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Mad Max
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Reviews & Ratings for
Mad Max More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Good, but not as fun as it's Sequel

7/10
Author: pc95 from San Diego
28 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having seen the Road Warrior first, perhaps I'm a bit biased - nonetheless Mad Max, the original story, has memorable stunts, interesting characters and palatable music. There's some light-weight camaraderie and beautiful scenery along with a fairly good showing of some thug bike gang goons. Mel Gibson, has a fuller part in Mad Max ranging from family man to bounty hunter - he does a good job exhibiting nervous energy and raw emotion. It's a solid beginning. Meanwhile the Road Warrior is a treasure trove of excellent scenes with baddies truly representing what villainy should be like, and a much more interesting premise. Mad Max helps establish the Road Warrior. Its a good watch, a must for Gibson fans.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Blistering, kenetic, energetic road rage that inspired a generation and didn't stop there!

9/10
Author: skyhighatrist550 from Netherlands
13 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Back when I was a kid at the tender age of 7 I was introduced to the Mad Max trilogy of films which my parents all had preserved on tape which I, ironically, watched all in reverse starting with Beyond Thunderdome, The Road Warrior and then this film. While The Road Warrior remains undoubtedly my favorit, the film I remember least from the trilogy was surprisingly Mad Max 1.

Now, I recently purchased the DVD set which retains the original Australian audio for Mad Max 1 and what do I think of it after some 14 years later?: A lot better then I first remember it.

Set in a destopic Australian local outback on the verge of econimic breakdown, Max Rockatansky(Mel Gibson) is a family man of a wife and child as well as being the head patroleman of a small unit of police officers who are trying desperately to protect the local citizens from the dangerous roads which are running rampant with savage biker gangs and speedfreaks, one gang of which, lead by main villain Toecutter, have marked Max for death after he causes the death of one of they're friends called the 'Nightrider' in an excellerating car chase.

Mel Gibson has never had a more definitive role, even if his and the general dialogue and acting are a bit vague at times, it's enough to bring light to the characters and there lives and how they handle they're situations.

The evil Biker gang themselves are another highlight of the film as they're wicked cross metal/punk cosumes and motorcycles are infinitely awesome! Hugh Keays-Byrne plays a memorable main villain as the sadistic Toecutter and has some quite memorable lines in the film to boot(this is Cundalini, Cundalini wants his arm back).

It also must be said that Goerge Miller has done a very commendable job with the relatively low budget he was given to make Mad Max as I feel the low production quality actually helps flesh out the impendingly doomed world in which Max lives and accentuates it well for the time it was made(1979).

In short, this is an insperetional road rage masterpiece that will go down in film history with cult acclaim let alone the breaking ground for Australiens and only gets better as all the aspects that made Mad Max 1 so great get vastly expanded on in it's sequel: The Road Warrior.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Future, Fast Cars and a Mad Mel Gibson...Hold On!!!

8/10
Author: legendaryunderdog from United States
12 May 2008

George Millers tale of a world turned upside down into a vast wasteland where cutthroats line the streets and kill to get whatever they need. The police force that Max (Mel Gibson) works for is being made into a joke by the infamous Night Rider and his authority 'The Toe Cutter'. Max is out to make sure that the mayhem being caused on the streets is put to an end, after leaving the force briefly feeling like he could not handle it, Max returns (after some unfortunate circumstances transpire) and as the title says: Max is definitely Mad alright! A little dubbing in the film here and there but it is easy to follow, a lot of goofs in the movie (continuity mostly) buts thats usually just for film buffs to have fun with. A great showing by director Miller, many stunts and wild chase scenes. A definite movie for the average motorhead that likes big engines and fast cars, the cast does make for much entertainment (quite a few 'characters', check out the police chief!). Great movie, followed up by another bigger movie 'The Road Warrior', initially titled 'Mad Max 2' but they dropped the initial name because at the time in 1981 when the sequel came out, nobody had ever heard of 'Mad Max'. A true underrated classic. 8 out of 10 stars no doubt.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

From the Grind House to stardom

7/10
Author: lastliberal from United States
16 October 2007

Before Babe and Happy Feet, George Miller gave us characters that were just plain weird. Loud explosions, killing, bare breasts - they all made for 70s grind house fare.

Out of that mess, came Mel Gibson. This was his second film, and the one that got him noticed. A star on screen; a mess in his personal life. Love him or hate him, he has given us hours of enjoyment at the movies and on DVD.

