If you're like me, you wanted to watch the original Mad Max movies after seeing Fury Road, which is easily one of the best films of the decade and a landmark in cinema. So when I came to watch this original, I was left disappointed. In its 93 minute runtime, not much actually happens that really matters until well into the third act, and even then it doesn't really pick up speed until the final 20 minutes. Pacing is a problem in this movie. Mad Max had the right elements to be a mixture of The Warriors and Death Wish, but drags endlessly. And the saddest part is that with a modern day George Miller, these elements could have been tightened up, to really drive the elements that lead Max to go from jaded police officer to vigilante. It's just a shame we spend so little time on the latter, that it clearly means that The Road Warrior will promise a more exciting film.
The cast is alright, but ultimately nothing really shocking here. Mel Gibson, who is great, fades into the background much like Tom Hardy's take on the character. But with it being a movie focused on Max's origins, it's problematic. And while it's interesting to see how he gets his car, how he loses his family, and how he lived in a world much like our own (surprising since in about 10 - 20 movie years, the world is apocalyptic), so much could have been removed or reshot so that the stronger parts of this movie take place earlier on, and we can see how bad-ass this character is.