Mad Max (1979) Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley Movie Review

Mad Max (1979)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Mel Gibson in Mad Max (1979)

The Madness of Being Max

In a not so distant dystopian future criminals ride the back roads of Australia causing chaos in their wake as they do what they like, kill for fun and take what ever they need. When the wife and child on highway patrolman Max (Mel Gibson) are murdered at the hands of a motorcycle gang he sets out in to the Bad Lands to get revenge for their deaths.

I am yet to see the 21st century version of "Mad Max" but whilst I am not a fan of remakes I reckon it was the right move. Now that doesn't mean I am saying that George Miller's 1979 movie was bad enough that it was worth remaking but I am going to say it is a generational movie which to fully appreciate and understand why it is loved you would need to have watched it back in the late 70s. Only then would you understand why this Australian movie impressed audiences and lead to two sequels.

Hugh Keays-Byrne in Mad Max (1979)

Now I first watched "Mad Max" back in the late 80s and even then it didn't have the impact I believe it would have had on audiences back in 1979 and as such I am convinced if an inexperienced movie fan watched it now they would probably be left perplexed by why it is held in such high esteem. And I can see why because we have these misfits who rule the wasteland ending up untouchable thanks to their lawyer to the point they even go after cops, it isn't anything out of the ordinary. And neither is it out of the ordinary when you have a cop who it becomes personal for and he ends up a vigilante in a black car running the scum off of the road.

What that means when you watch "Mad Max" now you do have an entertaining, slightly wild eyed performance from Mel Gibson. You also have some slick directing from George Miller who keeps things moving. But mostly you have stunts, lots of vehicle stunts with cars and bikes flying through the air. Yes there is also violence as well but again watching it now the violence and in truth the toying with audiences doesn't have the same impact.

What this all boils down to is that whilst I can understand why "Mad Max" impressed audiences back in 1979 it has never had the same power for me having come to it for the first time in the late 80s. But if you enjoy action, revenge movies or are a fan of Mel Gibson then it is worth seeing.