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My name is Max. My world is fire and blood. As the world fell, each of us fell in his way...it was much more harder to know who's more crazier; me, or everyone else.
~ Mad Max
You know, hope is a mistake. If you can't fix what's broken, you'll, uh... you'll go insane
~ Max to Furiosa about hope

Maxmillian "Max" Rockatansky (also known as Mad Max) is the titular main protagonist from director George Miller's post-apocalyptic Mad Max film series. Max, like all people in the world after the Nuclear Holocaust, is insane and has little qualms about killing to survive however he is not without loyalties to the people he cares about such as Furiosa. in the original trilogy Max was portrayed by Mel Gibson, who also played Martin Riggs in the Lethal Weapon franchise, Graham Hess in SignsWilliam Wallace in Braveheart, Thomas Craven in Edge of Darkness, John Smith in Pocahontas and Rocky Rhodes in Chicken Run.

Tom Hardy (who would later also portray Venom in the eponymous film with the same name) played Max in the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road.

Mad Max

Before the apocalypse Max was the top patrol officer out of all of Australia's MFP devision: Never failing to keep the highways of Northern and Western Australia safe from the road gangs that literally owned the Eastern and Southern portions of Australia down to the last inch due to the government collapse during the resource crisis in the early 1970's which in Mad Max's universe continued well into the 80's and eventually would lead to world war 3.

Max's debut is in the first Mad Max film. Here, Max is caught in a brutal Cop VS gang war about a year before the unavoidable apocalypse...He is ordered by his partner Jim Goose  to continue the pursuit of a road gang member called The Night-rider, who had killed two MFP officers and stolen their Pursuit Special-the fastest car in the world at the time in Maxs world-and one of the two the MFP own. During the car chase, Nightrider breakdown crying as his girlfriend ask's him 'what is wrong, baby?" to which he responds "Its all gone--no matter what we do it'll all die!" He says this after he learns that Max Rocatansky is the one chasing him and not just some random officer. Max earned his nick-name "Mad-Max" for a reason—He takes no survivors back to the Halls of Justice police station. Being the best officer Max is only called in as a Last resort to take down a road gang member who MUST die, no matter the cost.

During the car chase Max rams Nightrider car—forcing it to ram into a fuel tanker that had broken down a few kilometers away, killing both The Nightrider and his girlfriend instantly in a fiery explosion—during this Max rush's out of his car with an intense look, both a misture of sadistic enjoyment and self horror and disgust.

After this Max goes back to his home, where is wife Jess Rocatansky draws him a bath for the first time in two days and snuggles up with him on the couch after as they watch their toddler son, Sprog Rocatansky (Sprog is Australian slang for  Infantry Soldier—possibly hinting at a military background for Max who possibly chose the name) during this the news is playing and Jess asks who the Nightrider was when he is shown on the news and max says he doesn't know "Just another glory rider i [Max] guess..." after that Max goes to bed early—Jess with a disappointed look on her face knowing her husband is becoming a cold and merciless cop and quite possibly a monster.

The following morning Max is eating a quick breakfast (toast) as Jess has a up-set look on her face, it was Max's day off and yet he was being called into the office by his partner Goose or "The Goose" as Max and Jess call him—during this Sprog is playing with Max's revolver side-arm but Max soon takes it away on his way out of the house after justifying his actions to Jess who say's that she is "Crazy about you [Max]" in her own version of sign language. (in real sign language, especially Australian sign language—Crazy about you is done completely different then what she does in the film)

