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Mad Max is 70's classic dystopian action film the film that became the first in the series that launches some awesome great sequels.
ivo-cobra83 October 2015
Mad Max is 70's type of classic dystopian action film the film that started it all and became the first in a series that launches some awesome great sequels. Max Rockatansky is iconic hero till it's day he is a true legend. Mad Max settle Mel Gibson a sure path to superstardom this highly acclaimed crazy collide o-scope of highway of mayhem cinematically defined the post apocalyptic landscape. Featuring eye- popping stunts that are electrifying and very convincing and an authentically nihilistic spirit this unforgettable actioner from Director George Miller is pure cinematic poetry.

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 police force hell-bent on stopping them. But they underestimate one officer: Max (Gibson). 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! Also staring Joanne Samuel,Hugh Keays-Byrne he later started in Mad Max: Fury Road as an Immortan Joe another villain. This actor is fantastic and makes TERRIFIC job of been one of the best villains in the movie history ever. Also starring Steve Bisley, this rugged race car of a film runs on comic book volatility... exhilarating, rowdiness and visual intensity.

I love this film not much as I love Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Furry Road but I still love it. The plot doesn't start until 1.hour ago after Max family is attacked and killed. I love Max's car V8 Interceptor, high speed chases action sequences, that I guarantee you want see in any Action film today. There is any cgi in this film I didn't see them at all. The chases between Max and Toecutter on a motorcycle is fantastic, the crash and death Toecutter scene is AWESOME. I love this movie, I love it. As an dystopian action film is a fantastic that remains a true classic till it's day. The film has one problem that is focusing on max and his love life which is drama that hurts the movie and the plot starts really slow in the film. And between the film becomes very boring.

The high speed chases on the road makes this movie interesting so that you don't fall asleep. I still don't get that hate for this film, some people are comparing Thunderdome to this film, clamming that is better than Mad Max is and this is the worst one and the weakest film in the franchise which is not. I highly disagree with all of the haters of this film. It Is still good so much better than Thunderdome ever was. I will always take this film over Thunderdome,I have tried many times to take this film as the best one in the series but I couldn't because it does have some problems.

NOTE: The film is not a revenge flick like some people are saying, it is a film about car and motorcycle gang on a road it is Australian post apocalyptic dystopian action film. 7/10 B-
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Low budget classic that is now a genre landmark.
Spikeopath4 March 2008
Set somewhere in the future we are privy to a world where the roads are ruled by maniac gangs with souped up cars, and bikers that literally could come from hell. Trying to stop these marauding loons are the overstretched police force who themselves ride in exceptionally fast cars. At the front of this story is Max Rockatansky, a good honest cop trying to hold his own against the chaotic world that is forming around him. After his best friend is burned and left for dead he decides enough is enough and thinks about retiring from the service, but whilst on a vacation with his wife and child things go decidedly bad and Max becomes an avenging force of fury with devastating affect.

When evaluating this film I feel it really needs to be put into perspective just how brilliant a job director George Miller did with next to no cash to work with, in fact Miller edited the film in his own bedroom just to emphasise the low-fi nature of the beast. The costumes are excellent, the cast are terrific, with Mel Gibson as Max particularly impressive, and here we have villains to truly fit the word villainous, but it's the stunts and chase sequences that makes this film a rich rewarding experience. The opening ten minutes alone are pure adrenalin pumping genius, but the film as a whole delivers a crash bang wallop punch that has often been imitated since its release, but rarely bettered, and although the heart of the film is a simple revenge story, it grabs your attention and delivers right to the corking finale, 8/10.

Footnote: Region 2 Users should note that the bargain bucket Mad Max Trilogy flip pack set still contains the foolishly dubbed version of this film, incredibly stupid move from the American distributors.
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Mad Max, the one that launched a franchise and a hundred knock-offs.
Joseph P. Ulibas31 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.
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Mel's got a car and he knows how to use it.
lewiskendell25 October 2010
"Look, any longer out on that road and I'm one of them, a terminal psychotic, except that I've got this bronze badge that says that I'm one of the good guys."

