The Road Warrior is already a classic, sans condescending genre distinctions like "sci-fi" or "action." But the story of Mel Gibson‘s stately antihero begins in Mad Max, George Miller‘s low-budget debut in which Max is a "Bronze" (cop) in an unspecified postapocalyptic future with a buddy-partner and family. But unlike most films set in the devastated future, Mad Max is especially notable because it is poised between our industrialized world and total regression to medieval conditions. The scale tips towards disintegration when the Glory Riders burn into town on their bikes like an overamped cadre of Brando’s Wild Ones. Representing the active chaos that will eventually overwhelm the dying vestiges of civil society, they take everything dear to Max, who will exact due revenge. His flight into the same wilds that created the villains artfully sets up the morally ambiguous character of the subsequent films. —Alan E. Rapp
About Mad Max (1979)
Starring: Mel Gibson, David Cameron, Reg Evans, Andrew Jones, Max Fairchild, Peter Ford, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Roger Ward, Telford Jackson, Mathew Constantine, John Ley, Christine Kaman, Jerry Day, Steve Millichamp, Joan Letch, Kerry Miller, Howard Eynon, Kim Sullivan, Janine Ogden, Di Trelour, Joanne Samuel, John Farndale, Phil Motherwell, Vernon Weaver, Peter Felmingham, George Novak, Paul Young, Steve Bisley, Sheila Florance, Geoff Parry
Director: George Miller
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