Miller's film features brilliant editing, outstanding sound, an enchanting score, and some great acting from Hugh Keays-Byrne as Toecutter.

An enjoyable trip back in time.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

a classic revenge movie

Author: gutz1981 from greece, khalkidiki
28 October 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've seen this movie 100s of times. I've bought it on tape and on DVD every time I feel a little blue I just chuck it on and get pumped up and feel like just getting in to my car and go wherever the road takes me. Some people say it's not that good because it's too slow in the middle or its not as good as other movies or what ever, thats peoples opinion and that's alright. I admit it would have been cooler if they had the extra cash to put in the extra car chase scenes they wanted to, but thems the breaks. For me it's stood the test of time ***SPOILER*** just to watch Big Bopper crash into that van and start back up and burn those wheels, or when Max goes to get his revenge, or when Max gets his knee shot out and gets up and limps himself back into his supercharged black 74 XB GT hard top Falcon to give a great chase. It would be interesting to see them do a remake with todays cars but it would not come close using plastic one-crash-and-that's-it cars of today, faster or not they can not compete with the old muscle cars of the 60's and 70's in Australia.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

"I'll see you on the road, Scag"!

Author: cloudburst from Melbourne, Australia
17 December 2001

Mad Max is one of those rare films where a young director just lets rip, regardless of budget constraints, and creates something special.

There's something George Miller captures about cars and their sounds, like the beautiful gurgle of a big block V8. I've never felt a vehicles collision quite as much as in a Mad Max film. Go on, compare it to watching a huge CG explosion in some other film.....no contest. This is also the film where I most appreciate Editors and what they do...simply superb. I still get goosebumps watching the opening chase scene.

I would love to hear the US version, just for a laugh, as I've only ever seen the original. This was also one of the first Aussie films that really showed we could make these kinds of films, and make them well, Razorback notwithstanding. It's too bad we stopped there with this trilogy, although there are signs of promise now. PROMISE = Exclusion of dysfunctional families populated by oddball characters.

Miller utilizes his TODD-AO photography extremely well in conjunction with the south australian setting, having all the mysticism and desolation he wants on tap. The sound in this is an absolute ripsnorter as well. Hugh Keays-Byrne is at his wackiest (as in TV's "Secret Valley","Stone") as The Toecutter, and Vince Gil is memorable as the Nightrider. Note - the Brian May who did the score isn't in Queen....sorry, different guy.

Mad Max is a kinetically charged, eye popping(heh) visual feast whereby the only bluescreen used by the stuntmen was the open sky above them. They really don't make 'em like this anymore.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Damn Good

Author: Manos-6 from Holmdel, NJ
23 March 1999

Mad Max was alright. I mean, Mel Gibson was excellent as Max, and I love a movie where there's a character named Jim Goose. There was a problem though. Not a big or serious problem, but just an easy to spot one. And that is the fact that Max didn't really get "Mad" until the very end of the movie. Up until then he just acts like a normal guy. Also, I think the sequel was better (The Road Warrior), but I don't count this one out. It was very good and is worth watching.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

a hugely overrated film that is actually poor

3/10
Author: alindsay-al from United Kingdom
8 July 2015

After seeing the fantastic mad max fury road I thought I would go back and watch the original mad max films and I kind of wish I had not done so as the first mad max film is actually really poor. The premise of this film sees a post apocalyptic world where a cop looks to get revenge on a motorcycle gang when everything is taken from him. Mel Gibson was new at this point and he was pretty good as max he nailed the hard cop and he played the character well. It's just his character wasn't written to be that interesting and to be honest you don't really care to much about his situation because the film gives you absolutely no reason to care about ten situation. The guy who played goose, even though it was a pretty small role did a decent job and made you care about his character. Also the villain the toecutter was pretty cool and crazy and tell right villain for this film. The only problem is that his wife just isn't convincing and it doesn't help because you don't care about there relationship and it hurts the emotional moments. The story is just non existent for the first hour of the film and it is only in the last 15 mins that they try and give any story but it fails in its execution. The script is pretty shocking, the acting is bad and the dialogue just doesn't help these actors and doesn't give them the chance to flex there muscles. The look of the post apocalyptic future was pretty good but I think it definitely improves in later films and this can be said with the action scenes. The first action scene is pretty cool but apart from that the action never hits the same cool levels again. Overall this is a poor film that really drags and is not worth the watch.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A cult classic that doesn't live up to its name

3/10
Author: macedones from Brazil
15 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was just a teenager when I first watched Mad Max. And ten years later I've decided to re watch it. Right after I was done, a question came to mind: Was it that bad?

