Mel Gibson starts the Mad Max sequel and flies into film making history with this fast cars look at the beginning of the post apocalyptic future directed by George Miller.
Film making 22/25
Bonus Features 10/25
Working on a limited budget and in Australia George Miller brings this project of the post apocalyptic world that is on the brink of falling into ruin to audiences and fans. Mel Gibson stars as Max Rockatansky, a Main Force Patrol officer driving the highways of the country and enforcing laws when they can.
The legal system has begun to fall apart along with everything else in the country and Australia is trying to contain the problems. The MFP, Main Force Protection, is trying its best but not able to be everywhere and with gangs running throughout the countryside and doing pretty much what they want the law is in trouble.
One gangs member, Nightrider, kills some police and steals their cruiser but finally gets justice from Max but only after his friend Jim “The Goose” played by Steve Bisley, is hurt. Later another member of the same gang is caught by police and stands trial but the whole town will not testify against them so he has to go free.
Jim who arrested the gang member has his bike sabotaged but this does not kill him like the gang wanted but only has him run his patrol motorcycle off the road. On his way back they drive him off the road and he start the truck on fire from the leaking gas.
When Max sees his charred body he decides to quit the police force and go on holiday with his wife and child and puts his signature leathers in a trunk. This was one of the real enticing parts of the film but also very funny, Mel was the only one in the film with real leather, everyone else had vinyl outfits.
While out at the coast they meet up with the gang and Max’s wife and son are killed by the gang, this starts Max back to his life with the MFC. Max hunts down and kills every member of the gang with a fitting end for the guy who burned his friend by doing the same to him.
Mad Max may not have been the start of the car film craze, Steve McQueen’s Bullitt was 10 years earlier, but it brought even more attention to cars in movies. The film not only did things with fast cars but the great dramatic moments added on such a tight budget, $400,000 Australian dollars, are of particular note.
Several of the films styles include not actually showing the violence but merely hinting at it and the final scene of Max giving a hacksaw to the last of the gang to cut his own foot off before burning to death is great. They don’t actually show whether the guy did it, just Max driving off in his car and behind the car a fireball suggesting he died a fiery death.
Mad Max is a great film and even though it does not have the best effects from its low budget it does have some great car chases ending with the inevitable crashes. There are also some great film styles and genre defining moments that make this film a classic with some great stunts.
Video for Mad Max on Blu-ray is about as you would expect for a film made in 1979 on a low budget and transferred to Blu-ray but even video gets a nod for its better technology. The original was the first Australian movie filmed in anamorphic widescreen and the transfer looks great with it.
The video has excellent color and great looking effects like the numerous explosions but a few times things do not look as good as they should. Given the age of the original and the budget the film looks great and is a classic reborn onto high definition.
Audio is as good as you could expect from a film like this with good use of surround and bass but the remastered DTS-HD Master Audio track lacks a great surround. The surround sound lacks the better audio that later films used and remastering the tracks did not work out as well as hoped.
The audio does have a few problems here and there with voice clarity over other sounds and the surround sound problems but overall it is decent. Both audio and video are decent and worked out well for Blu-ray, it certainly looks and sounds better than the included DVD version.
Bonus content includes some stuff on the DVD edition like a documentary and a couple of other things as well as a half hour documentary on the Blu-ray disc. The Blu-ray also has an audio track that rounds out the less than full extras with a fair amount of content.
Mad Max is a classic film and Mel Gibson sure got his shot to show how good of an actor he really can be, the film really is a genre defining movie. Mad Max is well worth a purchase and is a great action movie that just shows what a good director, cast and crew can accomplish even with a limited budget.