Chicken Run (2000)

On the surface, a hilarious adventure with plenty of eggs-cellent puns (“Ah, chute!”), clever action, and the perfect pairing of easy-to-hate villains and a charming flock of heroes (with a great no-chickenshit lead: “It’s Ginger.”). At its core though, it’s a dramatic prison break film, capturing despair, suspense, and hope with surprising potency (see the early failed-attempt montage; the pre-climax one adeptly mixing inspiration, humour, and growing tension; the devastating poster reveal).

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)


After being exiled from the most advanced town in post apocalyptic Australia, a drifter travels with a group of abandoned children to rebel against the town’s queen. (IMDb)
It’s a little hard to get past some of the 80s cheese (Oh hey Tina Turner), especially in the odd first half in Bartertown–an outpost filled with pigs, weird chanted laws (“Break a deal, you get the wheel!”), and the underwhelming Thunderdome–but once Max gets back out in the desert and has his hideous locks chopped off, things get a bit better, as he leads a group of wilderness children to rescue some slaves from the aforementioned town, which culminates in another exciting car chase.
6/10 (Mediocre)

The Road Warrior (1981)


In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits. (IMDb)
Loses the awkward dialogue and meandering plot of the original to focus on the action and the atmosphere: The car chases are elaborate and explosive, with a bevy of wild-looking vehicles and drivers to match, providing some flavour for the desolate desert landscape and together concocting a creative take on the post-apocalyptic world. Spence’s gawky gyro captain and Minty’s feral kid, meanwhile, provide a couple of other memorable characters that nicely compliment Gibson’s serious lone ranger.
7/10 (Good)

Mad Max (1979)


In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang. (IMDb)
The pivotal event and its tense build up should have started the film and made the most of its resulting revenge plot; instead, we get a meandering story without a protagonist for half of it, featuring mostly bland car chases and a painfully cheesy main villain (although his gang of psychopathic motorcycle riders is admittedly terrifying). Gibson looks good but he’s a little awkward too, delivering some pretty bad lines (“Peanut butter and honey”; “He always kept ’em reaaaaal shiny”).
6/10 (Mediocre)