Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Australia/USA, 1985. Kennedy Miller Productions. Screenplay by Terry Hayes, George Miller. Cinematography by Dean Semler. Produced by George Miller. Music by Maurice Jarre. Production Design by Graham ‘Grace’ Walker. Costume Design by Norma Moriceau. Film Editing by Richard Francis-Bruce. Golden Globe Awards 1985.
Think of this one as the Return of The Jedi of the Mad Max series: not bad but too obviously a part of a franchise and more geared to its younger target audience. Mel Gibson is once again the furious hero of the title who finds himself robbed and alone in the middle of the Australian desert. He stumbles upon a place called Bartertown where he seeks shelter, immediately recruited to fight in a gladiator arena where the town’s two rival heads (one played by a scintillating Tina Turner) fight out their power over the people. Gibson also comes upon a group of orphan children who survived a plane crash during a nuclear war and now think him a hero and ask him to lead them to a safer place than where they are. The series has definitely lost its edge in the third installment, but it hasn’t lost its sense of fun, so go ahead and watch it; you won’t admire it but you won’t really regret it either.