Mad Max is one of those movies that everybody considers to be top notch because it was visionary and made with such low budget. I get it. It was really visionary for the time it was made. But does that mean the movie is good? The answer is no.

Starting with the title. If someone knows to answer how could Max be considered even close to Mad, please enlighten me. There is nothing in Max's personality that makes him a mad guy. What does he do when his best friend Goose gets burned alive by the Toecutter gang? He goes to Fifi and delivers his retirement agreement. His motives? He states that being a cop is too much of a dangerous life. What about the scene where the gang member bails out of jail? The one that flips out and gets really "mad" is Goose, not Max. I mean, if you put a title like this in a movie, at least make the character named after it with a personality that fits. Max goes throughout the entire movie being a calm and respectable guy. The only part where he shows himself as a cruel person is the last scene, where he locks one of the bad guys to a flaming car and gives him a saw to cut through his ankle if he wants to live.

The first half of the movie also creates another issue with the title. It is focused on Goose while we see Max like some kind of a sideshow. I got myself questioning what Max's character had to do with the story despite being the "hero" that Fifi always insisted to state.

One other flaw that really bugged me was the presence of the law inside a lawless post-apocalyptic world. Right at the beginning of the movie, it is presented to us that in a near future only exists the madmen and the main force patrol. OK, cool. So what was the lawyer who came to rescue the gang member from jail doing inside this world? A chaotic world where lunatic bikers are allowed to roam free and rape everybody is not lawless enough to discard the need of lawyers? It just doesn't make sense. I think George Miller wasn't worried in explaining things.

My conclusions? The plot is bad, the acting is bad, the execution is bad. Even for a low budget movie. The only good thing about it is the concept that came to be an inspiration to future movies and video games. Mad Max does not live up to its name. It is a revenge film lacking the feeling of revenge. If you're into trash car chasing movies with dumb action scenes, that might be your thing. This one just didn't do it for me.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A thrilling, well-executed Aussie actioner

8/10
Author: brchthethird from United States
14 November 2014

Before watching this, I was aware of Mad Max as a character and that this was the role that made Mel Gibson a star. However, I wasn't completely expecting what I got here. It wasn't bad by any means, but MAD MAX is a bit more low-key than I expected. I'm guessing that the reputation was built off of the sequels. Still, what George Miller came up with for this first entry was pretty spectacular.

The story takes place in Australia a few years in the future (which would have been around 1982 at the time of release). Society hasn't completely gone to hell yet, but it's clearly on the precipice. Biker gangs and marauders roam the countryside, attack random people and cops, do a lot of road-racing and are a general menace. They are pursued by the Main Force Police, who although tasked with managing the biker gangs and trying to keep order, are barely distinguishable from the people they're pursuing. It isn't a point that's particularly labored in the movie, but society has devolved to the point where the only difference between "good" and "bad" is a badge. This minor, but a core, aspect is what I liked the most about the film: the idea that there aren't any heroes. There is right and wrong, but the lines are often blurred.

Anyway, among these cops is Max Rockatansky, the guy they call when the other cops get into a snafu. He's the guy that gets the job done. He's also a family man, with a wife and young child. Despite the post-apocalyptic setting, this is actually the main drive for the story, which is more of a revenge picture than a straight action movie. Yes, there is plenty of action, but the film is equally about Max's transformation into the badass we know and love, as it is about the overall look and feel and the superbly choreographed chase sequences. More fickle viewers might get a little bored with the lull in the middle, but there should be enough action to satisfy genre fans.

And speaking of action, the opening sequence is probably the best out of them, although the final one is very well-executed in its own right. The first one, for me, is the best because it set the tone of the movie, quickly established Max as a character (as well as his role/reputation) and featured some amazing car and motorcycle stunts which, given when this was made, were all done practically. All of the action sequences were well-done in fact, but the first one sticks out in particular to me because of the way it opens the film. There was also a sequence late into the film where some bikers are pursuing a gasoline truck, and one of them pole vaults onto the top of it. I do have a little prior knowledge of the sequels, and this was a great way to establish that aspect as well as add more detail to the world that George Miller created.

Overall, this is a well-made, engaging film with some great action and a minimal, but effective, performance by Mel Gibson. Highly recommended.

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