I have never heard of this movie until recently. Like everyone else who grew up in the 80s, I’ve seen Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, I’ve even been able to find the Road Warrior on DVD. But I thought this was a dual set- since I’ve found that on DVD several times in several editions. I was unaware this was an actual trilogy until I began hearing news of part IV coming. For some reason I got a real STAR WARS vibe off of it. They are going to remake the first part- then try and relaunch the franchise.
Wonder of Wonders, I was able to find the original Mad Max movie, and sat down to watch the whole series. Now to be upfront, the original movie is on one of the premium channels, so it might be a cut or US version, they never mentioned what version they showed, but the latter two are on the Dual DVD Theatrical release version.
Welcome to the outback! Apparently there is a semi-war between the MFP (the police) and the gangs. We open with one of the leaders “the Night Rider” who is screaming down the road with a red-headed companion and taunting the cops over the CB. To be honest, this takes FAR too long, and about all it sets up is we have a bunch of stupid cops, and dumb people come out into the streets when there are sirens. Thankfully this is happening during the day, so no trickery, this is all real cars. Other than seeing some modifications to the cars, this all looks real.
Finally, and I mean FINALLY, Mel Gibson shows up. He’s almost unrecognizable, but that face is Gibson all over. Odd to see him with a FULL head of hair. Finally, the Night Rider crashes and burns.
The Gang setup shop in a small town, and start terrorizing people. A couple try to escape, but get walked down. Let just ask the question. If you are in a 70s Car- so its still made out of METAL, how does a motorcycle gang chase you down? Don’t you have a massive advantage as far as just turning the wheel into them and knocking them over? I mean really. Anyway, maybe its just me. The passed out gang member that is still out there when the cops show up, but he beats the rap. This drives one of the cops nuts, and he vows to go after the gang.
So the gang burn the cop, causing Mel Gibson quits his job but gets sent on vacation . . . .right through the small town the gang is located at.
So there is your setup.
This is not a long movie, but it feels like a LONG movie. I understand the setting the Outback scenery, I understand you stretch things for budget. This movie takes forever to get going, and to me, never really got out of second gear. I can why people love this one, I just didn’t. The setup I put above is the VAST Majority of the movie, and I could have gone two more sentences and got you up to 5 minutes left.
Unlike most movies I try and get through in a series, I have seen the rest of the series, and to be honest, this movie is by far the worst of the series, I know what happens to the people and I just don’t care. I’m just not that involved. Mel is doing the strong silent treatment, and he pulls it off- little jarring for those of use that really got to know him from Lethal Weapon- but the acting is solid. This is a hard movie to rate. I kinda want to go low, just because it is SUCH a slow burn, and the ending is unsatisfying, so I’ll give it a 4. I can see you getting it on the DVR and watching it one night just for the heck of it. I can say, if it was John Smith in the Mel Gibson role, I would go a bit lower, just because of the whoa factor.
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