GIBSON,JOANNE SAMUEL,HUGH KAEYS-BYRNE,STEVE BISLEY,GEOFF BARRY,TIM
BURNS,ROGER WARD,JERRY DAY,JOHN LEY, STEVE MILLICHAMP
BY BYRON KENNEDY & GEORGE MILLER
BY JAMES MCCAUSLAND & GEORGE MILLER
BY BYRON KENNEDY
BY GEORGE MILLER
known as the film that launched the careers of Mel Gibson and George
Miller, this Australian cult classic is a rev heads delight, a high
octane, extremely creative, low budget (it held the record for the
highest profit-to-cost ratio of any motion picture before The
Blair Witch Project beat it 20 years late), action thriller
which made this viewer "feel the need for speed" much accurately
and effectively than Top Gun ever could.
Set in the not so distant future in rural outback Australia, Mad
Max stars Gibson as Max Rockatansky, the Main Force Patrol's top
pursuit cop who must contend with the murderous and sadistic Toecutter
(Hugh Kaeys-Byrne) and his vicious motorcycle gang who have sworn
revenge on Max due to his involvement with the death of a well respected
gang member. When Max's family becomes the target of the Toecutter's
wrath, Max takes to the road in his black, nitro charged V8, pursuing
the Toecutter and his men delivering justice in a land void of law
A tense, well executed action film which features great chase sequences,
sensational scenery and a great score by Brian May, the strength of
Mad Max lies within George Miller's innovative direction. Backed
with a low budget, Miller has never the less created some truly terrific
action scenes which more than matches up against the big budget action
movies that Hollywood have released since then. Now an Oscar winning
director/producer of said big budget movies, Mad Max is a reminder
of how Miller would not let the limitations of a films budget interfere
with his vision. The result is a highly successful and influential
piece of film making.
If the films innovative techniques are its strength, than its performances
is its weakness. Put bluntly, the acting in this film is delivered
with the same emotional under current as a second rate soap opera.
The movie is full of weird, quirky characters which is very consistent
in Australian films. The villains in particular are an eccentric bunch,
who behave more like circus freaks than the fuel injected suicide
machines they are made out to be. Special mention should be given
to Hugh Kaeys-Byrne as the dainty Toecutter, who would be much more
suited on a float than as the head of a motorcycle gang.
As Max, Gibson portrays the first of many tortured souls in his career.
Max is a man whose dark recesses contains an unsuitable thirst for
revenge, one of cinema's quintessential loners along with Clint Eastwood's
"Man with no name" and Robert De Niro's Travis Bickle. He
is very green in his first big role, but there are glimpses of the
movie star he will become.