Mad Max Franchise (Dir. George Kennedy)
These highly influential and popular films are, truth to tell, shite. Oh I know, they represent a definitive textbook for the Stunt Man; they give employment to a bunch of Aussies (yay!); in the case of the first film in the series, it justifies awakening the city of Clunes; they combine great visual beauty along with nauseating ugliness; they tell the world of the practical effect of the Greens’ energy policy, but excrement they remain.
Listen! We blame no one. We’d rather watch these films than 97% of the cloacal mess showing at a cinema near you. We don’t think, from memory, that Max parades his buttocks. We applaud the defiance of CGI. We thank you for the mnemonic to avoid Broken Hill.
But don’t try to persuade the folks that there is any meaning here that can’t be found in the bottom of a box of Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs. Or that this latest emanation is a masterpiece of feminist film-making, just because Charlize has smut on her face, packs a punch like Lionel Rose, and her retinue of model cuties are equally bellicose.[L objects that there is something atavistic here, despite agreeing with these comments]:
Gloriously ugly, bone-shattering post-steam-punk ultra-violence. Charlize screaming across a red desert in a way-beyond “The Cars that Ate Paris” murder truck under the post-apocalyptic billows of what we just know is minced plutonium. Lots of it. Chains, cufflinks, orcs. It has it all. Yes, THAT FILM is worth 4 out of 5 .But wait, that is not the film which we see, no, not by a long way. Within the first few minutes of this (otherwise) unremittingly hideous film we meet “The Breeders,” ludicrously beautiful women who will now accompany us across the grinding, churning, brutal sands until we arrive at an oil derrick of some sort. From which we are heralded by a lookout who (naturally) welcomes us by sliding down some metres of rope (naked, as you do, unless you are, oh, I don’t know – a man) and look out! it’s Megan Gale! Thank Goodness! I would not want those super-models to feel inferior in their designer rag-bikinis, perfect hair and air-brushed foundation (out here in the desert). I don’t feel bad! No! Well, I hear (men) cry, “you get Max to look at!”. Yo! That Tom Hardy whose soft, fat-lipped weak face we see now and then, for no reason, other than that the script, film name and franchise call for a “Max”? Bring back Mad Mel!