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One of the best movie from Australia! A very young Mel Gibson at his best. 8/10
A good movie to watch. I enjoyed it.
.........
PLOT

In a futuristic world a retired cop seeks revenge on a gang of hoods who murder his wife and kid.


This movie is all about car wrecks, high speed chases, lots of violence and it sure doesn't disappoint. It starts of with an action packed high octane car chase and never lets up. Throw in a group of weird and creepy villains that you just can't wait to see receive the full brunt of Max's rage. All the makings of a cult classic.
thrilling and fun


This is the first of the trilogy. Surprisingly, I never got around to see any of these and I'm finally setting out to do up all three.

I really have to say that I enjoy myself a great deal while watching this. While the plot didn't hold a lot and didn't cover much ground overall, the action, dialogue, and surprisingly, even Mel Gibson's acting kept me invested. I don't care much for Mel Gibson in general, but he did a nice job camping it up in this one. His revenge sequence was a grand time. I'm looking forward to seeing the other two in the series because I think they are more futuristic and well... Max is probably madder.

I'm going to blurt some SPOILERS now so...

You know what? Action movies don't take enough time to develop the love stories if they play a significant role in the story. Like, you are supposed to believe that the main guy loves his wife... then something happens to her and you don't really feel it because you didn't care so much in the first place. You never saw them together. But this movie does it right. You get a lot of development before things start to really go down. Scott actually mentioned something about that I think. Makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, very enjoyable, looking forward to the others and to see how they tie together.
Mad Max wastes no time in establishing a post-apocalyptic, nihilistic world, a barren wasteland where the morally bankrupt stalk the streets, preying on the innocent and defying the rather tenuous legal system. The opening scenes involve the police chasing a cop killer, yet the line between the law and the unlawful is blurred - the police wear black leather clothing, and as victims of their society, are often violent and blood-thirsty themselves.

When one goes back to watch the film now, the car chases not only hold up to today's standards, but furthermore, they are refreshingly physical, organic set pieces, sending metal flying in all directions rather than littering the street with over-the-top explosions. They are shot with a kinetic energy that is impressive considering the low budget, and many filmmakers today could learn a lesson or two from watching this film.

It's not long before we meet our titular hero - Max - an officer of the law, who is something of a vigilante, yet in a world such as this, his (and his colleagues') extreme methods are the only tangible form of justice. Outside of this world, Max is a family man, with a wife and a young son, and we get the impression that Max isn't some sort of sadist that enjoys killing law-breakers, but that when pitted against people who are this vicious and morally apathetic, his violent method is the only method.

Whilst there is certainly no peaceful utopia in this post-nuclear world, what resembles a time of peace is usurped as a band of villainous bikers arrive in town. These bikers are quite the distinguished looking antagonists, dressed in some rather questionable-looking attire, and donning some equally curious haircuts. Whether you like their style or not, it's undeniable that the villains are visually arresting and rather original-looking. Furthermore, they are absolutely abhorrent - they have no outlet for redemption whatsoever, brutalising the town shortly after arriving.

As an action hero, Max is considerably more complex than you may expect - he is an emotionally developed character, his dreams haunted by the vile mutilation of one of his colleagues. This scares Max, and provides him with a little humanity, allowing him to realise the danger of both his job, and the world around him. Not only is he scared of the evils that he encounters every day, but he is also afraid of what he is turning into - by removing savages from the streets, he is forced to, at least in part, become one himself, and worse still, he worries that he is starting to enjoy it.

Needless to say, his worry overpowers him and he confines to leaving his job for the sake of his family. Ditching his chrome leather for some smart-casual attire, the viewer must beg the question - is this the "real" Max? Naturally, Max is now a repressed shell, but ultimately happier (and certainly safer), as he is able to enjoy his family, and he sees this sacrifice as necessary for his family.

However, it isn't too long before Max's family are preyed upon by the foul bikers terrorising the town, and whilst initially able to elude them, they return with guns, and all other manner of crude weaponry, blazing. This see-saw action is a masterful reflection of Todorov's theory of equilibrium and disequilibrium, repeatedly crunching this equation, giving us moments of terror followed by moments of respite.

Max and his family suffer a home invasion, a tense standoff in which Max attempts to diffuse the situation, but when you're battling foes that are this morally devoid, such attempts are largely fruitless. After the attack is over, and Max is left in the wake of an extremely tragic series of events, Gibson brings such a raw, gritty emotion to his character, quickly ploughing through a range of emotions, from simmering anger to ultimately unbridled, vengeance-driven rage. Max is past caring for his own safety - there's no sidekick or ancillary character to tell us this, but Gibson, by his speechless demeanour, lets us know it.

Donning his old leather, and now truly the vigilante he near enough was whilst a cop, Max pursues full-speed ahead - Max is vengeance at 100mph, viciously stalking and slaughtering those who have wronged him. In this land where criminals walk free, Max and his special brand of justice are King. There is also a sense of irony in the fact that his job did indeed turn him into a savage, but by the film's end, Max will need that savagery to stay alive.

