Mad Max (1979) - ****
In this low budget action movie, a young Mel Gibson plays Max, a man driven to insanity by the senseless murder of his family. The film feels as if it was shot as a TV movie, crammed with over dramatic and unnecessary music and some terrible acting. But none of that matters; the desolate, brutal imagery of Mad Max will prevail.
Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (1981) - ****
A pinnacle in entertainment, the sequel to Mad Max is a bigger, more confident spectacle, but has not sold out it's principles. Gibson is stronger and given more to work with. The villains are just as cheesy but less awkward. A masterpiece in the blockbuster genre, much copied, never surpassed.
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985) - **
It's painfully obvious watching this cringe-worthy slice of schmaltz that the original script was not meant for Max at all. It's two weak storylines twisted awkwardly together, leading to confusion as well as destroying some continuity from the previous installments. Look out for three uses of the Wilhelm scream, as well as a reference to A New Hope. A few good action sequences, especially the fight in the Thunderdome, but I'm afraid Tina Turner's crimes against acting will shine through.