REVIEW: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

CAST
Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises)
Charlize Theron (Prometheus)
Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class)
Hugh Keays-Byrne (Sleeping Beauty 2011)
Josh Helman (Jack Reacher)
Nathan Jones (Troy)
Zoe Kravitz (Divergent)
Rose Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers 3)
Riley Keough (The Runaways)
Abbey Lee (Gods of Egypt)
Courtney Eaton (Status Update)
John Howard (All Saints)
Following a nuclear holocaust, the world has become a desert wasteland and civilization has collapsed. Max Rockatansky, a survivor, is captured by the War Boys, the army of the tyrannical Immortan Joe, and taken to Joe’s Citadel. Designated a universal blood donor, Max is imprisoned and used as a “blood bag” for a sick War Boy called Nux. Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa, one of Joe’s lieutenants, is sent in her armoured semi-truck, the “War Rig”, to collect gasoline. When she drives off-route, Joe realizes that his five wives—women selected for breeding—are missing. Joe leads his entire army in pursuit of Furiosa, calling on the aid of nearby Gas Town and the Bullet Farm.
Nux joins the pursuit with Max strapped to his car to continue supplying blood. A battle ensues between the War Rig and Joe’s forces. Furiosa drives into a sand storm, evading her pursuers, except Nux, who attempts to sacrifice himself to destroy the Rig. Max escapes and restrains Nux, but the car is destroyed. After the storm, Max sees Furiosa repairing the Rig, accompanied by the Wives: Capable, Cheedo, Toast, the Dag and the Splendid Angharad, who is heavily pregnant with Joe’s child. Max steals the Rig, but its kill switch disables it. Max reluctantly agrees to let Furiosa and the Wives accompany him; Nux, left behind, is picked up by Joe’s army. Furiosa drives through a biker gang-controlled canyon to barter a deal for safe passage; however, with Joe’s forces pursuing, the gang turns on her, forcing her and the group to flee while the bikers detonate the canyon walls to block Joe. Max and Furiosa fight pursuing bikers as Joe’s car, with Nux now on board, surmounts the blockade and eventually attacks the War Rig, allowing Nux to board. However, as the Rig escapes, Angharad falls off in an attempt to protect Max and is run over by Joe’s car, killing her and her child.
Furiosa explains to Max that they are escaping to the “Green Place”, an idyllic land she remembers from her childhood. Capable finds Nux hiding in the Rig, distraught over his failure, and consoles him. That night, the Rig gets stuck in mud. Furiosa and Max slow Joe’s forces with mines, but Joe’s ally, the Bullet Farmer, continues pursuing them. Nux helps Max free the Rig while Furiosa shoots and blinds the Bullet Farmer. Max walks into the dark to confront the Bullet Farmer and his men, returning with guns and ammunition. They drive the War Rig overnight through swampland and desert, coming across a naked woman the next day. Max suspects a trap, but Furiosa approaches the woman and states her history and clan affiliation. The naked woman summons her clan, the Vuvalini, who recognize Furiosa as one of their own who was kidnapped as a child. Furiosa is devastated to learn that the swampland they passed was indeed the Green Place, now uninhabitable. The group then plans to ride motorbikes across immense salt flats in the hope of finding a new home. Max chooses to stay behind, but after seeing visions of a child he failed to save, he convinces them to return to the undefended Citadel, which has ample water and greenery that Joe keeps for himself, and trap Joe and his army in the bikers’ canyon.
The group heads back to the Citadel, but they are attacked en route by Joe’s forces, and Furiosa is seriously wounded. Joe positions his car in front of the War Rig to slow it, while Max fights Joe’s giant son, Rictus Erectus. Joe captures Toast who manages to distract him long enough for Furiosa to kill him. Nux sacrifices himself by wrecking the Rig, killing Rictus and blocking the canyon, allowing Max, Furiosa, the wives, and the surviving Vuvalini to escape successfully in Joe’s car, where Max transfuses his blood to Furiosa to help her survive her injuries. At the Citadel, the impoverished citizens are overjoyed at the sight of Joe’s corpse. Furiosa, the wives, and the Vuvalini are cheered by the people and welcomed by the remaining War Boys, but Max walks away, sharing a glance with Furiosa before disappearing into the crowd.
Fury Road is an exhilarating action fest that goes beyond its boundaries in creating what might just be one of the best action films ever made. Fury Road vigorously  blends emotion and brutality with drama and action to reignite Australia’s greatest film franchise and create the epitome of the action genre.
