Monday, March 7, 2016

Movie Monday – Mad Max (1979)


So the world is apparently falling into decay, don’t know why, it’s not explained.  But this biker gang is having issues with the Australian Highway Patrol.  One of the gang members is killed in a crash while fleeing from one of the patrolmen, Max, so the gang ends up killing one of his cop friends.  Max then wants to leave the force and goes on a bit of a vacation with his wife and son.  The biker gang then – just by making trouble, not because of who Max is – kill his wife and son.  Max then hunts down the gang making a lot of them crash their bikes and die.


When I was in my early teens, I saw Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome on TV.  I enjoyed it, and ended up seeing it a few times over the years.  I also heard the “legend” of the earlier movies, but I never got around to seeing them.

Then about ten years ago, I was flipping through the channels and saw that Mad Max was coming on.  I figured I should get around to watching it.  I got through the first ten minutes, which is basically people screaming and cars crashing, and then went to watch something else.  It didn’t seem to be my kind of story.

Then last year when Mad Max: Fury Road was all the rage, I figured I should get around and watch all the movies to see what all the fuss is.  Mad Max has a huge following, and it held the record for the highest box office to budget ratio for twenty years.  And after finally watching the entire movie, I don’t know why. 

There seems to be a lot of setup, but not much of a payoff.  For example, when Max is hunting down the gang after they killed his wife and son, most of the gang members die because they wreck their bikes.  Max forces them to drive off a bridge, or one guy goes head first into a truck.  For someone used to the good guy shooting down the bad guys, making them wreck seemed rather weak.  The exception is the last gang member, who Max handcuffs to a burning truck and gives him a hacksaw.  That was cool.  But I don’t think it was enough to sit through the rest of the movie.

About the only other think I found interesting were all the weird characters.  These people just sort of show up, do something odd, and then leave, never to be seen again.  For example, there’s a police commissioner who shows up to talk to Max’s boss, and when he leaves the station he puts on a fencing helmet.  Why?  I don’t know. 

These odd little bits do stick out, but in my personal opinion, they don’t really make up for the rest of the movie, which I found somewhat … boring.  Hopefully, the other Mad Max movies are more interesting.

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