The Oscar Project Reviews
This is just a bad film, so bad I'm not sure why it ever got a sequel, let alone a third film after that. One of the only redeeming factors that allows me not to pan it completely is the fact that it spawned the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road which I still haven't seen but will be checking out once I finish the rest of the franchise.
There are some films which are well known for their car chases or other action sequences. Many of those contribute to the overall plot of the films they appear in. But the car chases in this film, while visually entertaining, don't drive the plot forward and seem only in place to give the filmmakers an excuse to drive cars fast along the back roads of Australia.
The loose plot of the film is that Max (Mel Gibson) is a police officer in a near future Australia littered with lawlessness. He seems to be the only relatively competent officer with the rest of his precinct being filled with bumbling idiots or overly sex-deprived men that can only focus on other things. Max "successfully" captures the first baddie simply named The Nightrider right at the outset of the film, and by capture, I mean force him to crash and destroy his car in a flaming inferno.
The Nightrider's outlaw buddies take offense to this (go figure) and begin seeking Max out to exact their revenge, first by burning his partner Johnny alive, then by chasing Max and his family down and murdering his wife and child in cold blood. Not surprisingly, this makes Max mad (see what I did there?) and he chases the outlaw crew down one by one, killing them off in his own revenge.
Max only gets to his breaking point in the last 10-15 minutes of the film and the payoff at the end left me wanting so much more than we get. There is very little in the way of character development in this film and while there are names associated with many of the characters when you look them up on IMDb or Wikipedia, only a few of them are ever named in the film, making it difficult to follow who is who throughout.
I don't understand the cult following of this film, but then some people don't get the love of the Star Wars or Marvel films that I love so I guess we're even. I'm cautiously optimistic that the rest of the series is an improvement on the first installment, but holding judgement until I get to the rest of them.
3 out of 10