Mad Max is an Australian dystopian action multi-media franchise created by George Miller and Byron Kennedy. It began in 1979 with Mad Max, and was followed by three films: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). Mel Gibson starred in the first three films and Tom Hardy took over the titular role in the fourth film.
The series follows the adventures of Max Rockatansky, a police officer in a future Australia which is experiencing societal collapse due to war and critical resource shortages. When his wife and child are murdered by a vicious biker gang, Max kills them in revenge and becomes a drifting loner in the Wasteland. As Australia degenerates further into barbarity, this skilled warrior of the road finds himself helping pockets of civilisation, initially for his own self-interest, but his motives always drift into more idealistic ones.
The series has been well received by critics, with each film marked “Certified Fresh” on the movie review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. Furthermore, the series has also had a significant influence on popular culture, in particular apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction. In 2016, Mad Max: Fury Road became the first film of the Mad Max franchise to receive Academy Award recognition, being nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for George Miller, and winning six of its ten nominations.