Movie Review – Mad Max Trilogy

With all the furore over Fury Road at the moment, I thought now was a good time to finally watch the original Mad Max trilogy.

They feel like a fairly large gap in my viewing, and I’ve heard generally positive things about them. Worth a go methinks.

Mad Max

Apart from some odd villains and a very fast V8 this is not what I expected. Where is the wasteland?

Turns out we’re not at that point yet, so I now think of this as ‘Mad Max Begins’. As the lead Gibson isn’t asked to do much bar smoulder and cool look, which he does effortlessly, the handsome bastard. Toecutter just seems weird for the sake of it. Maybe I’m missing something on that front though.

The ending is cold as ice, which left me curious after a film that left me pretty cold overall. I needed that too, as this doesn’t match my idea of Mad Max so far, which admittedly was based on sketchy third hand info and Fury Road trailers.

How does this story transition to the bonkers looking vehicular mayhem of the latest film? I need to know!


Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Ten minutes in and I knew this was going to be much better. A rare instance where the sequel improves on every aspect of the original.

Cars, and bullets and mohawks on my! Bennett from Commando! I’ve not seen him in anything else before which made for a very pleasant surprise. He’s pretty crap here too to be fair, but I love him for it.

I do appreciate it when a film goes all in on it’s aesthetic, and with it’s array of sports padding, mohawks and bum-bearing chaps it goes all in on the post-apocalyptic chic.

There isn’t much dialogue; the action is what we’re here for, and it delivers. The bad guy still goes out like a lemon though. Keep your eyes on the road!

The story has made the jump, and now the visuals of Fury Road make much more sense.


Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

This film is clearly divided into two sections. The turning point is the loss of Max’s impressive mane of hair.

It’s as though the wonderfully staged Thunderdome fight and Tina Turner’s surprisingly strong performance are contained within the longer locks of the Road Warrior. Cut them off and you’re left with a an odd Peter Pan-esque tale with a group of children that didn’t annoy me, but didn’t really entertain either.

Once again Max’s aim to just be left alone is completely undone by his underlying goodness. Some films would have kept things to Bartertown and the dome, but credit is given for trying to push out past that and trying something different, even if it didn’t do it for me.

The first half is possibly my favourite part of the trilogy; Max removing all his weaponry amused, as did some of the sharp dialogue. It’s a decent ending, cementing the character’s place as a legend.

An enjoyable trilogy overall, I can see why these films have retained a decent fan-base over the years.

The first film is the odd one out, with the second and third framed as tales told by those who came into contact with Max. He’s a legend, and in myths the details sometimes become muddled. With that in mind it seems reasonable that the Max of Fury Road doesn’t consistently match the original films. Ultimately a Mad Max filmsneed cars, wasteland, crazy clothes and a hero. The trailers for Fury Road definitely tick those boxes so I’m looking forward to seeing it.

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