I saw this in two parts. I saw the last part a few years ago on Turner Classic Movies and never got to see the first. Now the movie is offered on Amazon Prime Video, and I watched the first part. It’s Mad Max, starring Mel Gibson, from 1979.
Now that I’ve seen all the movie, I’m still trying to figure out what it’s all about. At the first level it seems to be a vehicle for getting us in to see some horrific road crashes. At another level it’s about depraved cruelty and revenge. Let me know if you see any more than this.
Everything seems to be shot in rural Australia. Not the Outback, but somewhere there are trees and grass, but still no big cities and bright lights. If Australia has a Nebraska, this is it.
There are these cops, who are supposed to be highway patrol, but they have next to zero highway skills. They are always goofing off and cracking up their patrol cars. Here a couple of them go after a crazy driver and his girlfriend.
And people are always doing stupid things. There’s a small settlement, you can’t call it a town. Just a store and a service station, out in the middle of nowhere. And this couple let their kid just run out in the road. For emphasis: this is a road where there are routinely a bunch of hare-brained speeders and fatal accidents. As is what is about to happen here.
Yes, somebody has stalled his travel trailer (caravan) in the road, and a patrol car plows right through it.
But the crazy driver and his sleazy girlfriend are about to get theirs. Max Max (Gibson) is chasing them down.
They pay more attention to Mad Max than to where they are driving, and they barge through a rescue scene, dissolving their car in a giant fireball.
But Max Max and the other cops earn the ire of a vicious motorcycle gang. They ambush a patrolman, causing him to roll his pickup truck, trapping him inside. The gang leader insists that number one flunky in the gang set the leaking gasoline on fire. Really bad dudes.
More conflict with the bikers. They take their revenge on Max, catching his sweet wife, along with his young child, out on the road and running over them.
Now Max is really pissed off. Mad even. He goes after the bikers with a vengeance, blowing one of them off his bike with a shotgun blast and coaxing the gang leader to look behind himself rather than at the big truck coming at him from the front. Smack!
And finally, Max catches number one flunky stealing boots off a dead driver who has crashed off the road. with Gasoline (petrol) leaking. Max handcuffs the flunky to the frame of the car, gets a time fuse going, and gives the flunky a hacksaw. He tells the flunk he can probably saw through the handcuff chain in five minutes, and then he departs. There’s a big explosion, an that’s the end of the movie. This is all so deep.
What’s wrong with this script? For starters, who lets their kid roam free in the middle of a country road?
The movie is full of other stupid stuff. Such as when the wife is trying to escape from the bikers, and she runs down the middle of the highway. Not along the shoulder, but right down the center stripe.
People, this is open country, with few sharp bends and practically no trees obscuring the view. And drivers are forever running off the road and crashing?
Cops are chasing a car, and they can’t see far enough ahead to notice there is a caravan stalled in the traffic lanes?
I think they made a few more of the Mad Max series, but these got more into the futuristic dystopia theme and didn’t try to mix it with 20th century life. I may have seen all or most of Beyond Thunderdome, and I will do a review if I can get a copy.
Coming up in 4 weeks, Five Million Years to Earth.