Let’s address the elephant in the room: Mad Max is awesome. Mel Gibson, not so much. But are we going to pretend the brilliant post-apocalyptic masterpiece doesn’t exist just because the star has gone off his rocker? I’m voting no.
George Miller’s dark thriller takes place in Australia after the apocalypse has ravaged the world. Gibson stars as Max Rockatansky, a policeman in the near (er, let’s hope not too near) future who is tired of his job, but when his wife and son are killed by a gangster, retirement is not an option. Instead he takes to the road in souped up car and runs down crime. The film was made on a shoestring budget, but the chase scenes are unmatched by much higher-priced films. Miller’s movie is a gritty and gripping thrill ride that spawned two sequels (including the also cult classic Beyond Thunderdome) and, yes, made Mel Gibson an international star. What he did with that fame is on his own conscience.
Just watch this first chase scene and admit, you want more “Mad Max”:
Mad Max airs on IFC tonight at 8:25 p.m. EDT and again, Saturday, Aug. 21 at 9:35 PM EDT and Sunday, Aug. 22 at 4:00 AM EDT