Mad Max is all about vehicle fueled vengeance. A young Mel Gibson plays a lawman in a near-future, gang infested Australia. His encounters with a especially vile gang result in a deadly attack on his wife and infant son, and the last act of the movie focuses on his single-minded payback on those responsible.

Mad Max is certainly low-budget, but the movie doesn't really suffer from it. It is dated, however, and so many movies with similar premises have been made in the last thirty years that this one doesn't make nearly as much of an impression now as it probably did back in 1979. Watching this is a near-requirement for fans of Mel Gibson, but for everyone else, it's a decent movie that should be seen more for its classic status than its current entertainment value.
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After nearly 30 years still an amazing trip at high speed
Dan_the_DutchMan11 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.
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Basic plot, but it's so much fun to watch
Kristine7 January 2008
Warning: 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.

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RMurray84727 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
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.
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Thought this would be good after watching The Road Warrior. Well, it wasn't
Alexandrspyr11 May 2015
Can't believe it would be such a mess and that it would leave me in a big disappointment, to be fair though I had high expectations coming into this movie after watching the sequel first(The Road Warrior). The world building was a joke at best, post apocalyptic future(not that you understand this by watching the movie) in Australia infested by motorcycle gangs? OK, "how and why" comes to mind but to hell with it, not important right? With a setting like in this movie never explored and never explained in detail, I can't really claim that things didn't make sense(although they didn't) or point out inconsistencies, because who knows....

The acting? "Laughable" is what I thought, but to each his own I guess. The plot? When the hell is it gonna start? Does it even have a plot? Well yes it does, in the last 20 minutes. The dialog? No freaking comment. I guess the only good thing was the action scenes(not a lot of them) and the last 5 minutes.
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"Mad Max" stays to this day a striking, desolate, and memorable piece of cinema…
Nazi_Fighter_David3 August 2008
Warning: 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…
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The Potential of the Australian Film Industry
Ben White8 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
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Is Max really mad, or merely just misunderstood?
Andy (film-critic)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.
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Well Aged!
TP-628 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.
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A quarter of a century on now (from the original filming) and still an icon of Aussie movie making!
uds310 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.
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possibly the template for 1000 films that followed...
A_Different_Drummer28 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The year was 1979. And out of Australia, of all places, comes this post-doomsday yarn about a world gone bad, starring a completely unknown Aussie hunk named Mel Gibson (this would be decades before he became Hollywood's "bete noire" and tried to share his novel views on racial differences with the world) and a hitherto unknown director named George Miller. Well, to call the film historical is like saying that John Wayne used to do westerns. Gibson ultimately became, well, for lack a better term, himself. Miller went on to not only sequels but also a number of astonishing films and would eventually pick up an Oscar; and the whole notion of end-of-the-world shoot em ups just took hold and would over time evolve into the fascination with all things zombie at the turn of the 21st century. Was this a great film? Only insofar as it is pure, the source, if you will, of what came later.
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Action for action's sake
areatw28 September 2016
I really dislike movies in which the action and/or special effects are more prominent than any sort of plot, and I found 'Mad Max' to be exactly that. The 'plot', which is basic and unimaginative, is entirely built around the action.

This isn't my favourite movie genre, but the best action movies all have an interesting and solid plot to justify the action scenes. From the first few scenes of 'Mad Max' it was obvious that this was an action for action's sake movie, with the plot not really given much thought.

'Mad Max' is an easy enough film to sit and watch without needing to pay much attention, because all it consists of is back to back action scenes for 90 minutes.
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Mad Max - bloody, violent - a load of fun
glasshouse126 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
One of the best revenge films ever made, imho. Wild and woolly rural Australia ruled by free-range biker gangs barely kept in check by a woefully understaffed police force - Main Force Patrol.

This film appears to the casual viewer as merely a bunch of car chases and horrifying deaths strung together by scenes of poorly edited dialogue - particularly those that have only seen the 'Americanized' dubbing of the original Australian dialogue track.

