Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Director: George Miller, George Ogilvie
Writer: George Miller, Terry Hayes
Sequel to: Mad Max, Mad Max 2
Cast: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Helen Buday, Frank Thring, Angelo Rossitto, Paul Larsson, Robert Grubb, George Spartels, Mark Spain, Bruce Spence
Seen on: 17.5.2015
Max (Mel Gibson) wanders the postapocalyptic desert alone, when he is robbed. Knowing that there is only one place where the thieves could go with his things – Barter Town – he heads there to try to get his stuff back. But to enter Barter Town you have to have something to trade. So Max offers his services – an offer that gets taken up by Aunty Entity (Tina Turner), the founder of Barter Town. But things don’t go quite as planned and Max finds himself banished into the desert without water and food. As luck will have it, he is found by a group of orphaned children who see him as the savior they’ve been waiting for. But can Max be that person?
I spent most of the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with my mouth open, marveling at the world we get to see and wondering what the fuck is going on. It was awesome.
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome takes the most unrestrained things about the second film and dials them all up a notch. The aestheticism was overblown in the second film? GIMME MORE OF THAT AND MAKE IT BIGGER. The worldbuilding was a whole lot more complex than it seems at first in the second film? LET’S INCREASE IT TENFOLD AND MAKE EVERYTHING SEEM EVEN SIMPLER. Max was only a tool in the other people’s revolution in the second film? LET’S REDUCE HIM TO A TRIGGER OF OTHER PEOPLE’S REVOLUTION AND A BARELY ACTIVE PARTICIPANT.
I have to admit that it took me a while to get accustomed to that change of pace, especially with the rather abrupt plot change right in the middle of the film – when Max comes from Barter Town to the orphans. That made the film seem a lot more unfocused at first than it actually is.
At first I was disappointed that the film moved away from Barter Town, mostly because Tina Turner was so completely amazing as Aunty Entity. But at the latest when Savannah (Helen Buday) hypnotically performs the children’s mythology in their particular vernacular [something that Cloud Atlas tried to copy, btw.], I didn’t mind that switch that much anymore. That moment was just that magical.
You probably have to be able to relax into the film and let yourself be swept along with Max, and not try to make too much sense of the film while you watch it. [There is sense there, but it’s best found later.] Otherwise the film will be frustrating. But if you manage to relax into it, it’s one hell of a ride.