Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mad Max is Ridiculously Awesome

Ever since I saw the first Mad Max: Fury Road trailer in the theaters I've been slowly hyping myself up for what was looking to be an amazing new Mad Max movie. Pure chaos and action rolled into one heaping wreck of scrap metal and inhumanity. I'd never even seen the originals - sure, I'd seen bits and pieces here and there on TV and had a rudimentary idea about the plot. Before seeing the new Mad Max this weekend (it's amazing and you need to go seeeee it, liiiive it, breathe it) I decided I should watch the originals!

Here's the Fury Road trailer. So much awesome.


The first Mad Max movie came out in 1979. Despite the great ratings over at rotten tomatoes I'd probably consider this one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Not the absolute worst, but it's down in the dumps under a mountain of other terrible, but not quite so terrible, movies. Despite the overuse of dramatic music, confusing shots, and bad parenting I was still glad to get an idea of what made Max Rockatansky into Mad Max. That is until I watched the second movie and they summed it all up in the first 2 minutes. Honestly, the 2 minute summary was far better than the whole hour and a half of movie.

Even the tagline is cheesy.
So, who is Mad Max? Max Rockatansky is an officer who gets caught up with a terrible biker gang. The world is far from apocalyptic at this point, or is it? I really couldn't tell, but it seemed there was still some sort of regular civilization going on. Anyway, a member of the notorious biker gang dies in a police chase (totally his own fault) and the biker gang blames the cops. The gang causes some other mischief and offs Max's partner (Goose) by setting him and his car on fire.

All that's left of poor old Goose. :'(
Later, they taunt and threaten his wife, but she gets away with their son only to be run down on the highway a little later in the movie. Meanwhile, Max has been struggling with his sanity. Questioning whether he's any better than the biker gang (he is). He quits, takes his wife and kid on holiday, and when they finally die he snaps. Mad Max makes it his mission to go after and kill every member of the biker gang. He's successful and the resulting carnage is fairly entertaining, but definitely shadowed by today's action stunts and sequences.

You're going down evil biker gang!
So, while Mad Max 1 was utterly terrible... the second Mad Max movie - The Road Warrior - is an absolute gem! Made in 1981 this film clearly takes place in a post-apocalyptic dystopia setting. While you really don't need to watch any of the Mad Max movies before seeing Fury Road I'd still recommend watching The Road Warrior. The action is good, the story is good and easy to understand, and the details and true spirit of the Mad Max world shine through.

Alright... starting to look a little more awesome.
In The Road Warrior Max learns of a gas refinery under attack by a local gang. This isn't no ordinary gang - it's a crazed mad max style gang complete with ridiculous mashed up vehicles and crazy get-ups. They obviously want the gas inside the refinery, but it's being defended by the good guys - a group of people that just want to find paradise.

A fairly well defended pump and refinery.
Max helps bring one of their members back to their base, but dies shortly after. He offers to help find a rig to pull their tanker full of gas and he sets off. Max brings it back to the group while fending off the crazy gang and they fix it up and plan to head out the next day. The community escapes in one direction while Max drives the tanker of gas off in another direction. The climactic sequence of events is supremely entertaining and I'm still blown away at how good it was considering it was filmed in 1981.

Watch out Max! That crazy guy is after you!
As for the third movie - I haven't finished it, but I can tell you right now that it didn't hold my attention like The Road Warrior did. It was nice to see the world of Mad Max fleshed out in more detail however.

This duo was one of the best parts of the 3rd movie.


Finally, we come to Mad Max: Fury Road. It is literally the best action movie I have ever seen in my entire life thus far. I could have walked straight back into that theater and watched the whole thing over a second time. The details of the Mad Max world, the crazy characters and vehicles, and the action... oh the action. Watching the movie is almost a workout. My heart was racing nearly the entire movie. As the Warboy says... What a lovely day! Oh, what an amazing, incredible movie. I can't wait to watch it again.

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