Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Directed by George Miller and George Ogilvie. Produced by George Miller. Written by Terry Hayes and George Miller. Release date: August 8, 1985.
While The Road Warrior wasn't as big of a financial success as Mad Max - how could it be, really? - it still made a good chunk of money, allowing the filmmakers to create a third film, Beyond Thunderdome. This one, set several years after the last, was co-directed by George Ogilvie - working with George Miller, who helmed the first two films solo - and was the first one not to be produced by Byron Kennedy, who passed away in 1983.
Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson): Our leading character. A former police officer who lost his family in Mad Max. He became hardened by that event, but started to regain his humanity in The Road Warrior, despite continuing to live as a lonely drifter.
Aunty Entity (Tina Turner): The ruler and founder of Bartertown.
Master (Angelo Rossitto): An engineer who created a factory that generates electricity for Bartertown.
Blaster (Paul Larsson): A mentally impaired bodyguard who protects Master.
Savannah (Helen Buday): The leader of a tribe of survivors who rescues Max.
After being ambushed and having most of his equipment stolen, Max heads to Bartertown, where he is tasked by its ruler, Aunty, to fight a large man named Blaster, who together with a dwarf named Master forms a cohesive unit. MasterBlaster, looking to overthrow Aunty. MasterBlaster runs the factory which generates energy for the town. Max challenges Blaster to a fight in Thunderdome, a gladiator-style cage fight to the death - where both combatants are suspended by ropes. Max beats Blaster, but refuses to kill him. Aunty exiles Max as a result of breaking their agreement.
After being exiled and stranded in the desert, Max is found by a settler named Savannah, who takes him to her home, a small community consisting largely of children. They believe him to be The Chosen One, which Max refutes. Some of the children flee from the community, so Max heads out to chase them down, along with a couple of other group members. The journey burns out their supplies, forcing them to head to Bartertown.
Max and the group free Master and escape from Bartertown. They're hunted down by Aunty and her crew - particularly because they set off some explosions in the town. Eventually, Max allows the settlers to escape, and Aunty spares his life, having come to respect him over the events of the film. Max remains free to wander the wasteland, just as he has done for years.
Is It Any Good?
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome is the weakest of the Mad Max films. Its plot is scattershot - a Spartacus-style story would have functioned better - the characters are shallow, and there are really only two main action scenes. Max is still fun to watch, the action we do get is fun - save for the inexplicable decision to suspend the Thunderdome combatants by ropes. It's not a great movie like The Road Warrior or a really good movie like Mad Max, but it's passable entertainment.