The Maximum Force Of The Future
In a dystopic future Australia, a vicious biker gang murder a cop's family and make his fight with them personal.
"People don't believe in heroes any more...well we're gonna give 'em back their heroes"
It's been a few years since I last watched this, I'd forgotten that my DVD automatically plays the crappy American dubbed version first and that you have to select the original Australian!
It's generally regarded that The Road Warrior, the first sequel, is by far the better film and I have always absolutely agreed with that, but that doesn't stop Mad Max from being a rollicking piece of pure Ozploitation and more, one of the best looking action films ever made. Locations - with Australia looking like the perfect futuristic post apocalyptic wasteland - cinematography, editing and the use of speeded up film, and of course…
"I am the Nightrider! I'm a fuel injected suicide machine! I am the rocker! I am the roller! I am the out-of-controller!" - The Nightrider
Thing is, there isn't enough madness to get Mad Max into the echelons of cultdom that it supposedly deserves to be in. It begins with a phenomenal car chase that uses its meagre budget extremely effectively, and ends with an equally as thrilling crescendo of bikes and one seriously bad-ass muscle car. But in between, the only mad thing is the incoherent ramblings of the villains that threaten to derail the entire film.
Neither intimidating nor scary, they are a bunch of loons that don't provide the viewer with any visceral reaction. Then again, neither…
Just in time for the great blackout of Letterboxd, I watched Mad Max for the first time.
And, boy, did I love it.
First of all it's good to see Mel Gibson back in the olden days, before he, you know, turned crazy. While his performance doesn't necessarily hints at what a huge career he ultimately had, he still displays an easy charm and does a good job playing the stoic title character.
While one certainly sees the low production values, it nevertheless looks pretty good, especially the several chase sequences.
Also, I was quite fond of the portrayal of the antagonistic biker gang, who at times got quite terrifying and all around had a strong Clockwork Orange vibe to…
If you don't like this movie I probably don't like you.
Not as great as the sequel really. Sure, Mel Gibson is badass, the car chases are awesome and the rest of the action can be summed up with the sentence 'late 70s Australian just-before-the-apocalypse movie', but it just felt like it was missing something. Doesn't mean it's bad though. Car chases through the desert are always enjoyable.
Awesome car stunts, great action, strong acting, and a great setting. Only real complaint is that the ending comes out of nowhere.
George Miller does some amazing things with this movie. First the action is first rate, the speed seems real, and very fast. Sadly, in the sequel he tends to up the frame rate which makes things look fake.
What I like most about Mad Max is probably completely unintentional due to financial reasons. That factor is that the world stills seems to be a world we could all be living in, it's still just a little civilized. People have normal jobs, and live in houses. There's a basic form of government and law. This story allows me to connect more than it's sequels. With that being said, I still probably enjoy The Road Warrior more than Mad Max.
This flick is too long, and could easily be cut down by a half hour. There are some cool moments with Mel G, but over all there isn't much to the Max character in the film. Overall a film that completely pales in comparison to the sequel.
More like 'Had enough of his job and is slightly teasy Max' for 1h10mins of the runtime and then 'Righteously angry Max' for the last 20mins. A product of it's time it's looking a little dated today as Max and the campest police force in the world go up against a seeming offshoot of the village people. Maybe they were upset that they didn't get to be the one dressed as the biker. Still entertaining as a slice of historic Ozploitation and actually the first video I ever rented back when it was released in mumble, mumble, mumble. God, I'm old...
We open with a car-chase. A bunch of cop cars are chasing after another car driven by a man and a woman, who are definitely evil, because all they do is laugh maniacally. All the cop vehicles crash and although it is obviously a low-budget picture, the car-chase is extremely well-done. Although some shots are sped-up and that is never a good idea, because it's so obvious and feels like cheating.
Soon another car gets involved and by the mysterious way they don't reveal the driver, it becomes clear it's someone bad-ass.
Here we realize that we have a western on our hands. And the bad-ass cowboy turns out to be Mel motherfucking Gibson, who easily defeats the baddies.
Maybe I expected too much from Mad Max, but it was a letdown. I hoped for the madness of a male Tank Girl, more of a desolate wasteland. Max himself didn't even contribute much to the film, his enemies were much more interesting. On the other hand, it was interesting that it wasn't purely about revenge - It took more than half the film to show us what events even called for revenge. A lot of the imagery was very appealing, but I like my post-apocalyptic settings more obvious.
Starts off as good B-movie fun but badly loses momentum with the mistimed family holiday sequence, which goes on forever when we know exactly what's going to happen.
What's perplexing is that Mel Gibson's stoic performance acted as a springboard to international fame while Steve Bisley's fantastic turn as his wired, principled colleague led to basically bugger-all.
Weirdly, not at all what one might imagine a 'Mad Max movie' to be.
I enjoyed it, despite its flaws.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.