Damn, Mel Gibson looks young in this movie. Has it really been that long? If ever an actor had a breakout role, this would be it. This import B-movie gem launched not only his career, but the whole post-apocalyptic genre of the 80's and beyond.It is "The Future", time unspecified. Although things like cops, lawyers, and a central government still exist in a bare-bones capacity, the highways have been taken over by biker gangs and other assorted scum. Danger signs are posted along the most perilous routes, including the number of yearly fatalaties.
Max (Mel Gibson) is one of the cops that make up the razor-thin blue line trying to make the highways safe. Along with his best friend, a daredevil motorcycle cop known as "The Goose" (Steve Bisley), and his boisterious, flamboyant Sergeant, "Fifi" (Roger Ward), they tear up the roads in their tricked-out interceptor cars, with plenty of breathtaking chases and spectacular crashes left in their wake.
While the core story is nothing original as far as cop stories goes (Good cop almost quits the force, until he loses his family and best friend, then goes on a revenge rampage), it rises above with vivid characters, spectacular visuals and stunts, and the intriguing neo post-apocalyptic theme. Props to Gibson, Bisley, and Ward for some truly memorable characters, as well as to Hugh Keays-Byrne as "The Toecutter" - one of the cheesiest and most loveable villains in the history of cinema.
Drive-In Triple Feature Picks for Mad Max:
The Road Warrior, the unforgettable sequel.
KnightRiders, George Romero's saga of jousting motorcyclists, with equally fantastic crashes.This movie fucking rocks, and even if you forget most of it over the years, I guarantee you'll never forget the either-or that Max gives to the last villain before driving away.
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.
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