Upon arrival at the Halls of Justice, Max learns he is being given the Last of the V8 interceptors in all of Australia. This prompts Max into what Goose calls a "Coma!" as he listens to the engine charge up, Max tests the engine then turns it off and ask's in pure shock how the mechanic could even get him this and the mechanic tells Max he "Got [A] piece from and [a] piece from there..." Max looks absolutely shocked but then smiles happily and ask's in pure glee and ecstasy "when can we take her for a ride?!" as the three celebrate Max's new car—we learn that Max has been contemplating quitting the force—except the Police Chief Fifi Macafee, a man with a ruthless attitude towards criminals himself, says he wants to give people back their heroes as Max has become a living Legend in Australia for being the best cop on the force. So, in short Fifi tempted Max with the V8 interceptor.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Approximately three years after the events of Mad Max, we find Max surviving the wastelands in solitude with the sole companionship of a dog he picked up along the way. By this time we are led to believe that all major cities and urban centers have fully fallen as Australia, serving as a microcosm of the world, has become a complete dystopia. As such Max's Pursuit Special has become his home as we watch him scavenge the wastes of the Outback for water, oil, and petrol as his daily ritual of survival. One day Max happens upon a mysterious-looking craft, a Gyrocopter, sitting desolate alongside the road. As Max investigates the lonely gyro, presumably for petrol and anything else at all useful, he is surprised to be ambushed from below as a man called the Gyro Captain cleverly emerges from a depression in the ground.

This decoy-ploy worked momentarily as it seemed the Gyro Captain had outwitted Max and was about to steal his car and belongings. That was until Max's pet, "Dog," jumped the Gyro Captain, giving Max the advantage. In order to preserve his life, the Gyro Captain told Max that he knew of a place where he could get all the petrol he wanted, explaining that there was a little compound refining it straight from the ground. The Gyro Captain led him to the wasteland plains, where Max discovered the besieged group of settlers and life changed drastically again for him. With a fortress constructed out of an old oil refinery, these civilized people were constantly terrorized by a tribe of heavy metal barbarians, led by The Humungus, self-proclaimed "Lord" of the barbarians trying to overrun the wayward compound.

As Max and the Gyro Captain staked-out the refinery, they witnessed several vehicles leaving the compound in an effort to escape the horde of Humungus. All of the vehicles were destroyed quickly and abruptly. Max and the Gyro Captain witnessed the occupants of one vehicle beaten, the woman raped, and the man shot with steel arrows. Max wastes no time in pouncing upon this event, seizing it as an opportunity to gain trust, entry, and especially fuel from the refinery's occupants by rescuing the injured refugees. Unfortunately, Max was able to rescue only the man, Nathan, who had been shot with arrows. Max and Nathan made a deal that if Max saved his life and returned him to the refinery, Max could fuel up and get supplies. However, upon Max's delivering the refugee to the compound, Nathan died before he could convey the pact to the settlers' leader, Pappagallo, revealing thus, "If you had a contract, it was with him. And it died with him."

Having no bargain, the compound dwellers, suspicious of Max, treated him as a spy and an enemy, and handcuffed him to some piping. Whilst he was there, Max witnesses a confrontation between Humungus and the compound dwellers, wherein Humungus attempted to reason and bargain with them, telling them that if they walked away from the refinery no one would be killed. Of course, Pappagallo refused to believe those words, but there was internal strife among them, with some wanting to take Humungus up on his offer. Again, seeing an opportunity, Max told the compound dwellers, "Two days ago I saw a vehicle that could haul that tanker. You wanna get out of here? You talk to me." Thus, Max made a bargain to go for the tanker in exchange for all the fuel he could carry as well as some supplies.

Under cover of darkness, Max trekked across the wild outback occupied by the barbarians, at one point using a distraction by the Feral Kid to make it safely. Eventually, he got to the truck and drove it back to the compound. However, Wez, and a few of his cohorts attacked the truck and infiltrated the compound. The refinery dwellers, led by Pappagallo and the Warrior Woman, fought back, repelling Wez and his fellow barbarians, but Pappagallo was injured during the skirmish.

