Two years ago I felt like rewatching the original Mad Max trilogy. 30 Years after the third part (and 36 after the first!), the original director comes with ‘part 4’. Unfortunately he did/could not get Mel Gibson to play Mad Max.
“Fury Road” opens with the raw and apocalyptic feel of 1985 film, but soon evolves into nothing much more than a road trip through the desert. This time there was no need for Miller to build elaborate cities or Thunderdomes, just some fancy cars and weird characters. Even Mad Max seems to just happen to be present at the events in the film and hardly has the part he had in the original films. It almost looks like Miller wanted to make the weird vehicles again, but did not care too much about a story.
“Fury Road” is not boring and has some amusing findings, but it does not come anywhere near the films of three decades ago.
I am sure that I did not see the “Mad Max” films when they were just out. I was just four years old when the first part came out and 10 when the last did. Still I remember that these films were quite something for my generation. I only remembered bits of the last part and especially Tina Turner playing in it. Curious what I would think about these film (almost) 30 years after they were made, I decided to watch the trilogy.
The first part is quite boring. Mel Gibson is Max and looks like a teenage policeman in some desert. The first part does not have much of apocalyptic scifi elements, a bit more so of this is in part 2. Max became “the man with nothing to loose” and apparently is no longer an officer of the law. The bleak future progressed into a world in which there is nothing but desert. The life of old largely disappeared, but the need for oil is as big as it was, but it is much harder to get. Therefor different gangs violently try to lay there hands on fuel. Some group has created some sort of enclave eround an oil pump, of course other groups have plans with it too. The punker-gangs of the first part became even more furious, the rest of the world savage-like wanderers. The opening scenes of “the road warrior” (as part 2 is subtitled) make the bridge to the third part in which we find Max entering the desert city of Bartertown in with Aunty Entity (Tina Turner) rules, or does she? Bartertown has a violent set of laws, but people with an argument get “a fair fight” in the thunderdome in which “two men enter, one man leaves”. Max enters and leaves Bartertown and has some other adventures.
The “Mad Max” films do not look as dated as I expected. Part 2 and 3 are still as gloomy and apocalyptic as I remembered. Not as exiting anymore perhaps, but they still are entertaining films with a couple of nice, critical references to modern society.