ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome

Updated on March 24, 2017
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 1985, George Miller and George Ogilvie released Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome, the third film in the Mad Max series. Starring Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn, Frank Thring, Angelo Rossitto, Paul Larsson, Angry Anderson, Robert Grubb, Helen Buday, Tom Jennings, Edwin Hodgeman, and Rod Zuanic, the film grossed $36.2 million at the box office.

Synopsis

Quite some time after the first two films, Max finds himself in the middle of a power struggle over who controls the society of Bartertown. On one side, there’s Aunty Entity, who founded the town and the duo Master Blaster who controls its energy supply. Following a deal Max makes with Entity where he must fight Blaster in the Thunderdome, he eventually finds a society of children, survivors of a plane crash, living in a hidden valley.

Review

Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome is an odd film due to how tight and well done the first third of the film is, only to fall to pieces at the halfway mark. It turns into a much different film than what had been presented previously, not just in the film, but throughout the series as a whole. As a whole, the series had presented audiences with grittily semi-realistic post-apocalyptic scenarios Max had gotten himself into, such as fighting biker gangs over the scarcity of oil. In the first part of the film, Max finds himself in Bartertown, caught up in the power struggle, eventually fighting in the titular Thunderdome. The post-apocalyptic vibe with the scarcity of oil continues to be real, seen when he decides to try and use a chainsaw as a weapon, only for it to run out of gas. Furthermore, it continues the motif of how lonely the wasteland is, seen in how Bartertown is one of the last civilized trading hubs in existence, as well as all the harsh characters the film had been throwing at the viewers.

However, between the first and second act, the film becomes more of an adventure film with younger kids and religious undertones. It’s a radical shift and feels nothing like what Mad Max had been doing at all in any way prior. It helps the title of the film make sense as he literally goes beyond Thunderdome, but there had to have been a better way to make the film keep the same feeling. Further, while the film does go back to Bartertown, it just doesn’t have the same aura to it as it did earlier.

The cult the group of kids forms around a downed jet airliner also makes sense, due to the realistic idea of an isolated tribe creating and exploring its own mythos after the apocalypse. When it comes after a locale like Bartertown and the atmosphere that came with it though, the whole cult aspect of the film continues to feel like a very different movie.

Nevertheless, the film does present some really good characters through the aforementioned power struggle. Aunty Entity is the only villain up until this point who actually had any hope of justifying her actions. Following the apocalyptic war, she went from a nobody and rose to the top to become the leader of Bartertown. In her villainous rule of the town, it’s shown the reason she keeps such an iron first is she’s genuinely trying to restore order and civilization to a broken down world. She also has no interest in perpetrating senseless violence, only indulging in villainous acts in order to preserve power and authority. Her pragmatism keeps her from killing Max at the end too.

Then there’s Master Blaster, who are actually two people acting in cohesion. Master is the shortest person in Barterown, but he’s also the smartest while Blaster is mentally handicapped and serves as Master’s muscle. As the caretaker of the methane conversion plant providing the city with electricity and fuel, Master is possibly one of the few people left alive with such a knowledge of mechanical engineering. His ability to practically shut down Bartertown by not allowing it to have the fuel it needs to run is perfect in providing the conflict between him and Aunty. Moreover, he’s shown as having hidden depths in how he made Blaster his enforcer, as he’s giving a mentally disabled person some semblance of safety in a cutthroat world such as Bartertown.

3 stars for Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion

Awards won

Image Awards

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture (Tina Turner)

Nominated for

Golden Globe Awards

  • Best Original Song - Motion Picture (Song: "We Don't Need Another Hero")

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Film Saturn Awards

  • Best DVD/Blu-Ray Collection (As a part of "Mad Max Anthology")
  • Best DVD/Blu-Ray Collection (For the Mad Max Trilogy Collection)
  • Best Science Fiction Film
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing
  • Best Costumes

Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards

  • Best Sound Editing - Sound Effects


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)