Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (Miller, Ogilvie, 1985)

George Miller creates a complete stylistic reversal with Beyond Thunderdome, replacing the open and desolate frames of Mad Max and The Road Warrior with busy compositions bursting with cluttered interiors and primitive warriors caged by a shrinking world of sand and shit. Even the exterior action scenes represent a cluster of suffocating motion.

It’s as if the clash between natural beauty and technology has produced a sandy purgatory where humans eager to experience a world long forgotten return to incomplete origin stories for comfort and hope. While not a great film by any measure, Beyond Thunderdome sports many interesting scenes which complicate and expand Miller’s obsessions with widescreen photography and environmental mise-en-scene.

2 thoughts on “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (Miller, Ogilvie, 1985)

  1. I’m probably in the minority on this one – hell, I know I am – but I’ve always found this film to be the most underrated of Miller’s repertoire, and the most misunderstood – while it’s certainly no “The Road Warrior,” it’s a film I’d go so far to call a ‘near-masterpiece,’ in it’s own right, and certainly a great film.
    The only real sour point, I think, of the film is Tina Turner’s performance – her first few scenes aren’t bad at all, and “but he’s just a raggedy man” is the best line of the film, but after that, she just didn’t seem to regain the character until those final scenes. And, those lips!

  2. Hi, my own article on Beyond Thunderdome linked to this one, so I figured I’d check it out. Im surprised that you consider it to be a George Miller film, as I was under the impression that by and large it wasn’t. I thought that Miller choreographed the action scenes, but that the rest of the production was down to George Ogilvie.

    Wonderful site by the way.

    Adam (

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