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Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

tomatometer

81

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 7

Beyond Thunderdome deepens the Mad Max character without sacrificing the amazing vehicle choreography and stunts that made the originals memorable.

88

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

Beyond Thunderdome deepens the Mad Max character without sacrificing the amazing vehicle choreography and stunts that made the originals memorable.

audience

50

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 65,194

My Rating

Movie Info

About 15 years after the events of Mad Max 2, nuclear war has finally destroyed what little was left of civilization. Grizzled and older, former cop Max (Mel Gibson) roams the Australian desert in a camel-drawn vehicle -- until father-and-son thieves Jebediah Sr. (Bruce Spence) and Jr. (Adam Cockburn) use their jury-rigged airplane to steal his possessions and means of transportation. Max soon winds up in Bartertown, a cesspool of post-apocalyptic capitalism powered by methane-rich pig manure

Jan 1, 2002

Warner Bros. Pictures

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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (7) | DVD (4)

An astonishing display of virtuoso cinema that is destined to take its place among the most vivid and freshly imagined fist-to-groin contests in the medium's history.

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Miller never falls back on the formulas that have become the bane of too many recent action films, and his sustained cuts lend a clarity to the proceedings.

June 10, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gibson impressively fleshes out Max, Tina Turner is striking in her role as Aunty (as well as contributing two topnotch songs, which open and close the picture) and the juves are uniformly good.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The punky energy of the earlier films has given way to a self-conscious striving for significance, obscuring Miller's considerable kinetic talents in favor of a lumpy didacticism.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Enough imagination, wit and ingenuity to put recent Spielberg to shame.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This film has showier stunts than its predecessors, and a better sense of humor. It also has Tina Turner, in chain-mail stockings.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Disjointed but it still rocks.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Quality, visionary sci-fi.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The performances are superb. The script allows Gibson to bring a welcome new dimension to the Mad Max character, and the actor rises to the occasion.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Great goofy fun.

April 9, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Good action plus Tina Turner. Welcome indeed.

December 14, 2006
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Mel Gibson proves to be a formidable warrior.

August 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Let's face it, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome isn't terribly memorable.

September 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Comment (1)
Filmcritic.com

The weakest of the MAD MAX films, but the Thunderdome cage match is worth viewing.

March 19, 2003
eFilmCritic.com

An admirable conclusion to the Mad Max trilogy: softer than its predecessors, but possessing its own unique voice.

February 4, 2003
Flipside Movie Emporium

Bartertown is convincingly detailed, and the fight in Thunderdome is thrilling, ludicrous stuff, goofy and thrilling at the same time.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix
Netflix

Not a shade on the originals, but still action to the max!

September 17, 2002
Moviehole

Weakest entry in the series

September 14, 2002
Laramie Movie Scope

A huge step down from the first two, but still watchable (if only for the action).

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Despite some funky oddities and a smashing climactic chase, this pales in comparison to The Road Warrior.

July 25, 2002 | Comment (1)
Matinee Magazine

Audience Reviews for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

For the last outing Miller has taken a different route for his lone wolf character. Gone are the highway chases, road wars and Max's personal Ford Falcon, this adventure is a completely new kind of beast...with kids...hurrah!

It does seem that Miller took a leaf out of the Lucas book of ideas for this film. A much more toned down Mad Max film with very little blood and road vehicle based death and carnage, but an abundance of children in a kind of tribal Lord of the Flies meets 'The Lost Boys' in a 'Peter Pan-esque' type of way. Not too dissimilar to the way 'Return of the Jedi' went all cute and cuddly towards the end with a large tribe of teddy bears.

Although the change of pace was risky and in my view...not the best decision ever, you gotta give kudos to the writers for being brave enough to go in another direction. The film doesn't really offer much action and adventure at any point to be brutally honest, my opinion. The first half set in 'Bartertown' is a complete bust really as all we get is a seedy dirty dusty desert town inhabited by lots of marauder types and weirdo's yet nothing really happens!

