'Mad Max' Review

Updated on April 3, 2019
Sam Shepards profile image

Hi, I'm Sam, I love movies. My main interest is science fiction and zombie movies. Pessimistic and survival films I also enjoy a lot.

Few things embody the concept of civilization like roads. These concrete arteries were crafted by man with the sole purpose of facilitating access between different communities and allow commercial, political, cultural and social exchange. Simply put, without roads, there would be no civilization.

And yet, we take roads for granted. We travel through them quickly, in an eternal instant that immediately becomes the past, without giving it much thought. Roads are condemned to never be our destination.

George Miller seems to know this. It's not an accident (pun intended!) that the road is the main location of his fictional cinematic society's decline. The Ozploitation is perfect for this setting. Miller's Australia is full of roads that seem to go nowhere. It's an isolated land, ideal for hosting this boiling point social broth.

In Mad Max, the law is enforced by police officers who dress as 1950s rebel greasers, with black boots and leather jackets. It's the way the costume design shows us how this world is engulfed in chaos and is evidently degenerating.

Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is the top pursuit man of the Main Force Patrol (MFP), an Australian highway patrol created by the rising of accidents, delinquency and bike packs. After enforcing the law and temporarily crippling the chaos created by a motorbike gang led by Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne), Max and his friend Jim Goose (Steve Bisley) become the primary targets of the gang.

Fearing retaliation and in an effort to protect his wife Jessie (Joanne Samuel) and his son, Max decides to take some time off from the MFP.

And of course, his attempt to evade his reality will have a cruel turn of events.

The atmosphere in Mad Max is sustainedly uneasy. Miller assumes the term "society on the brink of collapse" as the constant direction. In this universe, the inhabitants have romantic getaways to the beach (and vanilla ice cream cones!) while fearing the impending terrors of the road in the form of robberies, torture, rapes and murders.

Most of the time, Mad Max is building conflict. It's a tortuous and slow road towards the imminent misery of the protagonist. When finally it's time for payback, the revenge happens in just the last 15 minutes, in a quick, (kinda satisfying nonetheless), almost incidental way.

And that's where Miller's genius lies. This film was never about the struggle between a hero and the villains, but about the end of civilization thanks to the triumph of impunity.

What's Your Rating For Mad Max (1979)?

See results

When Max goes mad, destiny has already reached him. There are no longer institutions or laws to rely on. What remains is primitive Darwinism, the cruelest survival of the fittest.

With Mad Max, George Miller began an apocalyptic saga that continued to delve into apocalyptic issues (energy shortage, food struggle, slavery, patriarchy, etc.) through three more films.

But this film, the original, is unique. In associating the attitude of the main character to the destiny of society, Miller made an epic cinematic statement with a narrative tension that isn't easily achieved.

Movie Details

Title: Mad Max

Release Year: 1979

Director(s): George Miller

Actors: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, a.o.

4 stars for Mad Max (1979)

© 2019 Sam Shepards


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)