Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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


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 … More

Rating: PG-13 (violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Terry Hayes
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 1, 2002
Runtime:
Warner Bros. Pictures

Cast


as Mad Max

as Aunty Entity

as The Master

as Jedediah Jr.

as Jedediah

as Savannah Nix

as The Collector

as The Blaster

as Ironbar

as Pigkiller

as Blackfinger

as Dr. Dealgood

as Waterseller

as Ton Ton Tattoo

as Little One

as Aunty's Guard

as Aunty's Guard

as Aunty's Guard

as Aunty's Guard

as Aunty's Guard

as Aunty's Guard

as Aunty's Guard

as Aunty's Guard

as Aunty's Guard

as Aunty's Guard

as Mr. Skyfish

as Scrooloose

as Anna Goanna

as Tubba Tintye

as Finn McCoo

as The Hunter

as Cusha, the Pregnant ...

as The Hunter

as The Hunter

as The Hunter

as The Guardian

as The Guardian

as The Guardian

as Mr. Scratch

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as The Gatherer

as Little One

as Little One

as Little One

as Little One

as Little One

as Little One

as Guardian
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (11)

This middle portion of the picture becomes dangerously preachy, but just before we and Max are bored, director Miller returns Max to his roots, a screaming chase sequence through a desertlike Australian landscape.

Full Review… | May 13, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Beyond Thunderdome is the third in George Miller's Mad Max series, and it closes the trilogy like a lightning blast followed by the ominous, resonant drone of thunder.

Full Review… | May 13, 2015
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome isn't a bad movie. It has entertaining sections, decent performances and more than a few provocative images. But it also has a major shortcoming: It's too darned sane.

Full Review… | May 13, 2015
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top 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.

Full Review… | June 10, 2008
ReelViews
Top 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.

Full Review… | June 6, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

½

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome trades away its menacing thrills and violence for a much more toned-down, funkier and adventurous take. The film still has its captivating action sequences (especially the Thunderdome concept) to hold it up, but the intensity lessens in comparison to the other films in the franchise. 3.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

½

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.

phubbs1
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

½

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!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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