Hello bitLanding buddies. Once again, the Awesome jikZ is doing another awesome review. However, this post is quite different from my other movie reviews because this blog will actually focus, or rather review, about the franchise itself.
The franchise that I am taking about is the Mad Max franchise. Similar to my other movie reviews, this one will contain nifty and interesting information about all Mad Max film installments.
General background about the entire Mad Max Movie Series
We will do this first so that every reader has a background and reference on what the entire franchise is all about. Although Mad Max is a global phenomenon that has already been around for many decades, some readers (say millennials) may only be familiar with Fury Road - they may not know that the said film is actually the fourth in the film series.
Film Concept, Origin, and Current Installment Standing
Contrary to popular belief, the Mad Max franchise is actually from Australia and not from the US. The franchise is from Australian film producer Byron Kennedy together with George Miller (a movie director, producer, and screenwriter from Australia). The two started the franchise last 1979 with the self titled film Mad Max. Two years later, Mad Max 2 (also called Mad Max: The Road Warrior) was released which is followed by in 1985 by Mad Max 3 - which is also marketed with another title: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
For many years, many fans thought that the franchise will end with the third installment. This is because the fourth installment was released twenty years after Mad Max 3. In May of 2015, Mad Max Fury Road was released. Since this is the fourth installment of the movie series, Fury Road was also commonly referred to as Mad Max 4 or Mad Max 4: Fury Road.
It is worth noting that in the first three films, the actor chosen to play the main hero (Max Rockatansky) is US born but Australian grown actor Mel Gibson. For those who are not aware, Mel Gibson was born in the US but went to Australia with his family at age 12. Due to this fact, being that the film is from Australia, one can say choosing an Australian actor is already a given.
It is also worth mentioning that Mel Gibson was apparently not chosen due to his popularity. During those times (late 70s), Mel is not yet a popular Hollywood celebrity - needless to say, he has not yet attained the A-List status that he now enjoys. Let us just say that he is still in the early stages of his acting career.
In Fury Road he was no longer cast to play the iconic role of Max. Since the fourth installment, came twenty years since its predecessor, it is only natural to choose a younger action actor to fill in the role of Max. This might explain why Tom Hardy was cast to play the role of Max - and although Tom is a Britton, he was brilliant in playing Max's titular character.
Film Setting and Story
Anyway, the movie series is all about a fictional futuristic setting in Australia wherein the country's society and civilization has collapsed due to war and this eventually led to resource shortages (emphasis is given to oil and gas - but bare necessities are also short such as food, shelter, energy, and safety).
People who survived the war has now to face many new challenges - survive the harsh environment, fend off opportunistic people, and fight gangs or violent groups of people that emerged and proliferated due to a lack of justice and government system.
The franchise hero is Max Rockatansky. He is loving family man and responsible police officer. However, this all changed after tragedy has befallen his loved ones (more on this later). Since the tragic incident, Max is now mostly silent but his reputation as a formidable nomad has been steadily growing across the wasteland.
Let us now go to each Mad Max movie installment. Now that you have a better idea of the setting, plot, concept, of the film series, you will surely enjoy what comes next.
The first part of the franchise is self titled. Aside from the general dystopian setting of the franchise, the first film has elements of savageness, murder, and revenge. In the first film, much of Max character's background has been told.
In this first movie installment, it has been revealed that Max is actually a highly skilled officer of the MFP (Main Force Patrol). In the movie, this patrol group is described as the one in charge in keeping the peace and the one that patrols the country's highway. Besides being a skillful officer, it has also been disclosed that Max has a wife, an infant son, and have his close friend as a partner in the MFP.
A gang member that Max and his partner apprehended (but was later released due to lack of witness) took revenge by burning Goose alive (Max's partner), Max took his family to a vacation to ease up some stress. Unfortunately, Max and his family encountered the same gang during their vacation which ended up in the tragic (and brutal) deaths of Max's wife and infant son.
Extremely outraged, Max was almost driven to insanity and vowed vengeance to the gang - a feat that he eventually accomplished. Once he got his revenge, the film ended with him starting his wasteland wander.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
If in the first film Max somewhat lost his humanity, in this second franchise installment, Max regained his humanity. Additionally, unlike in the first film where revenge is a central theme, The Road Warrior has this ambience of Western Movie plots where Max played the hero and saved the day.
Basically, the movie's setting follows Max's aimlessly roaming the wasteland with his V8 Interceptor and scavenging for fuel (due to the war, energy crisis followed making oil, gas, and other energy sources scarce). During one of his wasteland adventures, he encountered other characters of the film. However, one worth noting is an oil refinement hub which is undersiege by a gang.
Max proposed to help and save the refinement dwellers from the gangsters in exchange for as much fuel as he can carry. At this point, you can probably already surmised what happened next - lots of action, chase scenes, and explosions. But of course, at the end of the day, good guy wins - bad dudes loses.
Of course, don't let that rather straightforward concept fool you. Mad Max 2 inspired many directors and was used as somewhat of a pattern of future films. The movie was a legend on its own and can be considered by some as one of the best films of all time.
Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome
(Photo Credits: IMP Awards via Wikipedia.org">en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_Max_Beyond_Thunderdome">Wikipedia.org)
Released six years since the first installment, Beyond Thuderdome was released in 1985. Plot elements of the third film was quite similar to the second one. Here, we have our hero Max still roaming the wasteland and getting as much oil and gas as he can. However, if in the second film Max regained his humanity - in the third film, Max showed compassion and mercy.
Just like in the third film, Max encountered a methane refinery and struck a deal to do something in exchange for methane. Unfortunately, Max was not given the full details of the task, in which at the end, he decided that completing the task is not part of the deal. For , a broken deal would usually end up in nasty ways - in the movie, it resulted to chase, lots of explosions, and cool action sequences.
Although, the third film has similar elements to the second one, many fans and critiques still have praises and high regard for the film.
Mad Max 4: Fury Road
(Photo Credits: IMP Awards via Wikipedia.org">en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_Max:_Fury_Road">Wikipedia.org)
So far, this is the last installment in the franchise. As mentioned, this fourth installment was released 20 years after Mad Max 3 - so a new actor has to be cast to play the role of Max Rockatansky.
Despite the actors being different, Mad Max Fury Road shares many elements with the second and third film (lots of high-speed chase, motley like vehicles, nasty characters, etc...) Of course, at the end of the day, the good guys still wins; bad guys defeated; and Max once again the wasteland.
The plot may appear relatively the same, but this particular Mad Max installment has a lot of great actions scenes. This is actually quite a given since technological advancements in the field of film making and actions sequences have been developed through the years. So even though the concept is quite common, Fury Road promises a worthy movie for any action loving fans.
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