Internet Movie Database Movie Reviews
Max is a police officer in a future Australia, where there has been some kind of social breakdown amid climate change and shortages. Max is part of the Moving Violation Patrol, or MVP, who are charged with keeping roving gangs of motorcyclists under control; when his wife and kid are killed, he goes ballistic and hunts down the gang members and kills them.
Mr. Otter and I saw the new Mad Max movie, Fury Road, as soon as it came out, and I LOVED IT. I was waxing enthusiastic about it on the way out of the theater.
Hmpf, said Mr. Otter in his in-my-day-things-were-better voice, sure, there were a lot of explosions but it didn’t have the same kind of ecological message the first three had.
Now, we had seen the third Mad Max movie, Beyond Thunderdome, when it came out (and that should tell you how long we’ve been together…), and that was a big favorite of mine…but I had never seen the first two.
Why don’t I borrow them from the library and we’ll have a movie night and watch Mad Max and Road Warrior? I said, and so it was done, about a week later.
And…I was kind of surprised by this one…mostly by how low-key it is. Sure, it’s the future, things are bad, the climate has changed, civilization is obviously breaking down. And yes, he drives a pretty souped up car, and the motorcycle gangs are Bad People…but this looked pretty much like any low-budget early 80s (it was actually 1979) SF movie-most stuff is everyday, with a few exotic details thrown in to make the time and place different from here and now. There isn’t any of the punky violent just plain wierdness of Road Warrior, Beyond Thunderdome and Fury Road. This is really understated in comparison.
Here are two posters for this same movie; the first is the original poster from 1979, and the second is the one that’s on IMDB as I write this in early 2016:
Shows you how much things have changed, and how much hype this movie has gotten.
Basically, it was The Wild One set slightly in the future in the desert…not a bad story, but certainly not the stuff legends are made of. Mel Gibson is amazingly young and cute, in his pre-famous-nutjob-racist days, when he was just a cute Australian import. Two years later he starred in both the sequel to this (Road Warrior) and Gallipoli, and from there he became a star. But here he’s just a guy in a low-budget movie, and that’s it.