IMDb > Mad Max (1979) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Mad Max
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Mad Max More at IMDbPro »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 29:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]
Index 288 reviews in total 

100 out of 144 people found the following review useful:

Mad Max, the one that launched a franchise and a hundred knock-offs.

9/10
Author: Miyagis_Sweaty_wifebeater (sirjosephu@aol.com) from Sacramento, CA
31 May 2004

Mad Max (1979) is a low budget Aussie film that became a huge success in the U.S. because of it's sequel Mad Max 2 a.k.a. The Road Warrior. Not only did this movie spawned a franchise but it created a new genre of film (the post apocalyptic wasteland/road film) many rip-offs and pro wrestlers inspired by the movie and it's sequels.

Mel Gibson (in his greatest role in my opinion) stars as "Mad" Max, a cop who has seen too much while trying to enforce the law in a dying society. After clashing with the Night Rider, he incurs the wrath of his bikie buddies Toecutter and co. Toecutter has to be one of the most scuzziest and at the same time coolest bad guys. I like the way he tries to justify him and his crew's actions. Ditto for his right-hand man Bubba. Beautiful cinematography, fast paced action and awesome stunts make this movie a winner.

I have seen both versions of the movie (the U.S. dubbed version and the original Aussie soundtrack). For full enjoyment stick to the original version because they sound like real people, not like cartoon characters or cheesy b-movie villains. A true winner.

Highly recommended.

Was the above review useful to you?

53 out of 72 people found the following review useful:

After nearly 30 years still an amazing trip at high speed

7/10
Author: Dan_the_DutchMan from Netherlands
11 January 2008

After not seeing it for about seven years, I just saw it on DVD for the first time. I remembered it as an exciting near-chaos-future adventure with highway cops in muscle cars and one insane biker gang. It's great how it keeps on standing the test of time. High speed and raw power are of every age, past and future. The way the highway action is shot in this movie simply stays exhilarating, putting it in the top ranking of best high-speed-chase movies ever. Seeing the camera follow the highway marker at high speed, along with the sound of a bike- or V8-engine delivers a Mad and chaotic but really cool result. The pace of the movie remains considerably high, without many slow moments.

Some aspects of the movie have (understandably) dated. Obviously the 70's clothing and hair styles. Sometimes the acting is a little over the top, and some characters could come directly from a comic book. And of course the story is not that deep or difficult. It's partly action-thriller, partly science fiction adventure. All weaknesses are covered and compensated by lots of a-moral fun though.

At the heart of this one of a kind look movie, there is a hero character named Max. This speed-demon-cop is at the top of his game on the highway, ruthlessly dealing with maniacs ravaging his jurisdiction. But he is also a happy family man with his wife and son. This duality makes the character human, timeless and very memorable. In some scenes you can clearly see Mel Gibson was only just getting into acting. For a rookie he was doing a good job nonetheless.

Others strengths lie within the scary nature of the biker gang. An extravagant rag-tag band of maniacs, led by the iconic villain The ToeCutter. To this day, their actions remain tough and very disturbing. It will have you staring at the screen dead serious, making Max' battle against them even more gratifying.

There is much to say about this movie, but first and foremost it is a must see. A cult classic still as enjoyable as it was nearly 30 years ago.

Was the above review useful to you?

60 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

A quarter of a century on now (from the original filming) and still an icon of Aussie movie making!

Author: uds3 from Longmont, Colorado
10 January 2003

It was the very rawness and budgetary constraints of this little flick that made it what it was. A new kind of action hero in a new kind of world! Gibson's laughably underpaid (though unavoidably so) contribution cannot be underestimated. He imbued Max with more than the script actually merited. An attitude perhaps that struck a chord with many office-desk (wannabe) vigilantes. After all, Max takes control of his own life - is not cowed by authority. Max is everyman, the one inside us that few get the chance to let loose. He is part Jesus, part Che, part James Dean, all Australian yobbo! But this guy gets the job done - drop Max into Iraq next month and see how far Saddam Hussein gets trying to stock up on sarin!

Raw energy is what MAD MAX was all about! Distilled, tempered and inflamed by the time THE ROAD WARRIOR came around but at this juncture. a man on a mission and with the best tricked-up car since....well, THE CAR ! For those of you incidentally, totally mortified that his glorious black-hearted Interceptor was rendered dead-meat in MAD MAX 2, be comforted by the fact that it DOES in fact reside still in a museum in London (Why there and not Sydney I know not...perhaps for the same reason Australia still is not host to the cricket-ashes urn!) What chance of either's return when Greece can't even get the Elgin Marbles back?

