Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
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A cool fight in the arena and a great car chase at the end does not make up for all the faults of this movie. Such as 1) This is a watered-down PG-13 Mad Max for the kiddies. 2) Too much talking, too little action. 3) Mad Max movie + Tina Turner villain = don't mix. It's like taking something great such as ice cream and throwing a couple of fistfulls of salt in it. Besides these three complaints. I kind of liked it. The mythology behind the Mad Max universe is expanded upon, there is as I already mentioned, an adrenaline-inducing car chase and Mel Gibson is still cool as ice in the title role. Not as bad as some people say.
Its not a bad movie. The narrative is better than the previous movies. I remember the characters more in this one too. The problem lies with it's PG13 rating. Mad Max is suppose to be pulpy and ultraviolent. This was watered down. That doesnt make it bad, just a let down. It's actually a pretty good movie to show your kids, before getting them into stuff like Road Warrior, Aliens, or Die Hard
On one podcast or other, I pushed back against a co-host who said Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome wasn't any good. Being my first, and on television at that, my impression was that it was fine. But I'll admit, what I really remembered was Tina Turner as a warlord, and probably more because of her music video than any real memories of the film. Revisiting it, yes, sure, it has structural problems - it feels too episodic, even if the first and second stories crash into each other in the third - but it's very much the template for Fury Road. You have George Miller's impeccable image making and world building, and though it's less high-octane (the fuel is methane, if you want to make your own disparaging review), it still has a crazy vehicle chase at the end. And for those who thought Max had little to no agency in Fury Road, that's also true of Thunderdome. He's a catalyst for the action, but he is more often than not subjected to the story rather than pushing it. And look, any film that gave us the iconic "Two men enter, one man leaves" has its place in the genre canon.
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