While the car chases are impressive (not quite so much as the 'Road Warrior/Mad Max II) in and of themselves, and the deaths in the film are pretty gruesome in most cases, it's the psychology of the characters in the film that strikes me. The deviance of the motorcycle gangsters, the passivity of the townspeople they meet, the blind-eyed amorality of the mechanic and the unrestrained hedonism of Goose (Max's best friend) all are worthy of study. More developed and glaring is the tired resignation of most of the members of MFP - for the most part a group of burnt-out, overworked cops that have had all sense of idealism stripped from them in a crucible of bureaucracy, judicial corruption and wide-spread anarchy they have no power to control.

In the midst of this mess is Max - something of a knight-errant surrounded by chaos, trying to keep his integrity and character intact while trying to shield his family from the awful truth of his day-to-day worklife. Early in the film a glimpse is seen of what he fears most - that he himself is little better than the scum he battles daily. It is my opinion that makes his later descent to their level truly tragic.

I truly recommend this film, particularly if you can watch it with the original Australian soundtrack. For some reason, the version released and most commonly seen in the US was overdubbed with American actors' voices. While the meat of the picture is present in this version, I feel it warrants, at best, a 6 of 10 rating. However, the original version, with Mel Gibson and the rest of casts' own voices is definitely a cut above. The added layers of subtlety in this version makes it almost like watching a completely different film, hence the 8 or 10 rating given above. If possible, watch it multiple times. I've seen it nearly 20 times, including both versions, and still find something new with every viewing.
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Laughable cheapie revenge B-movie makes "The Road Warrior" look like "The Godfather"!
ozjeppe30 July 2013
Australian cult sci-fi-action film that spawned two sequels and launched Mel Gibson's career: Road cop in the near dystopian future goes head-to-head with vicious motorcycle gang that threatens both his town and family. I waited over 30 years to catch this hard-to-find classic. I didn't expect miracles - maybe a bit rough around the edges at worst. But to find it to be a laughable cheapie revenge B-movie that is only made just bearable thanks to a few nifty stunt scenes (and an admittedly memorable finale scene), is honestly quite startling!

It's one stiff competition after another of which ingredient takes the cake: The horrible music (that also manages to drown some of the dialog)? The unbelievably hammy acting and characters? The amateurish editing and continuity? The seemingly random events and story progressions that break so many simple basic dramatic rules, even for an action piece? Barely scraping by to avoid the total turkey mark, this one makes its superior follow-up "The road warrior" look like "The Godfather" in terms of... just about everything. Crikey!

2 out of 10 from Ozjeppe.
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When the gangs take over the highway... Remember he is on your side.
Old Joe13 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Australian movies have slowly gained in both quality and in popularity. Yet I had always heard good and big things about a very old Australian movie known as 'Mad Max'. With a fascinating story, strange and wacky characters, a vast arrangement of high octane cars and motorbikes and starring a huge Hollywood star, who was not so big when this film was made, 'Mad Max' is a revelation of a movie. It also proves that a small budget will not hamper what sort of movie you will see.

Max Rockatansky is a policeman in the near future who is tired of his job and wants out, so he can spend time with his wife and baby son. Since the apocalypse, the lengthy, desolate stretches of highway in the Australian outback have become bloodstained battlegrounds. Max has seen too many innocents and fellow officers murdered by the bomb's savage offspring, bestial marauding bikers for whom killing, rape, and looting is a way of life. Then Max's world is shattered as a gang led by the evil Toecutter murders his family in retaliation for the death of one of its members. Dead inside, Max climbs into a souped-up V-8 racing machine to seek a big and bloody revenge.

What is most impressive about this movie is the action and car stunts that are present in the movie for almost the entire 90 minutes. I mean seeing bikies fall, cars blow up, go through caravans, and the high octane V-8 that Max uses are all terrific. The main stunt co-ordinator of 'MM' was Grant Page, who did a fine job in brining through those ideas of the dangers on the road, in addition to the fine stunts, that were effective to the movie's final make-up.