Much has been made (and remembered) of the high-power car chases in this film, held by many in absolute reverence. In fact after the main cops vs The Nightrider work-out in the first few minutes of the flick, its pretty much all downhill in the action stakes - nothing subsequently in MAD MAX (1) comes near this brief sequence. This situation (with a way bigger budget) was inarguably reversed by the time THE ROAD WARRIOR came along. The stunts in THAT film have never been surpassed and remember this was without CGI fx.

MAD MAX has that indefinable 'something" the sequels didn't...perhaps just a raw innovation couldn't be duplicated - rather like ur first kiss. It might not have been the best, but it sure IS fondly remembered.

Was the above review useful to you?

35 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Basic plot, but it's so much fun to watch

7/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
7 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember my parents being such fans of Mad Max when I was a kid, but the movie looked so boring in my eyes. I never really wanted to get into it, I mean, I was a kid after all. But a few years ago in my film appreciation class, we were watching clips from Mad Max 2 when studying Australian films and I was intrigued with it. I finally remembered a few weeks ago how I wanted to see the three movies, so I just watched Mad Max and I have to say that I understand it's cult following. Mad Max promises and delivers, it's a low budget action film, but has a terrific story and excellent stunts. Mel Gibson, before he was Mel Gibson in Hollywood, you could see why he made it so big, his presence on screen is truly hypnotic and he makes a great hero. This story is so scary in the fact that I don't think that we are far from this future.

Max Rockatansky lives in a time where his country has been taken over by violent, vicious motorcycle gang members who just go around torturing and killing people. Max and a few friends are the last members of the "semi" police force that is trying to get things back under control and bring some peace to their town. But when the gang messes with Max's friend by nearly burning him alive, Max is ticked and goes after them. But when the gang messes with Max's wife and child and kills them, oh, they've gone too far and now it's personal.

Mad Max's plot is basic and can be considered typical, but it's a fun action movie that truly delivers. The action sequences were really exciting, especially Max's revenge sequence, he was so amazing and I don't remember the last time I rooted so hard for the good guy to win. Mel Gibson was really cool and I had a good time watching Mad Max. I'm looking forward to the sequels. I would recommend this movie for a watch, it's a fun cult classic that I'm sure any action fan would enjoy.

7/10

Was the above review useful to you?

38 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

OVERRATED AT BEST

5/10
Author: RMurray847 from USA
27 May 2002

This movie is primarily a classic, in my opinion, because it was the prequel which led to THE ROAD WARRIOR, which really is a classic. MAD MAX was made on a low budget, yes, and some nice things were done with very little money. (Although choppy editing is inexcusable no matter how low the budget, and there's lots of nonsensical editing in this flick.) THe opening sequences of the film, in which the various police chase Nightrider, is fairly effective and sets one up for ever increasing excitement. However, the movie heads pretty much downhill from there in terms of excitement.

The events that make Max "Mad" happen so late in the film, and then his revenge is so abruptly carried out that it is about as anti-climactic as anything can be. Toecutter, whom we've grown to despise, should face a clever, hard-fought death at the hands of Max, instead of the abrupt end that comes to him almost without Max's help.

Mel Gibson is okay in the movie, but has little to do. THe actor playing Goose is the most fun, certainly. I only recommend the movie to those who feel they MUST have the backstory to The Road Warrior, but frankly, the future envisioned in MAD MAX is very different from the truly post-apocalyptic world of the ROAD WARRIOR.

Was the above review useful to you?

44 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

The Potential of the Australian Film Industry

7/10
Author: Ben White from Australia
8 April 2005

Dr. George Miller's low budget Mad Max franchise impacted on Australian culture and altered the perception of Australia and Australians overseas in a way that no other Australian film had done. The films explores themes such as 'man and the environment', 'fear provoking post-apocalyptic future, family', 'masculinity in crisis', 'good versus evil (Max as an iconic hero), Australian ethos and car culture; themes often featured within Australian films yet presented in a stark and dramatic way. The cinematographic impact is powerful; the human and emotional appeal is timeless.

Australia's barren deserts presented the ideal setting for a post-apocalyptic environment. The film set is more identifiable as Australia as it was filmed around the city of Melbourne. Long deserted roads feature significantly in the film and the cinematographic device of taking long distant shots of Max demonstrates how small he is in the scale of the environment that he is living. It is a relentless, unforgiving environment which demands defeat or survival and marks the characters which play upon its stage.

