Mad Max (1979) review

In the wake of the new Mad Max movie coming out this year, I have decided to take a look at the original three. I’ll start off the series by taking a look at the first film in the series, Mad Max.
The movie opens with Max (played by Mel Gibson.) killing a criminal named Nightrider. (Vincent Gil.) This angers some friends of the deceased who happen to be insane bikers, bent on getting back at Max for killing Nightrider. To start off with, the movie is filmed quite well. I especially love the P.O.V. shots we get of the road during some of the chase scenes. Speaking of the chase scenes, they are one of the highlights of the movie, and are filmed superbly! I also like how we don’t always see everything. Such as when Max’s friend is in hospital, we only see his hand, and Max’s terrified reaction. This is used again in the end when his wife and son get hit by the bikes. We just see the kid’s shoes, then from a distance we see Max screaming over the bodies. The music by Brian May is also great. Is it just me, or does the track Flight From The Evil Toecutter sound an awful lot like the song in Torchwood, Owen Fights Death by Ben Foster?
Who is the Evil Toecutter you might ask? Toecutter is the main villain of the piece, portrayed by Hugh Keays-Byrne. He’s the leader of the bikers, and he doesn’t really have a lot of depth to his character, but you can tell Hugh is having a lot of fun in the role. I think that this can be said for all of the actors who portray the bikers.
Mel Gibson is Max in his first major role. He’s pretty good here, playing the role of a cop who just wants peace for most of the movie. But then when his family and friend are killed by the bikers he becomes a force to be reckoned with! Gibson really gets to shine in this part of the movie. My only problem, however is that by the time this happens, there are only 17 minutes left of the movie! I would’ve really liked to have seen more of Max’s hardened character. Another minor issue I have that is down to the short runtime is that there are only about two action scenes. However this is only a nitpick, and from what I’ve heard we get more of both of these in the next two films.
In the end, Mad Max is a really good movie. The short runtime can be a slight problem, but on the whole Mad Max is a very fun and entertaining film, and is highly recommended.