However the writer/director of Mad Max, George Miller deserves just as much praise for bringing MM to our screens. Being his first feature film, he practised as a doctor to fund the film's finances, which just shows how tight a budget this movie was on. I enjoy the pace and feel of the movie that Miller presents to us in 'Mad Max', which I can only describe, as 'unsettling', but in a good and effective way. Miller went on to direct the next two Mad Max Movies.

The main star of MM is one of the more recognised Hollywood stars Mel Gibson. He was young in this movie, but it did not take away from his gritty performance. I am sure at the time that he played this character that two things were not going through his mind, that this would become a huge film franchise, and that Gibson himself would be a huge Hollywood actor. Gibson brings humanity to the film, which is set in a depressive future. I guess the only part of his character that I wanted to see more of, was Max being angry, which did happen, but took longer than I thought.

There are other good cast members in this nasty of movies. Jim Goose (Steve Bisley) is a crazy kind of cop, who pushes and does not like to be pushed. Some of the things that he does and has happen to him are quite remarkable. Bisley has had a successful career in Australia movies and TV, with such titles as the funny film 'The Big Steal', and being a part of Aussie TV shows like the medical drama 'G.P.', the media spoof 'frontline' and the top cop drama 'Water Rats'. Max's wife Jesse (Joanne Samuel) loves Max a lot and the movie clearly shows this through her performance. But again, what happens to her character is also hard to take.

This then leads me too the mean characters of the film. The bikie gang is led by the horrible Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne), whose performance in the movie is pretty good. I love his evil body language, especially his smirk that sent a chill through me many times in the film. All his bikie gang are not much better, with the Nightrider (Vincent Gil) an important member of the story. I like the actors that were in this gang, as they were all bad and nasty.

There are other aspects to the film that I liked. The use of the Australian setting was invaluable, as we get to see many different places along the Australian coast. But what brought out the scenery of the film were the unique camera angles that are seen throughout the entire movie. This has to be due to the good work of cinematographer David Eggby, who did many low camera angle shots, that I was really impressed by. Another important element that created great tension for the film was its musical score. It was in for the greater part of the movie and was extremely effective. The composer of MM was Brian May.

After I had seen Mad Max, I wanted to show this film to my father, as I believed it contained enough elements to keep him entertained, being a car enthusiast. By the time we had watched the movie together, I was amazed by how knowledgeable my father was on many of the movie's various aspects. I was just glad that he liked the movie, because I know that did. A friend and I also believe that this movie influenced the famous American TV show, Knight Rider. I only think this for two reasons. One, because there is a scene very similar in a Knight Rider episode, as there was in this movie, and two, because of the car that Max speeds around in at the end of the film, as it looks similar to the Trans Am used in the Knight Rider TV show. I am looking forward to seeing the two Mad Max sequels that been made, as they are widely popular movies. Also look out for the forth instalment of Mad Max, coming up next year.

CMRS gives 'Mad Max': 4.5 (Very Good - Brilliant Film)
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Holy crap.
Stovaa6 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I have been told by many people that this film was absolutely AWESOME. Those people were, evidently, very wrong. This film was a series of repetitive and nearly identical chase scenes strung together with lengthy dialogue scenes which served only to make me so tired I stopped caring about the film. However, I had just drunk a lot of cola so I wasn't quite asleep. The film spent 3/4 of it's duration introducing the characters and telling you how evil the baddies were. Then about 15 minutes in a chase which ends with the baby dying and his wife in hospital, apparently getting better. Then Mad Max went out to kick some ass, of the 8 bikers. Who had split up for no reason. Max killed 5 of them in one manoeuvre, which made the epitome chase scene a bit... less effective. Then he got tricked and attacked by magic bikers who appeared from nowhere and ran him over. Then he killed one of them and then the others rode off separately. However, this was no obstacle for him! He limped back to his car, chased down the leader and watched him crash into a lorry (complete with moronic eye-bulging effects) and then, in one of the movies better moments, blew up Johnny. Sadly, there was not enough time for the futility of his situation to sink in, just enough for Max to get in his car and drive away. END OF FILM.

