Original “Mad Max” Films Review: Nothing Else Like It
With “Mad Max: Fury Road” releasing this Friday, a long 36 years after the original Mad Max film of the same name hit the big screen. The series of films that put Mel Gibson out there and on a fast-track toward Hollywood stardom. We went back to watch the three films that spanned a decade of film-making: “Mad Max,” “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior” and “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.” Note, these films, as said before, are a series not a trilogy. The only thing connecting each to the other are director George Miller, Max and Gibson.
Solid Origin with Hints of Future Films
So why is Mad Max called Mad Max? Well, this film shows you exactly why Max goes “mad.” This is a no spoilers review for those who want to reach back into the backlog and watch for the very first time or re-watch the Mad Max series. Know this: if Max really is mad, which is debatable, after watching this film it’s perfectly understandable. The things he sees and experiences are horrific enough for one person’s lifetime.
Russ Frushtick, who’s facetiously onto “Something new!,” sent out a tweet on May 7 that spot-on describes “Mad Max”:
Tried to watch the original Mad Max in preparation for Fury Road and fell asleep. Should I skip right to Road Warrior?
— Russ Frushtick (@RussFrushtick) May 8, 2015
He’s right. Although Frushtick doesn’t say it outright. “Mad Max” is a slow and boring film. Not until the end of it does the title start to make more sense, especially after what Max goes through.
Best of Three
Again, going back to what Frushtick tweeted for one final time. To answer his question, yes. Skip to “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior,” if there’s no time to watch all three. It’s the best of the three films and appears to be the one that Fury Road is taking most of its homage from. We’ll get into that film once it releases but do keep in mind that the new film in the series isn’t exactly a reboot. Miller is back as both writer and director.
From the bats— crazy villains to the high-octane car chases, collisions and explosions to an extremely silent stoic protagonist in Max. Everything about The Road Warrior is better in comparison to its predecessor and to its follow-up Beyond the Thunderdome. We already know Max’s origin, the action is non-stop, the supporting cast is good and the story ties together nicely making whoever is watching pumped for the heart-racing final third of the film. Out of the three, buy The Road Warrior on Blu-Ray.
Tina Turner? Ew.
Enough said in the sub-headline. No really. Beyond Thunderdome is terrible, and there’s only one person to blame for most of it too. Tina Turner. It’s hard writing that because she’s such a fantastic singer and performer. But please stick to singing. Please! Her performance was so overly dramatic and campy. That’s saying something when she’s in a world created by Miller. Tom Hardy, who now carry’s the mantle of Mad Max, said it best (skip to 2:54): “You’re not really in a movie. You’re in George’s head.” Yeah…sorry Turner. No excuses. What else didn’t make sense was the tribe of children who worshiped Mad Max. It has to be seen to be understood. Even then it can’t be.
There were positives believe it or not. Gibson as Mad Max, The Master and The Blaster — think Ferra and Torr from “Mortal Kombat X” and the fight scene in the Thunderdome. That’s it.
Mad Max is crazy, unique, special and a good film series that starts off well, hits the road in an epic way in the middle and then loses sight of itself at the end. Hopefully Fury Road recaptures what The Road Warrior did and then-some for a new generation of fans. As far as trailers go, it looks promising.