This is my first post in my First Time Watching series. I’m not the first one to do this and I won’t be the last, but it turns out, as an avid film fanatic, I haven’t watched many films. It’s shocking really, that my collection of DVDs doesn’t have Forrest Gump or Titanic among them.
Or is it? I don’t know, I haven’t watched them. They may be utter shit. I have a feeling Titanic is. Not so sure about Gump though.
My first, ‘First Time Watching’ film? Mad Max. The first one. Purely because my human, my lovely human who I love and adore with all my heart, is mad at me because I saw Fury Road before him. Plus, I have it on Blu-Ray which is extra annoying to him.
(It’s beautiful on Blu-Ray by the way. The colours just pop off the screen; absolutely stunning to watch)
He thinks it’s for Tom Hardy. Admittedly, it partly is because of Tom Hardy. He’s a great actor who happens to have a great face to go with it. Not afraid to admit that. But the film sucks me in. The score, the storm scene, the dialogue (however limited it may be), the make up, the costumes – it’s all an amazing look on a dystopian society. Where most dystopian futures primarily involve the colour grey, this has a rainbow of colours to go alongside it’s misery.
So, surely I’ll enjoy the first film? Directed by the same man, George Miller, (who also directed penguins dancing – honestly, I don’t how he went from mental Mel Gibson to penguin Elijah Wood but he did. It’s like Robert Rodriguez going from Spy Kids to Sin City) telling the beginning of the Australian wasteland where oil is scarce but everyone still drives cars like maniacs.
Though, to be honest, Mad Max on bicycles wouldn’t have the same effect.
I should enjoy it. I hope to enjoy it. Yep, as I’m writing this blog, I still have no idea what it’s like. I don’t like feeling like I’m watching films alone (I’m literally the worst film-goer ever, I cannot stop making comments all the way through – why do you think I’m doing this?) so I’m going to watch this in half hour segments, sharing my opinions as I go along.
Here we go then. My first First Time Watching: Mad Max.
First Half Hour
The first half hour can be summed up in a few sentences. Are you ready? You better be.
The Nightrider is batshit mental. But he dies. So who cares?
Max is well fucking chilled. Almost too chilled for someone who should mad.
The Nightrider’s gang just wants to fuck shit up.
Max’s wife plays the saxophone in the dark.
Goose is amazing and called someone a turkey.
Honestly, that’s all that really happens. The Nightrider explodes his car after crashing into the most conveniently placed car pile-up I’ve ever seen in a film, and then his gang comes along to avenge his death. Literally. That’s it.
Max being told that they’re coming for him is probably one of the most chilled ‘They’re coming to get you, Barbara‘ moments I’ve ever seen.
“Hey Max. Have you eaten?” “Nah, I’ll probably get something in a bit.” “All right, well, you know that Code Three?” “The Nightrider?” “Yeah, well, word’s out that his gang is coming to get you” “Well, I’ll just add it to my list of threats.”
And then Mel Gibson and the man who looks like Judas Priest laugh and walk away. That is not how you react to the idea of some maniacs coming to get revenge. YOU ARE TOO LAID BACK, MAD MAX. I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU ARE MAD.
Relaxed Max he should be called.
There is also so much leather for a film set in an Australian wasteland, that I truly believe that there is a talc shortage as well as an oil shortage.
Verdict So Far: Eh. I’m enjoying it, but the opening sequence was a bit boring to me. The car chase was a bit dull, but that could be because I’ve seen better car chases since this film has been released. Also, there was a dog and that was a highly enjoyable part of the film. The dog lives, so the Nightrider’s gang aren’t entirely evil.
Also, I love Goose.
I wish this was Mad Goose instead. Then one of the films could have been ‘Mad Goose: Wild Chase’
Second Half Hour
There has been a tragedy. Goose, the sweet avian prince of the road, crashed and burned. Johnny Boy, reluctant to throw the match onto his upside down car, watched it go up in flames. I blame the Toecutter, who will now be referred to as The Yeti-Man.
It was such a tense scene to watch. The music was building up as he was driving his motorcycle, I thought for sure it was just going to explode as soon as it starts up. The tracking shot along with the intense music just made me hide behind my fingers and wait for the sound of the explosion. But it never came.
Stupidly, assuming it was safe, I watched him drive the truck away. Nope. Not safe. Not safe at all. It was very, very unsafe.
