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The Mad Max Trilogy [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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A triple bill of the films that made Mel Gibson famous. 'Mad Max' follows the revenge spree of a former cop in the post-apocalyptic future after his wife and child are murdered by a gang of vicious motorbike thugs. The sequel, 'Mad Max 2', aka 'The Road Warrior', features loner Max helping a small oil-producing community defend itself against a band of crazed thugs. Finally, in the bigger budget 'Mad Max - Beyond Thunderdome', Max comes up against a barbaric society led by a warrior queen (Tina Turner).
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We are introduced to Max in the first film as a family man who fears that as a law enforcement officer he is in danger of crossing a line and becoming just like those who are terrorising the highways. When asked why he's thinking of resigning to reply is " I'm starting to enjoy it". In the course of the film we learn that society is breaking down as no one cares any more and when Max's wife and child are killed it drives him to vengeance. People often call this an exploitation film, but rather interestingly does raise a major question. When there is no law what might a moral man to do? There's an economy to the way this film is made (quite literally it cost about half $1 million) but it delivers a simple but well told story with believable characters and some fantastic action sequences.
The second film picks up about 2 1/2 years later after a nuclear war and the introduction tells us that Max is 'a burnt out shell of a man'. It continues the premise of the first films with the gangs terrorising any and all they can find for a tankful of gas. Max falls in with a community that is trying to flee the chaos. At first he only has mercenary motives. He will help them if they supply him with much needed fuel. However, as the film continues and he's rescued by someone he formally captured for his own means, but later set free when those means had been accomplish, Max's humanity, which had been buried deep within him, partially surfaces. He helps the community escape, but he himself is not ready to fully embraces humanity and disappears into the wasteland once again. This is a great action packed story with fantastic stunts
The third movie is often considered the weakest, but it is in some ways it is the most interesting. Max gets involved with Auntie Entity, the female dictator of Barter town. Once again it is for mercenary motives, he needs a vehicle and fuel to continue his lone existence, she needs someone discretely killed so she can maintain a ruthless grip over her subjects. However, discovering all is not as he's been told Max's humanity surfaces and he breaks his deal and is banished into the wasteland. Here he is discovered on the verge of death by a group of children who are the survivors and descendants of a plane crash who have built up 'Cargo Cult' based on the captain of an expedition that went looking for rescue returning. Mistaking Max for their saviour they beg him to take them back to civilisation. Max's humanity really surfaces as he warns that the civilisation they long for is gone. At best, or worst as Max sees it, they will be swallowed up by Barter town. Here Max starts to take responsibility for them, urging them that what they got is by far what is best for them. Max's surfacing humanity is again confirmed when he is involved in the rescue mission for those who disbelieve his claims and set out looking for civilisation. In the end we have the requisite chase sequence after he has once again crossed swords with Auntie Enmity. Max's humanity is confirmed with a selfless act that enables others to escape and him facing an uncertain, and later a solitary future! The redemption cycle is complete.
These films made Mel Gibson a star and it's easy to see why. He gives the character real humanity (both good and bad) and is effortlessly charismatic even when he has minimal dialogue. Tina Turner makes an appearance in the third film and is really good value for money as the duplicitous Auntie Enmity, a nasty piece of work who may be through Max's sacrifice at the end of the film regains some humanity Excellent films which remind you what it was like before CGI ruled blockbusters!
The film itself is a b movie with the sound to match. A short story really with lots of road rage.
But for some reason this little movie sets the standard for HD. Simply stunning clarity of picture, that makes me weep over all the other Blu-rays I have that don’t get a print from the original film Celluloid. You can get a little distracted by looking at the clarity of the Aussie landscape, which isn’t a bad thing for this movie. Dubbed in English as well as the Aussie original soundtrack, because we poms can’t tell a wallaby from a wombat.
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