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Mad Max (1979)
a terrible beginning to a great franchise
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.