It seems to be the beginning of Max’s madness. He had a bit of a nightmare after seeing Gooses’ (Geese?) burnt face, which I’m super glad I didn’t see. But after that, he goes back to his regular ol’, Normal Max self. He even wears white trousers, for goodness sake. If that’s not the sign of sanity, I don’t know what is.
His wife and son has an encounter with The Nightrider’s gang as well. After what happened to my precious Goose, I have decided to trust my instincts and assume they’re going to die too. Maybe. I don’t know, I’m hoping Miller will surprise me.
Maybe everyone lives?
No, no, that doesn’t sound right.
I have never seen anyone lick an ice-cream in such a creepy manner either. The Yeti-Man is awful. Good for Saxy Lady for kicking him in the nuts and shoving the cone in his eye.
Nothing really happened again, though. Aside from Goose being set on fire. I’m hoping that in the last half hour, things will rev up and it all hit hyperdrive to the point where I have no idea what the fuck is going on and it’s all just mental.
It’s building up to something. I can feel it.
Now, as a final goodbye to Goose, here’s a James Blunt song
Don’t cry guys; I’ll cry for us.
Verdict So Far: I miss Goose. But it’s getting somewhere now. I’m anticipating the end, excited to see where it goes. Though, at times, the film slows down in places like it did in the beginning, I’m still powering through; the gang now setting their sights on his wife and kid now is setting up the final act to be bloody. I hope. Come on Max.
Final Half Hour
It wasn’t bloody, but oh my god, my wish of absolute confusion was granted. The final half hour of this film was just the absolute best part. I am completely in love with Mad Max now.
The most surprising thing about this, is that you don’t really see a death on screen. The death of his wife and his son happens off screen; all you see is the young boys shoe and ball roll onto the road, and the crumpled up bodies of the pair of them laying in the middle of the road. Max’s scream is haunting.
Before I even continue on about Max’s soon to be badassery, I have to talk about the old lady. I honestly have no idea what her name is, but she shot a barrel and shoved the motorcycle gang into the shed. The Yeti-Man fucked up; he acted like she was no threat. Total threat, total boss, total badass.
Back to Max. Back to badass Max. I take back everything I said about him. Good god, was the ending worth the wait. The intense, Psycho-esque music, the literal dark clouds looming over him, the constant running everywhere. Even him interrogating the mechanic from before is so much better.
White Trouser Max would have just listened to his story. Mad Leather Trouser Max has no time for that shit. He was all up in his grill. Perhaps even better than that, the mechanic uses the word ‘mollyfuck’. The phrase is, ‘What the mollyfuck?!’. Doesn’t top Goose calling someone a turkey, but I am going to use that phrase forever.
Max’s revenge is easily the best sequence of the film. It is fifteen minutes of mayhem. It makes everything else before that so worth it.
He just smashes his car into the entirety of the gang, sending two into the river. Max gets shot in the kneecap and you see the blood splatter. Bubba gets cocky and acts like he can get Max, and guess what, HE CAN’T. Max, lying on the ground with a bullet in his knee, shoots the fucker as he drives towards him.
Then, the chase between Max and the Toecutter. The Toecutter driving too fast, Max chasing after him, like it’s a Saturday morning cartoon. Toecutter gets completely smashed up though. Just absolutely crumpled under an on-coming truck.
I feel bad that Max didn’t get to exact his revenge onto him, but the Yeti-Man’s death was just satisfying to watch, in the least psychopathic way possible.
Look at those eyes.
Johnny Boy’s death is a like a scene from Saw. Max chains him up to what is, essentially, a ticking time bomb and gives him the choice to either saw his ankle out of the handcuffs, or to just explode.
As Max drives off, in the background, we see a fireball – we have no way of knowing if Johnny Boy survived, but after leading the Yeti-Man to Goose, I hope he didn’t.
Good god, I sound deranged.
Final Verdict: Patience is a virtue when watching this film. The ending is superb, but you can’t just skip to Max slaughtering everyone; you have to know why, how he got to that point in the first place. I regret asking for him to go mental sooner. It was so worth the wait (even if it meant that his dog probably died. Maniacs).
It is a really great film. Will I watch it again though? Probably not. I don’t have the patience to watch this, not alone anyway. I’ve enjoyed it, I can’t doubt that. I’ll watch the ending again, no doubt about it and I’m excited to see where the character and the series goes from there. But in terms of this film, I can’t see myself choosing to watch it again, unless I’m in the mood for it.