I just saved you 2 hours and £6. You're welcome.

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A sadistically fun movie
coverme630 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
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Mad Max is a true classic!
Pingo-21 May 2000
Max is the ultimate avenger!

Set in a near future, Max, a high-way patrol officer, tries to stop a violent motorcycle gang.

This is a simple plot, but it is so well done and well filmed that this movie is a real classic action film.

I like Mad Max (1979) better than Mad Max 2 (1981). Most people seem to think that the second one is even better, but I can't agree on this because of several things:

First of all, this first Max movie has got a very important question, and that is that the violence of today are going to be worse tomorrow. The film dares to view violence even more than most movies do today, and I think this is a good thing, that helps to make this film trustworthy.

The acting is better in Mad Max than in the sequels, and the feeling of a near, almost broken down society with a small police force is more interesting than the post-nuclear situation that the second and third film tries to show us.

The car crashes and the pursuit in the openings of Mad Max are truly incredible. Never before had such nice work been put on celluloid.

Overall Mad Max is a true classic! Before this movie, science-fiction/action films weren't as good.

If You haven't seen it, try to get hold of the non-dubbed version.
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a terrible beginning to a great franchise
evilbob655354 June 2011
I watched the Mad Max movies in reverse, which is a good thing because I never would have watched another after this one. Beyond the Thunderdome is still pretty amazing even today, and The Road Warrior is good and holds up fairly well even with its cheesiness. The original Mad Max is a complete waste of time. Long, boring sequences of people driving over backwater roads comprise about 70% of the movie. The "revenge" plot doesn't happen until 20 minutes before the end, as many have pointed out, and the "apocalyptic future" setting is something you'd never know from the movie itself - honestly anyone who says that is superimposing their memory of the later films over this one.

Most of the film is trying to build up to the final payoff, but it just doesn't work with today's pacing and audience. There's no story otherwise and the action is laughable by current standards. I really have no idea why there are so many positive reviews, other than the movie was probably good for its time and it helped spawn a tremendous series which went on to influence many other great stories and media (the Fallout games, for example). If you're curious about the series, do yourself a favor and read a plot synopsis on Wikipedia or something and then skip straight to The Road Warrior.
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How bad is this movie?
Heyzus30 July 2003
Wow, I was expecting much better than this. I honestly can't think of a movie that was more painful to watch. Scenes are cut together abruptly, poor dialogue and really no point whatsoever. My roommate and I sat watching the movie wondering..."When is this going to start" followed by "just let it end" I would stay away but if you must endure this film, good luck.
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One of the worst movies I've ever seen
lixo-2311913 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
It is probably one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Don't waste your time watching this. Anyone who give more than 5 to this has never seen good movies.

*Spoilers ahead*

It is just a cop who get wife and child killed and go for revenge. It does not take place in the future.

It just has a catch in the ending because he makes of one the bad guys die like his partner but it is definitely NOT worth watching. Perhaps if it just had 20 minutes, it COULD be interesting since the action only happens in the last 10 minutes.

Just don't watch it and thank me later for not wasting your time.

I haven't seen the other ones yet but this one is just horrible.
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Mad max review (my review)
Tom mix23 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I remember walking past this movie in the video store (vhs days) a million times everyone said "oh thats a great movie".... thank god it did take me 30 years before I did get the movie and now I have seen it, here goes.

1. It shows that this is a low budget movie long way. 2. language!, whats this dub a Australian movie what is that all about didn't get that before I watch Leonard Maltin answer to this question and must be the dumbest I have ever heard: Because Americans cannot take Australian accent.

Anyway there is no story there is nothing here other then to wreck cars lots of cars, maybe this was fun in 1980+ but today we demand more.

Summery: this movie is so bad I don't have words.
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