Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

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Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

Postby scfc68 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:14 am

For all its faults, I think it has more merit than credited for, the look of the film is just gorgeous with an amazing production design, vibrant colours and great costumes and vehcles.

I feel there was an amazing film that was quashed out by the family friendly direction. The children are the equivalent of the ewoks in Star Wars and were a step too far. The film has a real lack of violence/and grittiness to the violence.

There needs more than one chase in a Mad Max movie .. and well we only got one, but that chase could have been as good as MM2 potentially. I love the Road Train, the vehicles are all crazy as hell and the photography is way better than the chase in MM2 in the way that the camera moves with the action. It still looks stunning. However it only has one particular spectacular crash ( im not talking about the end head on collision) but during the actual Road Train chase and that's where Max drives that vehicle onto the line and it explodes, by contrast and with a reduced budget too, MM2 has several little setpieces within the end chase. I would have liked to have seen the Entity gang clambering more onto the train, more use of the weapons they had (which looked a real mix of firearms and crossbows) and just a greater loss of life. Even Ironbar at the end may have only lost consciousness, it's not concrete that he died.
Ironbar always seemed like a very toned down version of Wez and never really appears truly threatening in the same way. I love the stunt work where he's holding onto the pole during the final chase but the silly noises seem like an ill judged attempt at making the younger audience laugh - still like I say it's great stunt work.

Did anyone else think the model work for Sydney was poor for 1985?? Not a patch on the Statue Of Liberty on the beach in 1968's Planet Of The Apes. ( If you want to see really atrocious model work, go on Youtube and look at the opening scenes of The New Barbarians from 1982)

I just think there is a beautifully made movie from a technical pov that would have succeeded admirably as a non Mad Max movie that ultimately falls short of Mad Max quality control by toning down the violence and darkness of the characters.

I was let down in 1985 and I still cant get the rush off it as I still do with MM1 & MM2 but there is enough quality there to see it with kinder eyes than I did 30 years ago.
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Re: Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

Postby TheDarkOne#1 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:02 pm

When i first saw BT i was a bit disappointed but over time i learned to appreciate it. It's not as dark as the previous movies and the bad guys weren't as menacing but BT has plenty of good moments. For me the visuals are on point.

And i always laugh when i see Ironbar, he's more of a comical bad guy.
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Re: Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

Postby scfc68 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:13 pm

Did I hear that Angry Anderson has a cameo in Fury Road or something??
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Re: Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

Postby Taipan » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:49 pm

Angry was on set, that's for sure.

As for MMBT, the first impression was 'WTF is this?'. Kids? Where are the cars? THOSE are the cars? Where are the roads? Chases? Desert?

So of course the first reaction was negative and it'd stay that way if I didn't ask the really important question: What happened?
I tell you what, for years I was hating this movie until not so long ago I realized it's been set 15 years after the 2nd one and pieces started to come together. Those crappy cars were actually based on real vehicles parts of which you could see (a bumper, camel wagon's cab etc). Those kids being some goofy 'Ewok' filler started to look more like a really broken and abandoned tribe that's so messed up because of the apocalypse that their language changed. Auntie Entity stopped looking like Tina Turner pushed into the movie but someone who's been at the bottom of the social ladder before shit hit the fan and now she built Bartertown - you could almost feel compassionate about her when that town blew up.
So yeah, many layers under the goofy disguise is what i'd describe that movie as.

Not the very best in the series but definitely not as dumb as a lot of people paint it to be.
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Re: Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

Postby henry2 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:32 pm

I have always loved this movie. The Thunderdome fight was very original and exciting. The kids gave the film some heart. And the end chase was great, especially when max cleared the runway for the plane to take off. I also like the score and songs. Maybe I'm an easy critic, but I loved it. Siskel and Ebert both enjoyed it too.
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Re: Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

Postby leadcounsel » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:55 pm

scfc68 wrote:For all its faults, I think it has more merit than credited for, the look of the film is just gorgeous with an amazing production design, vibrant colours and great costumes and vehcles.

I feel there was an amazing film that was quashed out by the family friendly direction. The children are the equivalent of the ewoks in Star Wars and were a step too far. The film has a real lack of violence/and grittiness to the violence.

There needs more than one chase in a Mad Max movie .. and well we only got one, but that chase could have been as good as MM2 potentially. I love the Road Train, the vehicles are all crazy as hell and the photography is way better than the chase in MM2 in the way that the camera moves with the action. It still looks stunning. However it only has one particular spectacular crash ( im not talking about the end head on collision) but during the actual Road Train chase and that's where Max drives that vehicle onto the line and it explodes, by contrast and with a reduced budget too, MM2 has several little setpieces within the end chase. I would have liked to have seen the Entity gang clambering more onto the train, more use of the weapons they had (which looked a real mix of firearms and crossbows) and just a greater loss of life. Even Ironbar at the end may have only lost consciousness, it's not concrete that he died.
Ironbar always seemed like a very toned down version of Wez and never really appears truly threatening in the same way. I love the stunt work where he's holding onto the pole during the final chase but the silly noises seem like an ill judged attempt at making the younger audience laugh - still like I say it's great stunt work.

Did anyone else think the model work for Sydney was poor for 1985?? Not a patch on the Statue Of Liberty on the beach in 1968's Planet Of The Apes. ( If you want to see really atrocious model work, go on Youtube and look at the opening scenes of The New Barbarians from 1982)

I just think there is a beautifully made movie from a technical pov that would have succeeded admirably as a non Mad Max movie that ultimately falls short of Mad Max quality control by toning down the violence and darkness of the characters.

