George Miller and George Ogilvie direct Mel Gibson, Tina Turner and Bruce Spence in this post-apocalyptic sequel where Max strikes a deadly deal with Auntie of Bartertown… To enter the Thunderdome.
Always seen as a quality dip in the series… for understandable reasons. George Miller’s regular producing collaborator Byron Kennedy died in a helicopter crash, scouting desert locations before production. In his grief, Miller decided to focus on the action, splitting directorial duties, essentially demoting himself to overworked Second Unit Director. The silver lining is two thirds of Mad Max 3 is all action; our night in the Thunderdome is a gladiatorial battle on bungee harnesses that fizzes with danger, the epic finale chase – as makeshift vehicles hunt each other through the wastelands – delivers exactly what you bought a ticket for. Eye popping carnage. The middle 30 minutes with that tribe of Peter Pan kids… well… its heart is in the right place but sadly it does obliterate the tone of a movie series that was always daringly 18 cert. Tina Turner isn’t winning any Oscars but at least is iconic as the big bad. Mel can carry this kinda thing in his sleep. He seems happy to let the expansive production rollick and explode around his serene anchor point. “WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO!”
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