Max in the tanker, spearheaded the escape, along with those able-bodied men and women from the compound to serve as warrior-escorts of sorts. The horde of Humungus gave chase after the tanker in a thrilling and savage rolling thunder of a battle which saw the deaths of many of the main characters from both sides to include Pappagallo, Humungus, Wez, and Warrior Woman, not to mention nearly killing Max as well. At the conclusion of this savage "road war" the tanker was wrecked and, as Max learned, proved to have been filled with dirt rather than fuel—when Max sees this, he and the Gyro Captain smirk at each other, with causes Max to almost laugh. The daring blockade run had all been an elaborate decoy to allow the rest of the refinery dwellers to escape, having hidden the precious fuel in their vehicles, wherein, presumably, they could find a new refuge and begin the task of rebuilding society.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

Max crosses the desert  in a camel-drawn V8 wagon when he is attacked by a Transavia PL-12 Airtuk piloted by a man named Jedediah and his son. They steal his vehicle and belongings, and Max continues on foot, following their trail to the only developed location with power for miles, a community named 'Bartertown.' Initially refused entry because he has nothing to trade, Max is brought before the founder and ruler of Bartertown, the ruthless Aunty Entity. She offers to resupply his vehicle and equipment if he completes a task for her. Aunty explains that Bartertown’s electrical supply depends on a crude methane refinery powered by pig feces. The refinery is run by a dwarf called Master and his giant bodyguard Blaster. "Master Blaster" holds an uneasy truce with Aunty for control of Bartertown; however, Master has begun to challenge Aunty's leadership. Aunty instructs Max to provoke a confrontation with Blaster.

According to Bartertown law, conflicts are resolved by a duel to the death in a gladiatorial arena called Thunderdome. Max enters the subterranean Underworld refinery area to size up Master Blaster and befriends Pig Killer. Accusing Master of the theft of his vehicle, Max provokes him into demanding justice for the insult by entering Blaster into a Thunderdome duel with Max. Blaster dominates the duel until Max is able to use his bosun's whistle to gain the upper hand. Poised to kill Blaster, he refrains after discovering that Blaster has down syndrome and has an intellectual disability. Max refuses to kill Blaster and confronts Aunty for deceiving him, thus exposing her plot. Master, previously unaware of this arrangement to kill Blaster, is furious and vows to shut down the refinery and, by extension, Bartertown. Aunty has Blaster killed, Master imprisoned, and Max exiled. He is bound on a horse and sent off in a random direction through the wasteland. When his mount perishes in a sinkhole, Max frees himself and presses on. Near death, Max is found by a desert dweller named Savannah Nix, who hauls him back to her home, "Planet Erf", a primitive community of children and teenagers who live in an oasis.

The children, descended from survivors of a crashed Boeing 747, were left by their parents who went to find civilization. They believe Max to be the flight captain, G. L. Walker, returned to fix the aeroplane and fly them to civilization. Max denies this and insists that they remain in the relative safety of the oasis, knowing that the only "civilization" within reach is Bartertown. Some of the children, led by Savannah, leave anyway, determined to find the prophesied "Tomorrow-morrow Land." Max stops them by force, but another tribe member, Scrooloose, sets them free during the night and leaves with them.

Their leader, Slake M'Thirst, asks Max to go after them, and he agrees, taking a few of the children with him to help. They find Savannah's group in danger but are unable to save one of the children from a sinkhole. With no supplies left, they are forced to head for Bartertown. The group sneak in via an underground entrance, and, with Pig Killer's help, free Master and escape in a train-truck, destroying Bartertown's methane refinery in the process. Aunty leads the Imperial Guards in pursuit chasing in their postmodern vehicles, catching up to the train. Max's group slows them down while Scrooloose hijacks one of the pursuing vehicles. The group comes across Jedediah and his son, and Max coerces Jedediah into helping his group escape with their aeroplane. Max uses his vehicle to clear a path through Aunty's men, allowing the aeroplane to take off and escape, leaving him at Aunty's mercy. Aunty spares his life, having come to respect him, and departs to presumably make good on her vow to rebuild Bartertown. Max, still alive in the desert, wanders on to places unknown.

