For the third installment of the Mad Max trilogy, two directors were hired. George Miller would continue to oversee and focus on stunts while George Ogilvy would focus on the actors. The results of which were very noticeable. The action sequences still ring true with balls to the wall adrenaline... but problem lies in the story.
The story starts off which Max (Mel Gibson) getting his rig jacked by that damn gyro captain (Bruce Spence) from the second film. Max tracks him down to a shit-hole (Literally) way station called Bartertown. In order to get his possesions back, Max has to make a deal with Aunty(Tina Turner). Max has to fight and kill the muscle of Master who controls the underworld of Bartertown. You see the town actually is run by pig feces and Master is the only man who knows how to do it. But... he is holding that over Aunty's head and keeps his power with his protection in Blaster.
Enter Thunderdome... for something so prominently displayed in the title you would have guessed quite a bit would have to do with it right? Nope... just a 15 minute sequence. The 'dome is a enclosed space where people who have beefs with another settle it to the death.
Eventually Max finds that his partners doublecross him (You just can't trust anyone in the future). He finds himself out in the desert once again, but this time he is picked up by a lass (Hellen Buday). She thinks that he was the pilot who was flying the jet liner that crashed during the great wars. It turns out the children of the flight have made a world of their own at a tiny oasis. Eventually the children turn to Max to get them back to civilization setting up the third act.
Now that is all well and good. The two headed director approach loses steam for the action sequences which are the heart and soul of the two prior films. They contruct an interesting idea with wasteland, but they are unable to make it truely compelling. The final part of the story with the kids feels tacked on after the fact. The Thunderdome sequence should have come closer to the climax. By placing it in the beginning, you lose the momentum it built up.
The world and characters of Mad Max, are tremendously fascinating. There should be no limit to the stories you can tell in this apocalyptic world, but this film all but killed the franchise. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome isn't a bad film, merely a disappointment after The Road Warrior established itself as one of the best action films of the 80's.