Some of the big holes in my movie watching experience are the Mad Max films. Honestly, I’ve only seen about 20 minutes of Beyond Thunderdome at a friends house. I just wasn’t terribly interested in dystopian science fiction when I was a kid, and it wasn’t until much later did I hear how insane The Road Warrior was supposed to be. I was finally able to see the first film in this franchise and I’ve got to be honest, it wasn’t what I was expecting.
Max (Mel Gibson) is part of a group of highway patrollers attempting to keep the highways in Australia safe. But marauding gangs of thugs are criss-crossing the country after an undisclosed crisis has brought the world to the brink. During an extended chase with a particularly nasty madman, Max takes the killer out. He figures he should take some time off with his wife Jessie (Joanne Samuel) and their son.
Of course, the thug has friends, and they are lead by the ruthless Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne). The gang starts a campaign of harassment against the police, but Max and his pals think they can handle it. The dangers escalate and Max realizes that he may be in over his head and putting his family in jeopardy. Should he attempt to face Toecutter and his cronies, or make an escape with his wife? In the end Toecutter is going to face Mad Max and wish he had left well enough alone.
- Some excellently staged chases and driving
- Charged with intensity and unease
- Creative sound and visuals add to the unique feel of the film
- I found the score to be very distracting
- The plot is nothing terribly new
- Thick accents and very loud music may make it hard to follow some of the dialogue.
Based on all the trailers for Fury Road and what I keep hearing about The Road Warrior I expected a massive action-fest. Instead I got a simple tale of a man fighting to stay sane in an insane world. Vengeance fuels the final ten minutes of the film, but the rest of the movie is the build to that climax. Miller does a fine job keeping the pacing brisk and the atmosphere of intensity rising and rising. The car chases are filmed very well, pulling you into the thrills. I enjoyed this grim film, but was expecting something a bit more fun.
Scores (out of 5)
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