I’m a little ashamed to say that I have never seen any of the Mad Max films before now. I’ve been putting off watching Fury Road until I’d seen the original three. I know you can enjoy it without watching them, but I still want to watch them first. So I’m going to write a short review of each one as I watch them.
Mad Max (1979)
This is the original film, the one that started it all. And it is…very boring. For a post-apocalyptic film, it didn’t seem very post-apocalyptic. In fact, he lived in a house with his wife in a city. How was this a post-apocalyptic film? While technically things happened throughout the film, I found myself extremely bored until about the last half hour. That’s when it started to get a little interesting. But the journey to get to the last half hour felt longer than the hour it actually was. I could have sworn two hours had gone by, only to check and find that I was only 41 minutes in. Hopefully the second one is better. If it’s not, I’m not even going to bother continuing.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Oh, my! This film was so much better than the previous one! It didn’t even feel like it was a sequel to the same film. In fact, the first film isn’t even necessary at all. The opening explains how the world became post-apocalyptic, and the only interesting part of the first film is covered in the opening scene here. So just skip the first film altogether and start with the second one.
I can honestly say that this is perhaps the best action film I’ve seen in a long time. I got excited several times, and even found myself awed by the visuals. They used the Sun often, silhouetting characters and other things. The climactic chase scene was shot perfectly. I think it would be hard for them to top this one in the third film.
Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
As I expected, it doesn’t top the second film. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good movie, but not a great one like Road Warrior. It is definitely better than the first. Similar to how the second film was different from the first, the third film is different from the first two altogether. It actually kind of felt like two films. The first half in Bartertown and the second half with the kids. Then, of course, the two world collide (quite literally) at the end. It was done very well, although it kind of felt like the ending of Road Warrior.
Something I couldn’t help noticing is that in the first film, they used actual cars. In the second film, they used modified vehicles. In this film, they used entirely fictional vehicles that I thought looked more like makeshift vehicles. It actually works here, giving the film, and series as a whole, it’s own feel. When you see a shot of one of these vehicles, you know it’s a Mad Max film.
Now time to watch the newest film to see the story they came up with to bring the character back. I’m honestly excited to see Fury Road. Beyond Thunderdome ended in a way that implies that Max has a further destiny.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Right, so apparently Mel Gibson’s Mad Max story isn’t continued in Tom Hardy’s character. It appears to be a reboot, unconnected from the rest of the series. Which initially bothered me, but as I got into the film it didn’t as much. I ended up liking it about as much as I liked The Road Warrior. In fact, I can’t even decide which one of the two I liked more.
Supposedly this will be the start of a new trilogy. If that’s the case, it had a better beginning than the first trilogy. I honestly hope they do turn this into a new trilogy, because after watching these films I want more. Now that we know that with the modern technology they can make better Mad Max films, I want to see them.
What I mean by that is that while they definitely used practical effects in the film, they used CG sparingly, and usually only to enhance the scene. I don’t think the actors were standing in front of green screens in this film.
I didn’t make this a Casabloga because, like Star Wars, it has good films, but I don’t think it’s the greatest. I still highly recommend them, though. However, just skip the first film. It’s entirely pointless.