In the future, we all hope that we will have discovered a cleaner source of energy, one that is hopefully cheaper, and even renewable. But what happens if that doesn’t come to pass? What happens if we are always dependent on oil, and we even fight wars in the future over it? That is the exact premise behind the cult classic “Mad Max,” starring Mel Gibson. This classic was an instant hit, and remains to this day the Gold Standard to which all other futuristic movies are compared.
Our parable begins out after some devastating war in some indefinite time in the future. Gasoline is at an complete premium, and is confined safely. Society is just barely held together by systematic law enforcement. Our male protagonist, Max, is one of these law enforcement officers. His profession is an “Interceptor,” to stay on the outskirts, and catch up with criminals who believe they have escaped from the law.
We see a few scenes early in the movie where Max shows his driving abilities, his conscientious morals, and his solid character. He is a family man, and a affectionate husband and father. It is a humiliation that such a polite family has to grow up in such a staggering environment.
We are also introduced to a silly gang of outlaws, who wander what they call the “wasteland,” which is outside of normal society. In this world, it is kill or be killed, and the only things you get are the things that you pinch. There is no law, and there is a loose band of outlaws that wander the streets and take gasoline from whatever resource they can.
It is when a few of these uncontrolled road gangsters come up against Max’s relations that he gets his name. These outlaws track down and kill Max’s wife and his child. When they do this, they set free a mad killer in Max whose character has been described since time immemorial. Somebody who has been distorted from an average Joe, into a greatly skilled killer in search of only one thing. Revenge on those who have offended him.
And this is the core of the picture. The primary part is all build up. The introduction of the civilization in which Max lives, the introduction of his character, his character, his abilities as a driver and a police officer. Just before the accident, he is shown a particularly advanced car that has an especially influential engine. Max turns it down, and decides to follow a calm life with his family. But when they get his family, he turns his back on any hope of a normal life, and heads to the road.
One by one, he hunts them down and kills them. Through potent displays of driving and higher abilities of road trickery, he seduces them into the hunt, and then quickly turns and destroys them. In one last scene that is extremely traumatic, he shows just how heartless and ferocious he has become. This film was an instant cult classic, and every revolutionary movie is compared to it as the gold standard. This is one classic movie that everybody should see. Including you.