Mad Max's ending, whilst leaving little for the viewer to ponder, is wonderfully macabre and unforgettable. The film's climax is as short and sweet as the entire film itself, wrapping things up with extreme pace, but given the nature of the film, little explanation is required once the final body hits the floor. In summary, Mad Max is an effective, impressive science-fiction actioner, all the more so considering the miniscule budget the crew had to work with. Gibson, whilst at this stage largely unknown and inexperienced, turned in an appropriately brutal and driven performance as the tortured protagonist, and if the term "cult classic" was ever apt anywhere, it would be here.
another great movie from the past
Heh so much for not doing movie reviews The car chases in this movie kick ass. I'll say they're right up there with... nah way ahead of, the vehicular homicide sequences in Death Proof. Car chases tend to bore the hooey out of me. It's like watching a Nascar game. But Mad Max puts you right in the drivers seat, you can practically feel the gas pedal and smell the sweaty drivers. It's like... biting into a York Peppermint Patty.

The main problem with this movie is it pulls you right in with a full throttle chase sequence, and then meanders around for a long chunk of time with this extended family vacation and some whatnot with a supporting character. It loses a lot of momentum. It's not until the last 30 minutes or so that it actually becomes the revenge movie its advertised as and picks back up again. I'll cut it some slack because the car chases really, really kicked ass. Definitely going to be checking out The Road Warrior soon.



I don't usually do joint reviews for organization's sake, but this is a damn consistent series and I pretty much have the same opinion of all of them, which is that they pretty much rule. It's always nice when a franchise is kept under the same guiding eye through and through, and that doesn't stray too far from its own formula, and George Miller has put together a three-part super-epic that never hits its forced cash-in moment and could even stand several more entries if Miller is involved. These movies pretty much paint the standard for that great B-movie cliche of a dusty, post-apocalyptic wasteland. They're beautifully put together with a unique visual style and absurd characters, fronted by an unflappably excellent pre-asshole Mel Gibson.

The first film is a perfect origin story, taking its time in setting up Max as both a resourceful badass and a good-hearted family man. You know all along that his wife and child will be unceremoniously ripped away, but Miller plays it with surprisingly tender realism, and their relationship is actually very believable and sweet instead of the usual action-movie rush-job. The action itself is very creative and brutal, and manages to elevate itself above the "fast cars and explosions" world (believe me, though, it's got both) with its old-school sci-fi novella vibe and an oddball sense of humor that carries over to the other entries. Its low budget allows for a homegrown vibe to the impressive effects and stunts, which further "un-Hollywoodizes" all the high-speed shenanigans.

The Road Warrior smartly foregoes a "where we left off" plot and moves ahead into the anti-future, letting Max become sort of a ghost-like legend in a depressingly endless phantom Earth. The events of the first film merely hang above Max's head as he hopelessly wanders the barren lands until his hero instincts kick in and he protects a sheltered, gasoline-hoarding oasis from another band of colorful thugs. Road Warrior doesn't pack as much emotional punch as the first film, but it makes up for it with its alternately bleak and flamboyant style. It feels very Star Wars in some ways (it even has a Darth Vader-esque steel-plated weirdo villain), but again, the way Miller mixes it with unexpected naturalism has been extremely influential on science fiction, and it makes for another involving, highly entertaining film.

Beyond Thunderdome brings the series soundly into the deepest waters of the 80s with its cornball Tina Turner soundtrack, but it's also the most inspired and gloriously bizarre in the series. The complex, unique storyline again feels torn from the pages of the best sci-fi paperbacks, but also the absurdism lying in hiding in the first two entries is brought front and center. Miller's good sense of character design reaches a great apex, inventing his own degenerated dialect and slang for many individual characters, the best of which make up a rag-tag team of young Lost Boys rejects who run a miniature Native American-esque civilization based on their collective love of forgotten relics like CB radio and Viewmasters. Gibson does a great job playing off the kids, who all manage to fall on the lovable side of precocious instead of becoming obnoxious Indiana Jones-style sidekicks. I also love that the third entry is still rather low-budget even after two successes, which keeps everything small and character-based even when the pig-and-midget-obsessed plot is flying deliciously off the rails. It unfortunately starts winding down right when it should be really getting going, because the story is just too wild and all-over-the-place to contain within its short runtime. Or maybe I was just sad to be finishing off the series.

Overall, it's a trilogy of campy, entertaining popcorn films that all feel just one step too goofy and derivative to be masterpieces, but still manage to pull off a level of restraint and dignity that I don't think has ever been so well-sustained over three parts, and it never wears out its welcome or repeats itself. They're great examples of something that I'd hesitate to call perfect but that I wouldn't really want to be any different and that I could see myself watching several more times. I wasn't sure before watching the whole trilogy that I really wanted a Part IV (Fury Road), but now it would make me ridiculously happy to see what Max does next, as long as it's done with Miller's splendid visuals, dark sensibility, loving consistency, and the steady hand he uses to craft realistic and sympathetic characters and his delight in lighting them on fire and blowing them up and sending them on 120 mph suicide missions.