Rapid Review: Max Mad (1979)


“Any longer out on that road and I’m one of them, you know? A terminal crazy… only I got a bronze badge to say I’m one of the good guys.”
– Max Rockatansky

SYNOPSIS: In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang. – via IMDB

mad max 1979

GRADE 5Well, gotta say that this is certainly not as good as I would have hoped. I have not seen the original Mad Max trilogy in years, and I thought it was time to check it out (obviously with the new release and all that). Hmmmmm. Not so good. It hasn’t aged well, has pretty much no story, and some of the worst parenting I have seen in a really long time. Max and his lady run off with their kid, yet when shit hits the fan, not a single person wondered about the child until too late. Now, the thing about this movie is that it starts slow and goes nowhere for an hour and ten minutes. The whole thing that you remember about this movie is crammed into the last fifteen to twenty minutes – what makes Max mad, what sets him off and gets him on this whole revenge mission, everything. Meanwhile, before we get there, we are in some form of dystopian future where we have no idea what the rules are or how the world has changed. We just need to sort of accept that it is filled with crazies. I suppose we should try buy into that, it just didn’t really work so well for me, but that is likely because the movie hasn’t aged as well as you would hope. If the story was just fleshed out more, it would not feel like you are going around in circles, waiting for something to happen, then have Max go on his revenge spree, but not actually do anything. The movie wasn’t shot terribly at all, all things considered, but I do feel that time could have been used to flesh out the characters more before the tragedy, making us feel something for Max’s plight. I remember Mad Max being so much more. This one didn’t tick that box as to why this was so popular. The score was alright, the dialogue was alright for the most part, it was shot quite well, it is just that I wanted more action, more revenge. It is marketed as a bloody revenge type dystopian action, but that isn’t really what it is all about. The movie itself isn’t quite sure what it wants to be, and this makes the pacing very uneven. I did like checking some old school Mel Gibson running around in leather, though all he is to me nowadays is some abusive cuckoo that lost the plot. Pity, too. The logic in the movie didn’t follow so well, like how that biker gang just so happened to constantly be wherever Max was, but other things it got right (like how run down and sad everything looked in the future). I think that Mad Max is riding on the cult classic status it has achieved, which is beyond me. It certainly can’t be this . Overall it is a hollow experience, and is just pretty much there to introduce us to Max as a character as well as the dystopian world, and how he became Mad Max, preparing us for the movies to come, seeing as this didn’t really bring too much to the table.

16 thoughts on “Rapid Review: Max Mad (1979)

  1. I’m glad you gave this one a 5. A lot of people let the film’s reputation cloud the fact that Mad Max just isn’t very good. It’s a disjointed, confusing, and badly paced film with a few cool scenes. Road Warrior, however, deserves every bit of hype it gets. That film is nearly perfect, imo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I thought 5 is fair. Some things were done well, but most of it was just awful. I really struggled between either a 4 or a 5. Ugh. Next up on my reviewing 🙂 That one was far better!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a shame this doesn’t hold up for you Zoë! I watched it for the first time just before the new one hit cinemas and really enjoyed it. The Road Warrior is definitely the better of the three Gibson flicks though.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. I gotta say I watched this for the first time a week or so ago after the excitement of Fury Road really began building. And. . . I really dug this. There’s nothing I can say to argue against the fact that this original definitely meanders a bit and leaves a lot to be desired in character development. Also, I too was wondering how the hell Toecutter and the gang happened to be EVERYWHERE Max and his family were.

    Watching this with fresh eyes probably helped me. I can’t wait to see The Road Warrior. And to read your review of that if you do decide to. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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