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REVIEW: MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME

CAST
Mel Gibson (Braveheart)
Tina Turner (Last Action Hero)
Bruce Spence (Star wars – Episode III)
Adam Cockburn (Daydream Believer)
Frank Thring (Ben-Hur)
Paul Larson (Altered States)
Robert Grubb (Gallipoli)
Justine Clarke (Home and Away)
James Napier Robertson (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Max Rockatansky crosses the Australian desert in a camel-drawn wagon when he is attacked by a pilot named Jedediah and his son in a Transavia PL-12 Airtruk, stealing his wagon and belongings. Continuing on foot, Max follows their trail to the seedy community of Bartertown. While refused entry at first, Max is brought before the founder and ruler of Bartertown, the ruthless Aunty Entity. She offers to resupply his vehicle and equipment if he completes a task for her.
Aunty explains that Bartertown depends on a crude methane refinery powered by pig feces, which is run by a dwarf called Master and his giant bodyguard Blaster. “Master Blaster” holds an uneasy truce with Aunty for control of Bartertown; however, Master has begun to challenge Aunty’s leadership. Aunty instructs Max to provoke a confrontation with Blaster in Thunderdome, a gladiatorial arena where conflicts are resolved by a duel to the death. Max enters the refinery to size up Master Blaster and befriends Pig Killer, a convict sentenced to work for slaughtering a pig to feed his family. Max finds his stolen vehicle in Master Blaster’s possession, and helps disarm his booby-trapped engine to converse with him. Here he discovers that Blaster is exceptionally strong but extremely sensitive to high-pitched noises.
Max then faces Blaster in the Thunderdome and uses his weakness to gain the upper hand. He refuses to kill him after discovering he is developmentally disabled and has the functional mentality of a child, telling Aunty it was not part of their deal, revealing her plot. Master, previously unaware of this covert deal to kill Blaster, is furious and vows to shut down the refinery and, by extension, Bartertown. An enraged Aunty has Blaster executed, Master imprisoned, and Max exiled, bound, masked, and sent on a horse in a random direction to the wasteland. As his horse perishes in a sinkhole, Max frees himself and presses on.
Near death, Max is found by a desert dweller named Savannah Nix, who hauls him back to her home, a primitive community of children and teenagers who live in an oasis. The children, survivors of a crashed Boeing 747, were left by their parents who went to find civilisation. They believe Max to be the flight captain, returned to fix the aeroplane and fly them to civilisation. Max denies this and insists that they remain in the relative safety of the oasis, knowing that the only “civilization” within reach is Bartertown.
Some of the children, led by Savannah, leave anyway, determined to find the prophesied “Tomorrow-morrow Land”. Max stops them by force, but another tribe member known as Scrooloos, sets them free during the night and leaves with them. Their leader, Slake M’Thirst, asks Max to go after them, and he agrees, taking a few of the children with him to help. They find Savannah’s group in danger but are unable to save one of the children from a sinkhole. With no supplies left, they are forced to head for Bartertown.
The group sneak in via the underground, and, with Pig Killer’s help, free Master and escape in a train-truck, destroying Bartertown’s methane refinery in the process. Aunty leads the inhabitants in pursuit, catching up to the train. Max’s group slows them down while Scrooloos hijacks one of the pursuing vehicles, which happens to be Max’s stolen vehicle. The group comes across Jedediah and his son, and Max coerces Jedediah into helping his group escape with their aeroplane. Max uses his vehicle to clear a path through Aunty’s men, allowing the aeroplane to take off and escape, leaving him at Aunty’s mercy. Aunty spares his life, having come to respect him; she says sardonically, “Well— ain’t we a pair, raggedy man? Goodbye, soldier.”, and departs to presumably make good on her vow to rebuild Bartertown. Jedediah flies the children to the coast, where they discover the ruins of Sydney. Years later, the children have established a small society of themselves and other lost wanderers in the ruins. Savannah, now leader of the group, recites a nightly story of their journey and the man who saved them, as Max, still alive in the desert, wanders on to places unknown.
This film is a cult classic, great memorable set pieces barter town, the thunder dome, plenty of action and an interesting story. A great end to the original trilogy.

REVIEW: MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR

CAST
Mel Gibson (Braveheart)
Vernon wells (Power Rangers Time Force)
Bruce Spence (Star wars – Episode III)
Michael Preston (Steel)
Max Phipps (Thirst)
Virginia hey (Farscape)
William Zappa (Dead Europe)
Supplies of petroleum have been nearly exhausted in the near future following a major energy crisis and a global war. Ex-Main Force Patrol officer “Mad” Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) roams the now depopulated and desolate desert in his scarred, black supercharged V-8 Pursuit Special, scavenging for food, water, and fuel. His only companions are an Australian Cattle Dog and a rare functioning firearm–a sawn-off shotgun–for which ammunition is very scarce.