Just as the physical setting is stark and desolate, the time setting and its associated events create an atmosphere of fear and foreboding which plays on the minds and emotions of contemporary viewers. In this fear provoking post apocalyptic future the few survivors of the nuclear holocaust are in warfare with one another, the rebel bikers and the police.

Good versus evil is a dominant discourse in many film genres and one which embraces the Australian ethos. Max possesses some highly valued "Australian" traits; in particular, those of the underdog, the battler, the hero. External forces beyond his control stop him from "winning" completely. Contrary to the Hollywood hero, the Australian hero is a pawn in the game of others, which explains why Max can never quite "win" in absolute terms. There is little public glorification of success in Australia; heroes are remembered for their style rather than for their achievements. (Venkatasawmy, 1996) Mad Max represented a tradition hero, a hero to whom many diverse cultures are able to relate, as a story of a lone hero is a story that goes back through centuries of storytelling, and as a consequence the film achieved colossal success within Australian and around the world. The Australian cultures and lifestyles shown throughout these films give Australians an understanding of their country in the landscape, the language, and the way we treat people, life and life in exceptional circumstances.

Reference Venkatasawmy, R. (1996), Australian Film in the Reading Room: The Hybridity of Film-making in Australian National Cinema: Formulating a Cinematic Post-Diaspora. Retrieved March 14, 2005, from http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/ReadingRoom/rama/CHAPT4.htm

Was the above review useful to you?

35 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

"Mad Max" stays to this day a striking, desolate, and memorable piece of cinema…

8/10
Author: Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) from Mexico
3 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In spite of the fact that the 1981 film The Road Warrior—the second influential cinematic work of writer/director George Miller's Dystopian vision of the near future trilogy—leads to receive the anti-hero Max, released two years earlier, is where it all started… For it was here that Miller first brought to the screen his hellish vision, where civil society is under siege by crime and disorder, with the strength and charisma of a new young, tough, good looking actor by the name of Mel Gibson…

Gibson was just 23 years old when he took the role of Max Rockatansky—a young hotshot cop so emotionally wounded—and was such an unknown star that when the film was hitting the screens in the States, the preview trailers didn't even mentioned him but instead focused on the movie's coolest and most original car action ever filmed… In retrospect, of course, Gibson's portrayal of a relentless vigilante is an essential element of the picture…

In the Australian outback, Rockatansky is a motorcycle cop trying to keep order in a quickly disintegrating society… Vicious lawless bikers and road-raging psychopaths race up and down the forbidden territories, raping and pillaging the peaceful towns, and one such bunch ends up at the door of Max's wife (Joanne Samuel), and their 2-year old son… When they are both lying dead in middle of the road, Max is all driven over the edge, and so starts a high-speed pursuit involving wild rides, chilling fights, and memorable fast-motion suspenseful scenes rarely equaled in cinema…

Was the above review useful to you?

18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Is Max really mad, or merely just misunderstood?

6/10
Author: Andy (film-critic) from Bookseller of the Blue Ridge
9 August 2009

"Mad Max" is one of those films that is on everyone's top film lists. Not only did it introduce us to Australian cinema, but also a young 21-year old newbie named Mel Gibson. "Mad Max" was dark, it was brooding, it was destructive, and it never gave us that glimmer of hope for humanity, but now - nearly 20 years later - does it still remain the classic that it started? Sure, it was impressive to watch the crash scenes, it was powerful to see the world through Mr. Miller's disturbed eyes, but is it re-watchable? Does it have the appeal to see new things throughout if watched and watched again? For me, the answer seemed to float near "no". While I loved what "Mad Max" represented, what it was - a full body of color and action - it wasn't something to be watched again and again. Gibson does a great job as Max, a man torn between the evils of the road and his personal philosophies. He begins as an ominous optimist, able to stop crime as it occurs on the streets, but then as his sense of normality is turned upside down, his ability to react and adapt is seen. The final moments, he has transformed from the man we were first introduced to into something quite terrifying. One could also compliment Mr. Miller's directorial outing, at times it felt a bit episodic with tough edits placed, but for the majority he told a deathly story with great ease and excitement. So, again, there is no arguing that "Mad Max" is an important film, one that I am glad to have finally seen, but once was enough. It seems to be lacking that re-watch excitement.

