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Mad Max

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Why I haven’t watched the entire Mad Max tetralogy is a mystery even to me, but here we are, and I’m making up for lost time.

And let it be said: I watch a lot of misunderstood movies. Cult movies. B-movies… Call them what you like, but Mad Max is more often than not put in the cult category. It’s one every movie snob is supposed to love. Me? Clearly I’m not a snob, because good grief… I downright hated this film. It’s not often I say I would watch Twixt over anything, but here we are, and that is what I’m saying.

Where does one even start?

It might not be kind to compare director George Miller to Uwe Boll, but where the latter claims he’s a doctor, the former actually was (is, perhaps) a surgeon. He funded this movie by working extra shifts. Furthermore, Miller has quite the rap sheet and has amassed both Oscar nominations and entries into the Babe franchise. Be all of that as it may, I can’t help but wonder if this is where Dr. Boll got his inspiration.

As far as Mad Max goes, I had no idea what was going on. I have my doubts Miller did either, and this ends up feeling like a somewhat dystopian version of the CHiPs TV show. Something about a cop who’s a night rider, and (as usual) Mel Gibson’s wife is killed, revenge is in the cards, and I don’t even know what.

Mel looks pretty sharp in those leather pants, though.

There are so many odd things here, and the film often plunges into parody territory. There’s a soaring sax solo from Mel’s wife, sensually playing notes one would expect to see in a Leslie Nielsen movie. The badass biker gang? They’d probably seem rougher had they not delayed chases to put their helmets on.

And a dystopian society where Kawasakis are the bikes of choice, and Coke cans are strewn around… That doesn’t really do it for me.

If nothing else, this is a good study of Mel Gibson. Here is a man who has only gone through two stages of aging: from birth to Lethal Weapon, and from Lethal Weapon until now. In Mad Max he doesn’t look much like the Mel we know and love… -ish… today, so consider it a museum relic in that sense.

That aside, I don’t get why this is a cult classic. I really do not. It’s just a mess of half-baked plots, and while the movie is nicely filmed, I cannot figure out Mad Max’s classic status, cult or otherwise. It’s just a dull film.

Yet I will persist. Be it Tina Turner in a shifty costume or Tom Hardy killing his career, I will be there, watching each and every movie in the series. God help me.

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