While trying to escape a group of gang members – led by a crazed motorcycle rider named Wez (Vernon Wells) – Max manages to crash two of the gang member’s vehicles and injure Wez; recognising his defeat, Wez flees. After collecting some fuel from the destroyed cars and checking a nearby Mack semi, Max inspects a nearby autogyro for fuel. Its pilot, the Gyro Captain (Bruce Spence), ambushes Max and manages to capture him briefly before being overpowered. In exchange for his own life, the pilot guides Max to a small oil refinery nearby. Max arrives to see the facility is under siege by a gang of marauders riding a motley collection of cars and motorbikes. The gang leader, known as “Lord Humungus” (Kjell Nilsson), tries to convince the refinery’s defenders to surrender the facility in exchange for safe passage out of the area.
A group of defenders attempts to break out of the compound, but the marauders capture, torture, and kill all but one of them, who is rescued by Max. Max makes a deal with the mortally-wounded sole survivor: he will bring him back to the compound in exchange for a tank of fuel. The man dies shortly after they enter the facility, and the facility leader, Pappagallo (Michael Preston), reneges on the deal, saying it died when the survivor died. His group is on the verge of killing Max when the marauders return, and Humungus repeats his offer. When the Feral Kid (Emil Minty) kills Wez’s male companion, Wez becomes enraged, urging his leader to take the compound; Humungus wrestles Wez into submission, but placates Wez by revealing he has no intention of letting any of the settlers leave. Max offers Pappagallo a different deal: he will retrieve the abandoned Mack semi-truck, which is capable of hauling the tanker trailer that the facility inhabitants use to store the fuel they refine, in exchange for freedom, his vehicle, and as much fuel as he can take with him. The group accepts, but keeps Max’s car to ensure his co-operation. Max sneaks out, locating the Gyro Captain (dragging the branch he is chained to) and conscripts him to help find the truck using his gyrocopter.
After finding the truck, Max drives it back to the compound, evading Humungus’s men. The defenders want Max to escape with the group, but Max opts to collect his petrol and leave. However, his attempt to break through the siege fails: Wez gives chase in Humungus’s nitrous oxide-equipped car and runs Max off the road, wrecking his vehicle and severely injuring him. The marauders kill Max’s dog with a crossbow, then attempt to siphon the fuel from the Pursuit Special’s tanks, but trigger an explosive booby trap, which kills some of the attackers. Left for dead, Max is rescued by the Gyro Captain as he is trying to crawl back to the refinery.
With no other means of escape and with the refinery’s defenders preparing to depart, Max insists on driving the repaired truck. He leaves the compound in the heavily-armoured truck, accompanied by the Feral Kid he has befriended and by other inhabitants aboard as defenders. Pappagallo escorts him out in a captured marauder vehicle. Humungus and most of his warriors pursue the tanker, leaving the remaining inhabitants free to flee the compound in a ramshackle caravan and buses, blowing up the refinery as they leave. Pappagallo and the other defenders of the tanker, as well as numerous marauders, are killed during the chase and the Gyro Captain is shot down. Max and the Feral Kid find themselves alone, pursued by the marauders. Wez manages to board the truck and attack Max, but a head-on collision with Humungus’s car kills both Wez and Humungus. Max loses control of the tanker and it rolls off the road. As the injured Max carries the Feral Kid from the wrecked tanker, he sees not petrol, but sand, leaking from the tank.
The truck and its trailer are thus exposed as a decoy, allowing the other settlers to escape with the precious fuel in oil drums inside their vehicles. With Pappagallo dead, the Gyro Captain succeeds him as their chief and leads the settlers to the coast, where they establish the “Great Northern Tribe”. Max remains alone in the desert, once again becoming a drifter. Years later, the Feral Kid, now the Northern Tribe’s new leader (voice by Harold Baigent), reminisces about the legend of the mythical “Road Warrior” (Max) who now exists only in distant memory.
The Road Warrior influenced the sub-genre of post-holocaust science fiction throughout the eighties. There were numerous imitators, mostly low-budget efforts, and none of them came close to succeeding at this level. A true classic.

REVIEW: MAD MAX (1979)

CAST
Mel Gibson (Braveheart)
Joanne Samuel (Nightmaster)
Hugh Keays-Byrne (Sleeping Beauty 2011)
Steve Bisley (The Great Gatsby)
Roger Ward (The Pirate Movie)
Lisa Aldenhoven (Brilliant Lies)
A berserk motorbike gang member named Crawford “Nightrider” Montazano (Vincent Gil), having killed a rookie officer of an Australian highway patrol called the Main Force Patrol (MFP) while escaping from police custody, is attempting to outrun the other MFP officers in a stolen Pursuit Special. Though he manages to elude his initial pursuers, the MFP’s top pursuit-man, Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson), then engages the less-skilled Nightrider in a high-speed chase. During a sudden game of “chicken”, the Nightrider breaks off first; his nerve gone in the confrontation with Max, Nightrider is unable to recover his wits, which leads to his death in a fiery crash.
