Science-fiction is a microcosm of ideas both uber-rad and ridiculously atrocious. There have been some terrible science-fiction movies over the years but the ones that are good are reeeaaal good. The Mad Max franchise is a testament to why science-fiction is one of the coolest fictional genres of all time.
Told by Australian screenwriter/director George Miller, Mad Max is the rock-and-roll version of science-fiction. Filmed as an Australian movie in the land down under, these movies weren’t designed to become something that the entire world would love but with, at the time, the unknown Australian actor Mel Gibson at the helm of this franchise it was destined to become one of the greatest science-fiction franchises of all time.
Recently my sister and I watched the first three Mad Max for the first time and it was nothing if not exhilarating. My father has been talking about The Road Warrior for years. Now I know why. It’s pretty awesome, especially for 1981. So, with no further delay, I’m going to share my rankings of this very, very fantastic science-fiction gem. Enjoy!
4. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
The first two Mad Max movies are SOOO raw…and then you watch Beyond Thunderdome and it’s very clear that George Miller’s time with this story, at the time, was done. It’s not a bad film, not by a long shot, but it suffers the same scenario that Return of the Jedi fell victim to.
In order to appease a younger audience Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome introduced a story featuring a bunch of ragged, rugged, children into the story who became essentially the equivalent of the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi.
Gone is that rock-and-roll seriousness that made the first two so special replaced by a story that’s fun but definitely softened. To be honest, I fell asleep watching it.
3. Mad Max
It almost feels wrong to place this movie at second on my list because it is so good in those final forty minutes of the film but that’s just it…the first half of the movie was very confusing and I couldn’t quite grasp what was going on. On top of that, it was kind of odd and was taking a bit too long to become the cool story that it would eventually transform into.
However, the last third of the film had me on the edge of my seat and as the movie went from bad to worse I discovered how the legend of Mad Max was made and I was thrilled.
I mean, look at that poster. That is what I would call rad.
2. Mad Max: The Road Warrior
Um…okay…this movie is fantastic from beginning to end but can we talk about that ending? I was riveted! It was undoubtedly one of the best extended action sequences I have ever seen, especially at a time when CGI wasn’t that much of a thing so you had to rely on actual stunt drivers and stunt people.
My eyeballs were glued to the chaotic fiasco that was so beautiful to behold. When the film went off I had chills running down my spine as the little feral boy grown up, in narrating about the man who had saved him and his tribe’s life, spoke these words. “And the Road Warrior? That was the last we ever saw of him. He lives now only in my memories.”
Okay…that is epic!
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
And of course, thirty years after Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, you had this masterpiece which blew the socks off of people because it was so incredible. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron would co-star in an action film that is largely considered to be the greatest action movie of all time and for good reason.
The movie is non-stop insanity (in a good way) and my sister and I are going to rewatch the film (for my sister, for only the second time, it’ll be my third time watching the movie) very soon since we just recently watched the other movies for the first time.
That’s going to be fun.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a spectacular day.