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An Introduction to Mad Max

I recently saw a film poster to Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga - so I thought I’d might watch Mad Max: Fury Road again. I think I remembered it being pretty good - but after rewatching it, I thought: “Uhm, I think this is the best film I’ve ever seen??"

So I’ve spent some time the last two weeks getting into the Mad Max Franchise. I’ve always known about it, but never really had a relationship to it. But now I’m a fan!

This post is a part of a sort-of series I'm calling "Noob teaching noobs". So I absolutely don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to Mad Max, or films in general!

I’m not going into why Fury Road is so amazing here. Instead I’m going to give some pointers on how to get into the series.

Worth your time

There are many famous franchises out there - but most of them take a little lifetime to get into. There’s so much Star Wars/Trek, Game of Thrones or Marvel stuff out there. But Mad Max is much more manageable, and the high notes are so great, that it’s absolutely worth your time.

You can absolutely just watch Fury Road, without doing anything else before it. If you’re going that route, you can read this little footnote for a tiny bit of background. ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป 1

I watched Fury Road blind, and then went back to the three old ones - but it could also be fun to simply watch them in chronological order!

Mini reviews of the first three

Mad Max

This one is made with about AU$0 in budget, and with a bunch of amateurs (who absolutely didn’t get permits to do all of these stunts on Australian public roads!). So it’s a bit slow and weird, and campy as fรธck, but still worth your time I’d say! Especially as that time is about 90 minutes - the film length God intended. Some cool chases, weird bad-guys, and interesting world building. (And it’s fun to see a 21 year-old Mel Gibson being 21 year old.)

Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior)

For over 20 years, the first film held the world record for the most profitable film ever made. So with the second one, George Miller could afford to do the things he wanted to do in the first. And the result is amazing. It’s hard to overstate the influence this movie has had on everything post-apocalyptic, and the stunts and action sequences are very impressive, and still entertaining. I mean, as it is a 43 year old film, there’s plenty of questionable hair-cuts and costumes. But this is a great watch both as a piece of film history and as simply a great movie.

Mad Max (3) Beyond Thunderdome

This is pretty good, even though I don’t like it quite as much as the last one. For some reason, this has Tina Turner - and she’s pretty good! I also think it “suffers” from that a couple of things it does (like the Thunderdome itself) has become clichรฉs after-the-fact, and that the last one was so ground-breaking. Still, it has a bunch of great actions sequences and characters, and it carries more emotional weight. Not bad!

The ultimate YouTube partner

During my little adventure, I’ve also stumbled upon a top-tier YouTube channel called Mr. Sunday Movies. And their series Caravan of Garbage (two dudes bantering) is the perfect companion, and something I love to watch after I’ve seen the films they cover. With this specific series, it’s also a bonus that they (just like Mad Max) are very Australian.

So, I’d watch one film, watch one Caravan of Garbage video, one film, etc. And if you’re unsure, start with Fury Road (the best). If not, it’s fun to start at the beginning.

There’s also a pretty cool comic, that' meant as a prequel to Fury Road, which can be added in-between Beyond Thunderdome and Fury Road. What a lovely day!

  1. Max starts out as a pretty regular cop, with a little family. But in the first film, he loses everything, and becomes more … Mad. Then the general vibe, is that he wanders around, trying to mind his own business, but gets caught up in stuff. And he ends up being a bit of a hero, without really wanting to. And Fury Road is another example of a situation he just gets caught up in. ↩︎