesting to see.
Apart from that, however, this whole film is pretty boring. The first two-thirds have some painfully slow pacing, no car chases, one very dull action sequence, and a main character that acts more like Mopey Max than Mad Max; he just wanders around the desert or sits down and complains, not like the crazed, vengeful man that we saw in the first film or the great action hero from the second film.
Following that, there’s a half-hour long car chase, which, although initially cool like the ones in the second film, goes on for way too long, with too many explosions and crashes left, right and centre, making this even more like Attack Of The Clones, where you become bored of the tedium of the majority, and then even more bored of the excess of action being thrust at you in the finale.
Finally, this film is just not as good as its predecessors because it changes the iconic dark atmosphere of the series into a sillier, more fantastical one. Mad Max was pretty brutal, and Mad Max 2 went even grittier, whereas this maintains a more kid-friendly, PG-13 sort of goofiness, seen by its hoards of Ewok-like children and dwarves who for some reason have started speaking like Yoda, cheapening the film of the dark feel that made it so original in the first place, and that’s why this gets a 6.0 from me.