In the ravaged near future, a savage motorcycle gang rules the road. Terrorizing innocent civilians while tearing up the streets, the ruthless gang laughs in the face of a police force hell-bent on stopping them. But they underestimate one officer: Max Rockatansky. And when the bikers brutalize Max's best friend and family, they send him into a mad frenzy that leaves him with only one thing left in the world to live for revenge!
In MAD MAX. the setting is just "a few years from now". It's a post apocalyptic world in which the streets, as well as every else in being ran by a vicious biker gang. When confident cop, Max Rockatansky takes down one of their leaders known as "The Night Rider", the gang vows to take revenge on Max and those that are close to him. Max takes this warning with a grain of salt, as he has received similar threats in the past. But as it turns out the gang, lead by an individual called "Toecutter", meant every work of the threat when they badly injure, and subsequently kill Max's close friend, and partner, Jim Goose. Fed up with the trauma and life on the force, Max resigns from his position, on the basis of needing some time away. To make good on this Max and his wife, head to the countryside, to spend time with family and relax on the beach. Unfortunately, this serenity is short-lived with the gang sniff them out, and begins terrorizing Max and family. Things do get worse and as a result, Jessie and her young infant son, die at the hands of the gang. This of course cause Max, a usually reserved man, to spring into action. Once again, donning his leather gear, and armed with fire Max sets out for revenge, and revenge for Max is to destroy them one by one.
MAD MAX is a film that I had probably seen only once prior to this viewing, and I believe the first time was on VHS, if that gives you any clue as to how long it's been. I do remember playing the video game quite a few times on NES, I think it was, but alas, that has nothing to do with this, so i'll move on.
On to the film. As much as i've had trouble enjoying Australian productions in the past, I have to say that MAD MAX is one great film. For those who have seen it, you know what i'm talking about, but for those who don't, MAD MAX is just not some mindless action flick. To me, it's a thought-provoking suspense/actioner, as much as it is a high adrenaline, and sometimes brutal revenge movie. Now I have not seen the other two sequel(or if I have, i've forgotten them), but when speaking of MAD MAX, the film is surprisingly a slow burn when it comes to it's story, but not in a bad way. We get to know our characters before the final act, which is a good thing. In this case just as much time is spent dealing with Toecutter's gang as there is with Max and his family. We see how slimy Toecutter and company are, and in turn, we sympathize with Max, Goose, Jenny and the rest of Max's family - so when it all goes down, we as viewers, are hopefully rooting for the badass that is Max Rockatansky.
This is the role that sent Mel Gibson from being an unknown Aussie actor to an international superstar, and it is apparent as to why. From the very beginning, in the way that Max is introduced, the film treats Max as if he is a big deal. The rest of the film follows suit, giving Gibson room to come front and center. When compared to some of his co-stars in the film, it was clear, even then that he was destined for bigger things. Unfortunately we all have seen Gibson's life take a turn for the worse in recent years, but it's performances like this one that makes a viewer such as my self, hope that he can someday make a full recovery, from whatever it is that's causing such events(no one should ever condone the things that he's done.
Making this rather short, because this is a film that has been reviewed many times over, and because there's not much more than I can that hasn't already been said, I will say that MAD MAX is a pretty solid film all around. I could've used just a little more action to even things out I believe, but other than that, MAD MAX is an enjoyable debut for a character whom is now widely recognized.
6/10 The score for MAD MAX, composed by Australian, Brian May(not to be confused with Brian May from QUEEN), is great. A loud consuming soundtrack that blends both low atmospheric and high tempo suspense tracks.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
There have been a few complaints about the Blu-Ray's overall picture, but as someone who hasn't seen the film in awhile, I couldn't tell you how I feel about it, let alone compare the two. I'll just say that it looks good enough for me, there is some grain, but what do you expect from a 30 year old film? There are very few Special Features here, a commentary track and a featuette, neither of which Mel Gibson, or Director George Miller participate in, so it's kind of a bore, not to hear from the stars of the film. Also included here is the original Australian Language track, along with the American re-dub. I watched it with the Australian track, which for me, would be the only way to see it - why would you want people who speak English, re-dubbed by someone else?
Special Features include :
- Filmmaker Commentary by Jon Dowding, David Eggby, Chris Murray & Tim Ridge
- Documentary: “Mad Max: The Film Phenomenon”
- New-To-The-U.S. Original Australian Language Track
- Two theatrical trailers
- TV Spots
- “Mel Gibson: The Birth Of A Star” Documentary
- Theatrical Trailers”Road Rants” Trivia & Fun Fact Track
- Photo Galler
- Standard DVD version of the film