Mad Max: Fury Road

In the aftermath of a global nuclear war, former cop now drifter "Mad" Max Rockatansky is captured by tyrannical war-lord Immortan Joe's henchmen known as the War Boys. At his citadel, his long hair and beard are shaven off and he is processed as a universal blood for a sick War Boy named Nux. Max breaks free temporarily and tries to escape. As he tries to escape, his mind is plagued with visions of the people he failed to protect, especially a little girl named "Glory the Child." Trying to hop on a crane to get out, he his recaptured.

Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa, Immortan Joe's best lieutenant, mutinies against Joe by taking his wives to take them to a safe haven called the "Green Place" while on an annual run "Bullet Farm" and "Gas Town." Seeing Furiosa's betrayal, Immortan Joe calls in his War Boys to stop Furiosa and take back his wives. Despite in his ailing condition, Nux goes with the War Boys, but only on the condition that his blood bag, Max, goes with him.

Trivia

  • Mel Gibson didn't go to the audition for the original Mad Max to read for a part, he actually went along with his sister, who was auditioning. But because he had been in a bar fight the night before, and his head looked like "a black and blue pumpkin" (his words), he was told he could come back and audition in three week's time because, "we need freaks!" He did return in three weeks' time, wasn't recognized (because his injuries had healed well), and was asked to read for a part.
  • Mel Gibson got the part of Max Rockatansky while still a drama student. He was paid $10,000.
  • Because he was relatively unknown in the U.S., trailers and previews for Mad Max and The Road Warrior did not feature Mel Gibson, instead focusing on the car crashes and action scenes.
  • Max only has sixteen lines of dialogue in The Road Warrior, and two of them were: "I only came for the gasoline."
  • The Road Warrior was Mel Gibson's favorite Mad Max film.
  • Max's eyes are different in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, the pupil in his left eye is permanently dilated. This is a nod to The Road Warrior.
  • Max's name is only spoken once in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Just after he meets Master Blaster in underworld. Master says "Who you?", Max replies "Me Max".
  • In Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, When Max is giving up his weapons in Bartertown, he gives up Wez's wrist crossbow from The Road Warrior, which he probably retrieved after Wez was killed by a truck.
  • The whistle that Max uses to temporarily disable Blaster is a sailor's Boatswain's pipe still used on navy ships today.
  • A scene was filmed but cut from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, featured Max having a nightmare about his wife Jesse and his son Sprog and he wakes up and he starts crying and begins to realize that he has become like the motorcycle gang that murdered his family. The deleted scene was in the novelization by Joan D. Vinge but the footage of the deleted scene is missing.
  • Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome was intended to be the final chapter of the Mad Max franchise, with Mel Gibson bowing out of the role of Max, and ending with Max regaining his humanity and walking away into the sunset.
  • It's unclear why Auntie Entity didn't kill Max at the end of the Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road was originally intended to star Mel Gibson as Max back in 2003, but because director George Miller ran into problems with shooting locations, and Gibson's interest in The Passion of the Christ.
  • Before Tom Hardy was cast as Max Rockatansky, Jeremy Renner, Michael Biehn, Channing Tatum, Sam Worthingon, James Frecheville and Eric Bana were all considered. The late Heath Ledger nearly got the part before his death in 2008.
  • According to Tom Hardy, he had lunch with Mel Gibson to discuss him taking over the iconic role of Max Rockatansky. Gibson told him that he was fine with it, and gave Hardy his blessing.
  • Tom Hardy suffered a broken nose during filming when Charlize Theron accidentally elbowed him. She was wearing a green arm cast at the time, which was used so the graphics artists could digitally remove Furiosa's arm.
  • The paracord bracelet that Max wears in Mad Max: Fury Road, belongs to Tom Hardy.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road, was the first Mad Max film where Max is credited by his full name, Max Rockatansky.
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