Mad Max ★★★★

"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 George Miller's direction are all peerless in creating an almost graphic novel/comic strip like sensibility made flesh.

Hugh Keays-Byrne as the Toecutter gives an unusually restrained performance on the whole, until the latter half of the film and principally his confrontation with Jessie. Roger Ward looks like a gay leather fetishists dream! Steve Bisley, who pretty much leads the first half of the film goes to show just how low life expectancy is for anyone called Goose in film (see Top Gun) whilst Mel Gibson proves he played a bereaved mad lawman living by the sea long before Lethal Weapon.

Brian May delivers a typically OTT Hermann-esque score which suits the heightened nature of the piece but is occasionally too intrusive.

Ultimately though this is a great road chase movie with former ED doctor turned writer/director George Miller taking typical glee in depicting each bone crunching crash and disaster as it happens.

Bold, brash and bombastic, its little wonder Mad Max spawned two original sequels and a third long awaited one on the horizon. Oh and that scene with Jessie and the baby running away from the bikers? Really stays with you.

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