Watched the trilogy again this weekend. Three great films, each completely different from the other. The first Mad Max is my favourite. It's a groundbreaking movie and I don't think any film has matched its road sequences yet. Watching it on a big screen really emphasised how amazing these chases are. From POV shots to full speed tracking... it's such a powerhouse of a movie and until the late 90s it was the highest earning film (profit to budget) in history. Its raw, gritty and menacing... a real belter of a movie.
Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior) is hailed as a masterpiece. While I still prefer the first movie I do recognise the importance of this one. When it was released there was nothing like it before. A baron, stark and dirty epic set entirely in the dustbowl. A dystopian post-apocalyptic future full of barbaric nomadic gangs and a deathly desperation for gasoline. It's a bold sequel which bares little resemblance to its first instalment, and yet continues Max's story perfectly. On a big screen with a good sound system it rumbles through your gut like a mack truck belting through your lounge room.
Beyond Thunderdome concludes Max's story (for now). Continuing the themes from The Road Warrior its set in a dusty desert landscape and Max roams the land as a loan nomad. The film sets itself apart with the location of Bartertown. An isolated city founded on trade and it's own set of laws. Their laws are simple and punishment is absolute. Searching for a man who stole his possessions Max enters Bartertown and finds himself in a contract with the town's ruthless leader. When he relents on the agreement Max is banished to death in the wastelands. And then the story becomes really strange with a tribe of children finding him and assuming him to be their long lost saviour. This 3rd instalment abandons the high octane energy of the previous films and presents itself completely differently. It has divided fans but I still consider it a strong film. I don't know why people would want it any different? I like that each film in the trilogy is unique and nothing is recycled. The story evolves and pieced together it's a damn good contribution to Australian cinema.