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, Peter Ford, Max Fairchild, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Roger Ward, Andrew Jones, Reg Evans, Kim Sullivan, Kerry Miller, Howard Eynon, Janine Ogden, Phil Motherwell, Di Trelour, Joanne Samuel, John Farndale, George Novak, Vernon Weaver, Peter Felmingham, Geoff Parry, Paul Young, Steve Bisley, Sheila Florance, Lulu Pinkus, Brendan Young, Tim Burns, Nic Gazzana, Neil Thompson, James McCausland, Hunter Gibb
Director: George Miller
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