Max Goes To Hollywood

thunderdome1Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) (Amazon VOD)

Okay, the title may be a bit misleading, as Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome was made in Australia and is an Australian production, but back in 1985 when I saw this at the pictures it felt like a blatant sellout. I mean, Tina Turner playing Max’s nemesis? Two of Tina Turner’s songs bookending the film? The violence curtailed to make Max more mainstream? All those bloody kids?

Rewatching the film after so many years, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It’s a better film than I gave it credit for, although it’s clearly inferior to the two films that precede it. It still feels a bit too calculatedly mainstream for my liking, but the relentless pace of the film and its quirky sense of humour are definite signs of it being a ‘proper’ Mad Max film. Its funny watching it post-Fury Road too;  you can see several similarities in the plot of both films, and both naturally of The Road Warrior too.

Its funny how the success of Thunderdome didn’t immediately lead to further Mad Max films, nowadays they would never let a film like Thunderdome go by without launching a trilogy of films after it. They waited 30 years for the next one? Thats mad.

5 thoughts on “Max Goes To Hollywood

  1. I agree with everything you say here. I think I saw Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome twice in the theaters, because it was fun to watch, but I was bummed that it didn’t have the raw extreme cool factor of The Road Warrior.

    I should see it again, though.

    1. Yeah its worth a rewatch, some films do get better with hindsight/out of context of when they were first seen (although I just can’t ‘get’ what people love about Aliens- I hated it back in 1986 and always will; its like an anti-Alien to me). At least Thunderdome is a genuine Mad Max film.

  2. MM

    I saw this at the cinema back in 85, and was bored by every single thing in it. It felt like a time capsule film even back then, I can’t imagine wanting to watch it again.

    1. That’s EXACTLY how I’ve felt for the last thirty years. The weird thing is about ‘old’ movies, is that when you return to them they can have a sort of surprising nostalgic charm. Thunderdome has that ‘eighties vibe and its kinda weird that Tina Turner thing and her songs bookending the film. I think it was a mistake making the thing more PG-13 and Spielbergian, but it rather sums up the time it was made in, how things were. The music score remains the oddest thing about it, Maurice Jarre was just wrong, wrong, wrong. I wonder what James Horner might have done with it, he was just coming onto the Hollywood big-time back then.

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