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Another case of “have I really ever seen those movies???” Especially part 1 and 2 seemed oddly unfamiliar, with elements that should have stuck to my memory had I seen them. The first film is a strangely conventional cop thriller lookalike: there are the bad guys, the good cops with a temper, and in two situations there is fate playing into the hands of… of doom, probably. Both Max’ colleague and his wife and kid fall prey to the road gang more or less by accident, and when that happens, the film is over. My memory, again, played tricks on me by suggesting that the killings happened at the beginning and then Max would go on a rampage to avenge his beloved ones. The one revenge scene that exists, however, is memorable, and is the one everybody seems to remember, involving handcuffs, a burning fuel tank, a hacksaw and an ankle…

Part two “The Road Warrior” could not be different, and made me smile when remembering that this is the same director who brought us the tap dancing penguins in “Happy Feet”… a homo-erotic bondage fantasy if there ever was one, with leather gear, exposed buttocks, suffocation masks and what not. Clearly some production and costume designers had a blast at making this their own special vision of post-apocalyptic Australia. Ridiculous villains with ridiculous names such as “Humungus”, a super-handsome Mel Gibson who only helps others when he has no choice, and the star of the film, the godforsaken Australian desert.

Part 3, “Beyond Thunderdome”, on the other hand, has nothing like the previous ones in terms of edge or fun. It looks like a family-friendly version of part 2, with the costumes covering more than they could, the fights ending sooner than they should, and the whole concept of a little tribe of kids waiting for a saviour from the clouds sounding more like an Ewoks episode than like a harsh dystopian action adventure. The Thunderdome itself as a scene of battle appears only briefly, the most interesting atmosphere is created in the underworld of Tina Turner’s empire, where methane is produced in a giant underground pig farm, initially governed by the creepy team of Master-Blaster. In the end, this turns out to be just a series of set pieces, walking, running, driving, exploding, of no redeemable value…

Mad Max

The Road Warrior

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

One Comment

  1. Out of the Mad Max movies the second one is my favourite. The first one is good also but I didn’t think much of part 3.

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