Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
The movie that spawned an entire genre, Mad Max is a unique and unusual post-apocalyptic story. The film plays out like a big-screen adaptation of a dystopic folktale, wherein we see Max, a roguish officer of the law in a barren land overrun by leather-clad, motorcycle-riding maniacs, lose everything he has and seek bloody revenge. Mad Max is a pretty ballsy movie, considering what a small-scale production it was, and it features some amazing car stunts the likes of which are sadly absent from movies today. It’s the weakest of the Mad Max trilogy, but if you watch it as a prelude to The Road Warrior, it’s a stylish, badass film. And man, Mel Gibson is really freaking young in this.
3 out of 5
The Road Warrior
The Road Warrior is the definitive post-apocalyptic movie. Everything we loved from Mad Max is turned up to an extreme level in The Road Warrior. Max is way more badass, the villains are even more over-the-top, the action is more plentiful and far more impressive, and the world that serves as a backdrop for the story is bleak, bleak, bleak. Much like its predecessor, The Road Warrior features some terrific stunt work, and the final chase scenes are especially thrilling to watch. I should also note that Bruce Spence is simply incredible in this film as the eccentric gyrocopter pilot. On top of all this, The Road Warrior was designed to be able to stand on its own, which to me is the mark of a top-notch sequel. You can watch The Road Warrior without knowing anything about Mad Max and still have a grand old time.
4 out of 5
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
If I didn’t know better, I’d think Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome was a Terry Gilliam movie! Swapping bleakness for camp, the last film in George Miller’s Mad Max trilogy strikes an interesting tone that’s a mix of ridiculousness, kick-ass action and fairytale-like fantasy. The world that Max inhabits has gotten stranger since The Road Warrior and now resembles something like a post-apocalyptic circus. The Thunderdome sequence, in which Max and MasterBlaster bounce around eachother on bungee cords while swinging chainsaws is especially fun, and Bruce Spence’s quasi-reprisal of his role from The Road Warrior is a welcome touch. The film changes gears about forty minutes in, though, when Max encounters a group of orphans living in a desert oasis, and it winds up being something like a cross between Peter Pan, Robin Hood and The Book of Eli. A very unusual final chapter, but an undeniably enjoyable one.
3.5 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!