But why has that conclusion been made? What makes "Mad Max" mediocre instead of powerful? It is hard to pinpoint the exact scene, but the sense of "alright, I've seen it - now what" was definitely present by the end. Yet, there were points that I just loved. Gibson was perfect. He was incredible as Max, and the world that Mr. Miller created was intense. The opening scene, the car crashes as our bearded villain just yelled "Toecutter" was fantastic. "Mad Max" has one of those openings that just pulls you in, that makes you excited to watch a film of this intensity, but then where do you go? Miller seemed to indicate that more car crashes, more violence, more cliché family drama would indicate a stronger film. At times he was right, his ability to create different scenes set across the same backdrop demonstrated his originality, but then there were times where it just felt recycled. One scene that stands out, is where our gang of bikers track down a couple that happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, they chase them down and demoralize them as Max and his partner find them - then, almost repetitively, it happens with Max and his girl later in the film. In this post-apocalyptic world, there seems to be no problem finding someone. Space seems to not be a problem. This was another unexplained moment - where the coincidence of discovering Max or finding the biker gang should have been more difficult. These repetitive, essentially simplistic scenes seemed to detract from the power of what Max represented. One also needs to ask about the story, the unknown of what time or place we are following Max - would this have strengthened the story knowing what world we lived in? The understanding that this was a low-budget film was rooted in my mind, the techniques provided were impressive, but should that have been neglected for mediocre storytelling? Perhaps I misread this film, perhaps I missed the joy of why this is hailed as such a cult success.

Another weakness against "Mad Max" has to be the relationship between his wife/girlfriend and child. Again, the lacking story helped confuse this viewer as to what dynamic they had, but when we have scenes in which the child is completely forgotten about - it just decimates the reasons behind Max's anger and utter breakdown. There were several scenes in which I yelled at the screen, "What about the child", then finally they would remember - he seemed to fade in and out of existence too often for one film. Then, when disaster strikes, we are forced to believe that suddenly Gibson would release his inner rage? It just didn't work. The same can be said for his wife/girlfriend. A stronger definition of character, and even more lines spoken would have helped me see the relationship. She seemed angry at first, the product of a failed marriage forced by this post-apocalyptic world to stay together, then we were introduced to love, then suddenly, she moved to idiocrity. Who would believe that running down a road, when there are open fields around, is the better option? It was these small inconsistencies that forced "Mad Max" from greatness to just another average action film. Two-plus hour sweeping epics aren't always needed, but stronger characters do help in creating the world that we, as viewers, are to inhabit for 90-ish minutes.

"Mad Max" is an important film, there is no question in my mind about that. The door that this film opened for future cinema in America couldn't have been done by a better group of filmmakers, but it isn't a promising classic. I could not watch this film again. The sequels I am ready for, but this ride is over - and the park is closing. I realize that I am in the minority, but "Mad Max" is a low-budget film that uses repetitive film-making as its staple - originality is present, but you must search to find it.

Was the above review useful to you?

27 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

A sadistically fun movie

Author: coverme6 from Allentown, PA
30 June 2000

Mel Gibson is Mad Max in, well, "Mad Max!" This is the film that made Mel an international superstar. In his starring debut, Mel plays Max, a leather-clad cop in the near future who fights to control security on the road from vicious bikers and road thugs. When the thugs lead by the psychotic Toecutter kill Max's wife and baby, our hero is livid with vengeance. Armed with his armor-plated muscle car and a sawed-off shotgun, Max wreaks turbo-powered revenge on the murderous punks.

Though a bit dated compared with the action films we have today, "Mad Max" still stands out as a very impressive movie. For one thing, this film had a tiny budget. Well, as proven in "El Mariachi," a movie doesn't need a $1 million budget if you have a creative story and imagination. "Mad Max" stands out as a classic low-budget flick that made it big without the intense u

Was the above review useful to you?

21 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Well Aged!

Author: TP-6 from Melbourne, Australia
28 June 1999

Not many low budget flicks age very well but Mad Max certainly has.

I watched it again recently, as I only had vague memories of watching it years ago, but I found it to hold up well. Only by reading the other user comments did I discover that it had been dubbed! What a load of crap. Why would a movie in English be dubbed in English! If you cant understand Aussie accents, you dont deserve the pleasure of seeing this movie. I cant imagine this movie having the same effect without the Australian accents.

What George Miller did with this fairly simple script is remakable. The camera angles and speeds with which this film moves along at times were thrilling, Not to mention the great stunts and even the barbaric humour (the ripped off arm!).

The car which Mel Gibson eventually gets revenge in (an Aussie Ford coupe) looked as menacing as a car could! built for the movie for A$35 Grand, a replica was used for the final crash 'n burn scenes of Mad Max 2. The original car was salvaged and is still around somewhere, appearing at car shows in the late 80's.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 1 of 29:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards Newsgroup reviews External reviews
Parents Guide Official site Plot keywords
Main details Your user reviews Your vote history