The bad guys aren't really bad at all, just a bit naughty I guess, the plot isn't really of any interest and goes nowhere and the only action is a rather limp fight between Max and a huge helmet wearing foot soldier/bodyguard called 'Blaster'. We also find out the leader of this wasteland dump is errrm...Tina Turner, terrific.

Of course we all knew this before the film came out but it was definitely a sign of the franchise hitting the rocks. After this average kick off things progress towards the desert where Max finds this tribe of kids and where the franchise U-turns harshly, think of an early version of 'Hook' and you might get an idea of what I'm talking about. Its not as cringeworthy and terrible as that Spielberg film but lets be honest its pretty crappy frankly. From here on Max babysits these kids until the plot leads them back to Bartertown for...hmmm not much really, plot is absent without leave.

The sets costumes and makeup for the kids and their homes are nicely done, doesn't look tacky or too childish, luckily it all still fits OK within the Mad Max universe. Of course we do still get some lovely location visuals with some beautifully stunning vast orange and tan coloured Aussie outback shots. These landscapes really are the core of this franchise and give it such depth and scope, it just looks awesome basically.

After observing nothing much in the form of excitement we do eventually get a reasonably solid yet watered down vehicle chase sequence at the end. Its not as intense as you would expect and barely serves up enough thrills to raise a smile, the violence level is at a complete zero here folks, bloodless. I'm not saying that automatically means the movie will be poor but come on...its Mad Max, lets see some claret spillage.

As I said it was brave to go into new territory with Max but maybe this particular idea wasn't the best way. There isn't really anything very memorable anywhere in the film, the title sounds daft and although the Tina Turner theme song is a good tune its all very Bond-like and too glossy. You half expect Turner to start bellowing out her power ballad midway through the film to a montage of Gibson's tanned buttocks...well maybe.
August 11, 2014
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

This final instalment of the "Max Max Trilogy" has become more cheesy than ever, but also more entertaining in ways that does not seem like it would be in a "Mad Max" picture, but still enjoyable. The tone of these films has always remained low-budget, leaving the atmosphere to be very dull at times, making it a chore to get through these films, especially this one, where the huge climax's are where the money lies. I had a blast watching the huge climax of this film, and it was a fine ride through until that point. The script is fine, the dialogue as well, and the directing is what really counts for a film like this, and for what it is, it is hit right on. I enjoyed this film just as much as the original, but "The Road Warrior" is the true "Max Max" picture!
March 3, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

This might be the most polished and slick of the three Mad Max films, but it's also a bit of a mess and admittedly rather silly and campy, but not in a totally good way.

It's been years since the events of The Road Warrior, and the world has finally and fully become a wasteland thanks to nuclear fallout. Max finds himself stranded in the middle of this barren field of nothingness, but things begin to look up when he stumbles into the shady Bartertown run by Aunty Entity- a ruthless overlord played with campy villainy by Tina Turner.

Thanks to the fact that he isn't completely morally bankrupt yet, Max gets banished from Bartertown but soin finds himself in a paradise that has escapred the nuclear nightmare. Whiel here, he becoems a savior of sorts to a pack of feral kids, and ultimately takes them under his wing to settle the score with Aunty Entity.

All in all, this is a fun and action packed filmed that is pretty enjoyable, has some great sets, and some decent action. It is more slick than the first two, but not quite as gritty, and also seems a bit too campy and cheesy. It's well done though, and it does get a mild pass from me, even thoguh the action and chases aren't as brilliant as they were in the previous films.
March 8, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Mad Max 3 has some great ideas but ends up a little messy. The kids are fairly annoying too and at times it feels like a horrible version of the Goonies. It's still not as bad as I was lead to believe though and exploitation films don't need to make sense, they were always messing around with characters and storeys etc. Tina Turner though, eh?
August 30, 2011
SirPant

Super Reviewer

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