Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)


Action | Sci-Fi


George Miller | George Ogilvie




Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn, Frank Thring, Angelo Rossitto, Paul Larsson, Angry Anderson, Robert Grubb, Helen Buday, Tom Jennings, Edwin Hodgeman, Rod Zuanic


Robbed of his possessions whilst traveling through the Australian outback, Max (Mel Gibson) stumbles upon Bartertown, a trading post for all manner of criminals and governed by Aunt Entity (Tina Turner) and Master Blaster (Angelo Rossitto). Forced to fight on behalf of Aunt Entity, he is later banished and finds a group of abandoned children to rebel against the town's queen.


Following a bad start, and a good recovery, this final instalment of the Mad Max Trilogy seems to return to its roots, not sure why. Maybe George Miller didn't put his whole heart into it because of the loss of his friend and producer Byron Kennedy, to whom the film is dedicated, or maybe Hollywood stepped in and did what Hollywood do better, ruin things.

Too messy and dragged to be an enjoyable experience, "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" is quite hard to sit through.

Apart from the misleading opening with Bruce Spence who made me believe the film would have followed the events of "The Road Warrior", the start is great. The thunderdome concept -- Two men enter, one man leaves -- is interesting, and from the title someone would expect to see Mad Max fighting in the thunderdome, maybe in some sort of tournament. That is exactly what happens, in the first 20 minutes or so. But it's just one fight, one killing and it's all over. Then there is the middle of the film. It is dreadfully boring as we see Mad Max stumbling across a colony of young people, and the film's genre seems to be shifting from science fiction to children's fantasy. Eventually stuff happens -- I am not sure what because I lost my attention several times -- and the film returns to the good, old Mad Max, with a decent chase sequence through a desert Australia.

Another disappointment is the killing sequences. They used to be quite immediate and macabre, now they are over long and choreographed, lacks blood and nastiness. 

Benefiting of the budget are the settings, more impressive and detailed than ever, and the special effects, which proves explosions worthy of Hollywood.

Mel Gibson somehow manages to do a good job, but unfortunately seems to be the only one working as hard as he can to make the film work. Tina Turner does a decent job as Aunt Entity, but she should probably stick to music.


  1. Oh no! I love this movie! Great action sequences and very mythological and I love the cult kids. My personal favorite of the Trilogy but that is because I like the ending of things. Still, you make some good points.

  2. Hmmm-I have not seen this one yet (Only seen parts of the other 2) but what you write and what I feel about the film seems to match. One day I may see it

    1. If you'll ever see it, make sure you're not tired or you'll probably fall asleep!