The third chapter of the "Mad Max" saga is a disappointment for those expecting another action-packed ROAD WARRIOR (1982), but the filmmakers took some chances in narrative development and pacing in order to separate this effort from what had been done before. We find Max (Mel Gibson)

tracking his stolen belongings to Bartertown, a strange-looking city that is the brainchild of Aunty Entity (Tina Turner). Aunty rules Bartertown with an iron fist, but the real power lies with a strange amalgamation of two men known as Master-Blaster. Master (Angelo Rossitto) is a dwarf who knows

how to work the machinery that powers Bartertown. He rides on the shoulders of a huge, helmeted man known as Blaster (Paul Larsson), who protects the dwarf from harm. Max is drawn into the power struggle between Aunty and Master-Blaster and finds himself in a fight to the death in Bartertown's

public arena, known as Thunderdome. MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME starts out with a bang and creates one of the most vivid cities ever committed to film with its Bartertown. The Thunderdome sequence is an amazing display of imagination and technical skill, but the film falls apart with the climactic

chase scene. Director George Miller couldn't hope to top the chase in THE ROAD WARRIOR and shouldn't have tried. The rest of the film is so different and its fresh approach so satisfying, that a retread of the chase scene is a severe letdown. The performances are superb. The script allows Gibson

to bring a welcome new dimension to the Mad Max character, and the actor rises to the occasion. Perhaps the most impressive performances, though, are those of Turner--in her film debut--and veteran actor Rossitto.