Mad Max (1979) Movie Review

Mad Max Cover Poster Art

1979 | Thriller, Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure
88 minutes /

User Score: 78/100

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Mad Max Review


In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.

Mad Max (1979) is the quintessential dystopian film that will be remembered for many years to come. It has become a landmark film that boosted the career of a young Mel Gibson (Braveheart (1995), The Patriot (2000), Lethal Weapon (1987), Signs (2002)) and showed the world what a small budget could achieve. The film went on to produce several successful sequels that brought the character to the attention of worldwide audiences.

Mad Max is set in the not-too-distant future in Australia and is about Max Rockatansky (Gibson), a top highway patrol officer trying to keep order in a senseless world. Max is a dutiful officer and loving husband and father to his infant son who he is trying to shield from the world’s disorder. However, his world is turned upside down when his family is killed by a ruthless biker gang forcing Max to hunt them down.

The movie does a great job of showing the breaking point of Max’s character. He witnesses the brutality that is done to his fellow officer Goose when he is burned beyond recognition by the biker gang. Max decides to resign but is given a choice to think it over by his boss. Max takes a much-needed vacation with his family, but when his wife and son are killed by the biker gang, he completely snaps and filled with rage he battles the biker gang.

There are many memorable scenes in this film, but the best one comes at the end when Max comes upon a biker who is stealing boots from a corpse. Max handcuffs the biker’s ankle to a car and starts a fuse that would explode when the biker’s lighter ignites a gas leak. Max throws a hacksaw at the biker; giving him a choice to either saw at his ankle or the handcuff before the fuse blows. This scene shows the culmination of how savage Max has become

Director George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Happy Feet (2006), Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)) does a terrific job of capturing the high-speed chases that take place throughout the movie. Vehicles and bikes somersault into the air before crashing with tremendous force onto the ground. The total destruction of vehicles and their drivers shows just how brutal Max’s world is, and the lack of control everyone has.

Mad Max is an amazing movie that shows how a good man can become merciless when pushed to the edge. Mel Gibson delivers a memorable performance that created an iconic character that knows no limits when he comes to delivering his own brand of justice.

About Mad Max 1979

Title: Mad Max
Year: 1979
Runtime: 88 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure
Score: 4 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.85/5 stars from 9 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 9
Starring: Mel Gibson, Michael Ryan, Max Fairchild, Hugh Keays-Byrne, George Novak, Roger Ward, Andrew Jones, Christine Kaman, Reg Evans, Kim Sullivan, Joan Letch, Howard Eynon, Kerry Miller, Peter Ford, Janine Ogden, Joanne Samuel, John Farndale, Phil Motherwell, Di Trelour, Peter Felmingham, Vernon Weaver, Steve Bisley, Sheila Florance, Geoff Parry, Paul Young, Tim Burns, Nic Gazzana, Hunter Gibb, Lulu Pinkus, Brendan Young
Writers: James McCausland, George Miller, Byron Kennedy
Director: George Miller