I was let down in 1985 and I still cant get the rush off it as I still do with MM1 & MM2 but there is enough quality there to see it with kinder eyes than I did 30 years ago.


MM1 and MM2 are among my favorite films. MM3 was a huge letdown for the articulate reasons in the OP. It got deductions for the silly group of merry teenage survivors who seemed more like spoiled brats than survivors. And the whole CPT Walker angle was just too far fetched to be believed.

Comic relief killed MM3. Max's behavior and some scenes were just plain stupid or done for comic relief. For instance, when he pulls a gun on the fat guy and then FIRES HIS SHOTGUN in a crowded room and blows the feathers off the other guy. Totally unbelievable behavior for many obvious reasons. It was unnecessary 'comedy' which detracted from the film's seriousness. Similarly, when Max produces an arsenal from his waistband and gets a strange look from what must be a modern day anti-gun person.... I love guns, but this was a weak attempt at comic relief and again not in fitting with MM. So in the span of 5 minutes, we've had more attempts at comedy than in both previous movies combined. And there would be more with Ironbar, the kids, the white painted clown, the silly dwarf named Master, etc.

The 'villains' weren't very menacing, and Ironbar was more of a jester than a villain. When he was on that railroad handcart, I rolled my eyes at how stupid that concept was. When he died at the end and gave the middle finger, I again rolled my eyes at how totally stupid and implausible that 15 years after nuclear war, having been in a head on collision and suffering from head trauma, internal bleeding, multiple broken bones, someone will reach out of the rubble to flip off Max. Please... does it get any more absurd?

The whole Gyro Captain actor appearing as a 'different' pilot, which caused really unnecessary and distracting confusion. On its own, the train chase was strong. But it was an immediate rip-off of the semi-chase from MM2 yet much less interesting and well done - a linear chase across open terrain is terrifically boring. And I agree, a single chase scene was lackluster for the trilogy of the movies. MM1 and MM2 had outstanding multiple long and short chases. In MM3 we get good a single, uninteresting linear chase.

And the 'ruthless' Auntie is totally unrealistic at the end which is an irreconcilable unbelievable character reaction. She had clearly killed to climb the ladder of power. Bartertown was her baby and she ruled with an iron fist. She had had tried twice to kill Max when he was a nobody (once in the audition and after busting their deal). Yet, imagine this: he breaks in to Bartertown, totally ruins her world, destroys the methane pits, probably killing pigs (a capital offense by the way), rescues Master and other prisoners, and kills her henchmen and destroys precious vehicles on a long car chase. She catches him red-handed in the heat of the battle. Of course she's going to kill him right? Or at least make him a prisoner to slave away in the rebuilding of Bartertown? Or a public stoning to show others her power and the power of the law? Or as her proxy to fight her battles in Thunderdome? Nope. She lets him go, and leaves the battlefield full of the corpses of her men and vehicles... Say what?!?!?!?!?! It was such a pointlessly stupid ending I nearly gave out a 'boooo.'

Yes, I was very very disappointed in MM3.

I have tried to re-watch it and like it over the years. It's a shadow of MM1 and MM2 even at many times their production costs. It does have some outstanding scenery, imagery, and creativity. Thunderdome lives as one of the great movie creations and was the climax and highlight of the film. Mad props for creating Thunderdome. The methane pits and Master Blaster were also really creative and added excellent flavor to the film. I wasn't sure about Max's character having essentially agreed to be a contract killer, but he redeemed himself when he refused to kill Blaster when discovering that he was mentally handicapped and not a monster. For the many faults, it did have redeeming points which saved it from the turd pile. All things considered, I'd give MM3 a 3/5 stars, or a "C" rating.
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Re: Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

Postby Uncle Entity » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:32 pm

IN TRUTH,

Thunderdome is an epic and brilliant movie with a "sweet heart" and a "darker side" all rolled into one. It was an adventure movie. It was totally different from MM2. It was a journey from dark to light, as simple as that. It was tongue-in-cheek, poignant and just filled with passion and "good" feelings, despite the dark setting/background.

I can see why Mad Max people hated it.
Mel Gibson's Max to Tom Hardy's Max: "give me my life back, interdimensional counterpart!"
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Re: Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

Postby DetritusMaximus » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:14 pm

Someday people will start to see that in Thunderdome, the villians weren't really all that bad and the good weren't all that good. It was a politics and power play movie as the survivors attempt to work together instead of feeding on each other. Corruption? Sure. But at least there was a sense of order that meant not everyone was a threat.
And with Max actually bringing about the destruction of a fledgling community....
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Re: Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

Postby pauli77 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:15 am

Good thread because I certainly have a different opinion on it now.

I actually think Thunderdome is a wonderful kids film. It has great nods to other children's classic like Peter Pan's lost boys. Max is in full man with no name mode but there are some great comedic looks from Gibson and the rest of the cast. It has some really quotable lines: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dying time's here...". I think Tina Turner does well and Auntie is a different villain to the previous films - she's more human, a woman in a man's world who has to be tougher than them and smarter than them and yet isn't a psychotic and can recognise Max's tenacity.

One of the most striking things when you rewatch it, is that there are some wonderful visuals - Max on the donkey with the head, thunderdome itself, master and blaster, the train interior when the boys' listen to the french recording lol.

It is Max's world but lighter and more civilised (relatively).

It makes sense too when you look at films Miller has done since, lots of kids films.
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Re: Beyond Thunderdome - A reappraisal??

Postby Stamper » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:24 am

Miller couldn't have made BT the same way he made 1&2.

Byron Kennedy died during the prep for this film, so this influenced the whole tone of the film (ie became lighter) and the co-director hire decision.
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