Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Director: George Miller
Writers:  Terry Hayes, George Miller
Cast:       Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence

A former Australian policeman is rescued by a tribe of children when he is banished from a desert town and sent into the desert by the desert town's evil queen (Tina Turner). This is the third installment in the Mad Max trilogy featuring Mel Gibson as the title character. Unlike in the earlier films, there is a semblance of order with the desert queen having brought a justice system in the town she had established. But the energy with which it is run is based on pig-shit and is handled by MasterBlaster. She kills Blaster with the help of Max and aims to control the Master. Max aims to help the tribe who rescued him by rescuing Master from the desert town.

The films begins with a bang and has great humor in the 'Hans Solo' mode. The middle third of it is attritional with George Miller having some fun with the idea of a backward tribe waiting for their messiah based on what they have deduced from things from the past. The last third film of the film features the obligatory kickass chase sequence and this time it involves a train. It is the only film out of the three that has a PG-13 rating while the other two are R-Rated. The fourth one that is coming out this year starring Tom Hardy, Fury Road, is also rated R. From the trailer I have seen of it, the story part seems fine with a very good cast but the action sequences seems very CGIed. What makes action sequences great in the Mel Gibson Mad Max films are their grittiness and the realism of the chase sequences and CGI won't make it exciting in any way whatsoever. Add to that it doesn't look any more realistic than the original ones. You are not going to be very excited if you know that they are doing is in front of a green Screen. To add insult to injury, it will be released in 3-D. Looks very much like a money-grab exercise.

As for Mad Max 3, it sits between 2 and 1 in terms of quality with second one being the best out of the three. The difference in quality between the films are quite large. Even though 'Beyond the Thunderdome', at 107 minutes, is not that longer compared to 'Road Warrior' but it does feel so which is never a good thing for a straight up action film. The standout feature of the third film is its humor compared to the other two even though it is a bit uneven. Like the second film, the antagonist characters are also very rational in their actions and not cartoonish. Overall it is a good watch without being anywhere near as good as the second one or anywhere near as bad as the first one. It was made with a budget of $12 million and grossed around $35 million, making it the least successful out of the three. Fury Road's budget is a whopping $150 million and I can see it being a disaster at the box office since many of the viewers will be coming with no knowledge about the franchise.

Rating: 3/5