With the release of Mad Max: Fury Road and all the media surrounding it I was, weirdly, ill prepared for the original Mad Max movie. I expected weird outfits, constant carnage and tripped-out vehicles. It was nothing like that.
Knowing that there have been three films since the first entry in the Mad Max franchise I see more of what this was meant to be: the origin story. The thing is, that back then that would not have been so clear. That this is the film where Max gains his ‘mad’ designation after losing all that is dear to him.
If this was a stand alone film it would probably not play as well as it does now. The acting of the motorcycle gang is a little ‘chewing the scenery’ at times, the sound is inconsistent to the point that I had to alter the volume every scene and for the first 20 minutes I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening since a victim and a bike gang member looked so similar.
That being said, the chase scenes were brilliant and the director knew exactly how to up the tension. As someone who has seen a lot of films, the fates of a number of characters were pretty obvious. Still, you felt genuine fear for them.
Also, this film did something that is going to make me look like an arsehole for praising – they killed the child. I don’t want to see films full of dead children, but so many just chicken out of doing something that would hit so hard. For that alone, I have to tip my hat to the director.