Mystery Road (2013)

Mystery Road
Director: Ivan Sen
Writer: Ivan Sen
Cast: Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Kwanten, Jack Thompson, Tony Barry, Robert Mammone, Tasma Walton, Damian Walshe-Howling, David Field, Bruce Spence, Jack Charles, Tricia Whitton, Samara Weaving
Part of: We Are One Film Festival
Seen on: 14.6.2020

Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) returned to his hometown in the Outback just in time to investigate the murder of a young native girl – a murder the white rest of the police force doesn’t seem too interested in. Jay soon starts to suspect that the lack of interest may actually be active hampering from his colleagues, let alone the people around who all saw, heard and know nothing. Including Jay’s own daughter (Tricia Whitton) who doesn’t want anything to do with her father, but who knew the victim.

Mystery Road is atmospheric and Pedersen is a great lead, but I constantly felt like I was missing some context to understand what the fuck was actually happening. While that can make the appeal of a film, in this case, it was completely frustrating for me.

The film poster showing a lone car on a dirt road and the heads of three of the main characters.
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Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Director: George Miller, George Ogilvie
Writer: George Miller, Terry Hayes
Sequel to: Mad Max, Mad Max 2
Cast: Mel GibsonTina TurnerHelen Buday, Frank ThringAngelo Rossitto, Paul Larsson, Robert Grubb, George SpartelsMark Spain, Bruce Spence
Seen on: 17.5.2015

Max (Mel Gibson) wanders the postapocalyptic desert alone, when he is robbed. Knowing that there is only one place where the thieves could go with his things – Barter Town – he heads there to try to get his stuff back. But to enter Barter Town you have to have something to trade. So Max offers his services – an offer that gets taken up by Aunty Entity (Tina Turner), the founder of Barter Town. But things don’t go quite as planned and Max finds himself banished into the desert without water and food. As luck will have it, he is found by a group of orphaned children who see him as the savior they’ve been waiting for. But can Max be that person?

I spent most of the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with my mouth open, marveling at the world we get to see and wondering what the fuck is going on. It was awesome.

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Mad Max 2 (1981)

Mad Max 2 aka The Road Warrior
Director: George Miller
Writer: George Miller, Terry Hayes, Brian Hannant
Sequel to: Mad Max
Cast: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Emil Minty, Virginia Hey, William Zappa
Seen on: 16.5.2015

Max (Mel Gibson) stumbles through a postapocalyptic desert, always looking for more fuel to continue his aimless wandering. But fuel, just as food and water, is rare and hotly contested. When Max happens upon a refinery guarded by a small group of people in the middle of nowhere, he can hardly believe his eyes. But he isn’t the only one who discovered that treasure trove. The Humungus (Kjell Nilsson), leader of a motorcycle gang, has also set his sight on it. Since Max himself had a run-in with Humungus’ second in command, Wez (Vernon Wells), he quickly finds himself with the refinery people, fighting against Humungus and his people.

After my being admittedly blown away by the first Mad Max movie, I was very much disappointed by the second one. Despite its cool aesthetics, it just didn’t manage to draw me in and I ended up being bored.

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