MAD MAX [1979] movie review

December 31, 2011 · Print This Article

The main appeal of MAD MAX is its visceral analog action scenes, in particular its car crashes. The real smashing and twisting of metal stands out from the CGI fakeness in such action sequences of today’s movies. Those impacts in MAD MAX seem brutal and jarring. The whole movie looks dirty, and you feel like you get some of that dirt on you. MAD MAX is not a sterilized movie.

It is a very simple movie though. The story will not keep you riveted. Chase after chase will, unless you get tired of them. A young Mel Gibson as Max, still sporting an Australian accent, is a police officer of sorts in some kind of semi-anarchist near future. This world is not developed much beyond a bit of add-on bodywork to cars and motorcycles and street signs having spray painted warnings on them. There is a bad motorcycle gang. Max pursues and causes the death of a beloved member. They want revenge on him. Max eventually wants revenge on them. It is all quite simple.


So you see old muscle cars driven by the police chase beat-up motorcycles driven by a thuggish circus of outlaws. Their leader has a good, scary name, Toecutter, but he comes off as a space case that barks and hisses at people.


There are two things that really do not make sense in the movie. The biggest is that Max knows this gang wants revenge on him, but he repeatedly (like THREE TIMES) lets his wife and baby son out of his eyes. With no insane gang after me, I have never let my dog out of my sight ever. So that is a fatal flaw in the plot for me.


The other is smaller, but still annoying since Toecutter says he despises guns but he or his right hand man use one in a key scene at the end. Toecutter only said like ten minutes earlier in the movie he did not like guns!


So the visceral opening loses way to nonsensical actions by Max and out of character actions by the main villain.


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