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Beyond Thunderdome

Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome

What He said:

He

Though there are no confirmed details on the plot, I do know there is a fourth planned Mad Max movie. It’s called Mad Max: Fury Road and stars Tom Hardy as Max (though Mel Gibson is rumored to have a small role as an old Max recalling his past). Ever since I heard about it – and saw a trailer for what looked to be an awesome upcoming video game – I wanted to check the series out. I’m a cool guy (by cool I mean nerdy). I consider myself a big movie fan and knowing this series’ standing amongst action movies, I decided to finally sit down and watch the series.

Twenty years have passed since Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) lost his family to Tocutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his gang of raging lunatics. Fifteen have passed since he helped a group of survivors defeat The Humungus (Kjell Nilsson) and his murderous group of followers. The post-apocalyptic society is now decades old. People are used to this way of living and a new society has started to emerge.

Beyond Thunderdome

One of the more prominent locations in this “new” world is a place called Bartertown. It is a place where people congregate and trade goods. It’s a pretty seedy place, but it has its own set of rules too. Basically you go there, hand over your weapons, and offer goods or services in exchange for other goods or services you want instead. The town was founded by a woman who goes by the name of Aunty Entity (Tina Turner). Though she is technically in charge, her grasp on that leadership is often challenged by the duo running the underground; where electricity and other technology are powered by a complex system of turning methane gas (yes, that’s shit) into energy. This duo goes by the name Master Blaster. Master (Angelo Rossitto) is the brains of the operation. He’s a dwarf who rides on the shoulders of his protector, Blaster (Paul Larsson). Blaster is a masked behemoth who does whatever Master commands.

Beyond Thunderdome

Max unwillingly ends up in Bartertown when he is robbed and tracks down the thief to the rag tag town. He gets caught up in the politics between Aunty Entity and Master/Blaster, gets himself in some trouble, and is kicked out into the wasteland (which is little more than desert at this point).

He is on the verge of death when he is discovered by a group of children who have formed their own tribe. They appear to be the children of a group people who disappeared when they went searching for help/resources . They nurse Max back to health. They also think he’s some kind of messiah, despite his insistence he’s not. He ends up going to rescue some of them when they go out into the wasteland on some kind of religious pilgrimage. From there, they had back to Bartertown and help Max get back the supplies that were stolen from him

Beyond Thunderdome

Some people hate this movie because of its lighter tone. You can see that the movie is trying to mimic some of the lighter action/adventure stuff of the 80s Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and The Last Starfighter are some of the movies that come to mind; particularly when you think of the addition of the younger cast members. It tried to be funnier and went for action sequences that were goofy than gory; like the first two. Now I have no problem with lighter stuff. Indiana Jones and Star Wars are some of my favorite movies.  I love a good old-fashioned, innocent, swashbuckling type of adventure. But that’s not the tone of the Mad Max series. They really altered the tone at times in this movie. I didn’t hate it, it just didn’t fit with the other two movies.

Beyond Thunderdome

It was very blatant with some of the villains. Some of Tina Turner’s henchmen were a joke. They started out ok, but as the movie went on, they turned into parodies of villains from the previous Mad Max movies. I did like the Master Blaster though. Who doesn’t love the old midget riding the on the big dumb giant’s back bit? It fits in the Mad Max universe very well. Aside from them, the rest of the villains were unmemorable.

I did like seeing an older, softer, more human Max. He changed from a good cop and family man to a cold and unsympathetic drifter in the second movie. Watching him get a bit of his humanity back was fine with me. It is interesting to see the same character at three very different points in his life.

The movie was actually fine for a long chunk of time, but got a little too goofy towards the end. I didn’t think it was awful, but definitely the weak link in the series.

Rating: Thumbs half up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on February 2, 2014.

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