A film about an officer, Max, trying to keep law alive as best he can in a dystopian world.
The films first 12 minutes are of a chase scene, opening up with a skilled gang member driver, The Nightrider, who is outmanoeuvring all of the officers of the MFP (Main Force Patrol), until Max, who is the best driver they have, takes the gang member on. We are focused on the chase, and how all these characters fit with their jobs. Roop, a perverted man who carries on after Nightrider after being out smarted by him, but carries on in the name of revenge and anger rather than justice; Charlie, who is Roop’s partner tries to get him to stay off the road for peoples safety, maybe because he can see Roop is focused more on catching Nightrider than people’s safety; Goose, who even though fell out of the pursuit and broke his leg, was still smiling and joking while talking to Max; then finally there is Max, a man who was willing to bet his life on catching Nightrider, where the difference between Max and Roop lives, is that Max was willing to risk his own life, not others, and seemed to want justice in the name of justice, not revenge.
This sets up the world these people live in now, people are trying to stop crime, but each doing so in their own ways. There is no real law laid down now, the people get the best protection they can get, and these guys try to give it to them. No one is perfect, but these guys are trying.
The film shows what society has turned into, a place that many films depict, survival of the fittest. Gangs run wild, with only a ragtag crew of guys who try to bring them to justice. The film knows how to pace itself, the first 12 minutes is a chase, and between that and the climax is a slow build, there are small scenes here and there of scuffles, but they are little, quick, pacing itself to allow us to see the characters, how they act, how they feel, how they work. This makes the ending feel heavier, you feel the weight of what is happening, what the characters are doing, what the consequences of their actions are, and what they have become.
Mad Max is a film all about a journey, the personal journey of Max. He starts to lose the things that matters to him, and even he starts to believe that he will go insane if he doesn’t quit. Max is an interesting character, a man who walks a fine line. He’s scared because he’s beginning to enjoy his work, that if he stays on any longer he’ll become one of the bad guys, only as he puts it “Only I’ve got a bronze badge to say I’m one of the good guys”. When he starts to lose what matters to him, he might just turn as he says, he knows this, that there is a line between what he does and what the bad guys do, and to him it is getting fuzzier.
Max grows as a character, he evolves along with the story, and what he turns into from what he was, might not be as different like he feared.