The next day, fellow officer Jim “Goose” Rains (Steve Bisley) gets Max’s attention, leading him to where the police mechanic reveals a Police Special under repair, but all in black. As Max looks on, Goose and the mechanic reveal the engine: a V8 engine with a supercharger, which would make it the fastest car on the road. Almost hypnotised by the sight, Max agrees enthusiastically with Goose and the mechanic to get the car completed quickly for him to drive. Although the mechanic says he collected the parts to build the engine, a wiretap listening in on the exchange reveals that MFP Captain Fred “Fifi” Macaffee (Roger Ward) commissioned the car to be built as Max’s personal vehicle, to help convince him to stay on the force.
The Acolytes, Nightrider’s motorbike gang, led by Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and Bubba Zanetti (Geoff Parry), are running roughshod over a town, vandalising property, stealing fuel, and terrorising the population. Max and Goose arrest Toecutter’s young protégé, Johnny “the Boy” Boyle (Tim Burns), who was too high to leave the scene of the gang’s rape of a young couple. When neither the rape victims nor any of the townspeople show for Johnny’s trial, the federal courts throw out the case. Goose, furious at Johnny’s release, must be restrained as he and Johnny exchange violent threats at the city police station. After Bubba drags Johnny away, Fifi tells his officers to do whatever it takes to combat the gangs, “so long as the paperwork’s clean”.
A short time later, Johnny sabotages Goose’s motorbike while he attends a show at a nightclub in the city. The next day while out on patrol in the countryside, the motorbike locks up at high speed, throwing Goose into a field. An uninjured Goose calls a towing service and borrows a ute to haul his damaged bike back to the MFP HQ. However, Johnny and Toecutter are waiting in ambush; Johnny throws a brake drum at Goose’s windscreen, causing him to crash the ute. With Goose unable to get out of the ute, Johnny—under pressure from Toecutter—throws a match into the petrol leaking from the wreck, triggering an inferno that severely burns the helpless Goose. After seeing Goose’s charred body in a hospital intensive care unit, Max becomes disillusioned with the MFP, and the fear of losing his sanity convinces him to resign. His superior, Fifi, talks Max into taking a holiday before making his final decision about resigning.
While vacationing, Max stops at a roadside garage to have a tire repaired while his wife, Jessie (Joanne Samuel), and their infant son, Sprog (Brendan Heath), go for ice cream. The two encounter Toecutter’s gang, who attempt to molest Jessie. Max and his family flee to a remote farm owned by an elderly friend named May (Sheila Florance), but the gang learns of their destination from the garage mechanic and follows them. Jessie is waylaid by the gang after a trip to the beach, and May holds them off with a shotgun. May, Jessie, and Sprog manage to escape in the van. After the van breaks down on the road, Jessie attempts to flee with her son on foot. May stays at the car and fires her shotgun at the approaching gang, but misses. Then the gang runs over Jessie and Sprog on their motorbike. Max arrives too late to intervene.
With Sprog having been killed instantly and Jessie near death, an enraged Max dons his police leathers and takes the supercharged black Pursuit Special from the MFP garage to pursue the gang. After torturing the auto mechanic for information and forcing several members of the gang off a bridge at high speed, Max methodically hunts down the gang’s leaders. He shoots Bubba Zanetti at point blank range with a shotgun (after sustaining a significant gunshot leg injury of his own), though Johnny escapes when he sees Bubba killed. As Toecutter flees on his motorbike, tailed closely by Max, he veers into the path of an oncoming semi-trailer truck and is run over. Max eventually locates Johnny, who is looting a car crash victim. In a cold, suppressed rage, Max handcuffs Johnny’s ankle to the wrecked vehicle and sets a crude time-delay fuse involving a slow fuel leak and Johnny’s lighter. Throwing Johnny a hacksaw, Max leaves him the choice of sawing through either the handcuffs (which will take ten minutes) or his ankle (which will take five minutes). As Max casually walks away, Johnny begins pleading, seemingly going insane, as he fumbles with the hacksaw. As Max drives away from the bridge, the wrecked vehicle explodes. Now a shell of his former self, Max drives on to points unknown, pushing deep into the Outback.
Though a bit dated compared with the action films we have today, “Mad Max” still stands out as a very impressive movie