Rapid Review: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

mad max 2 poster

“I’m just here for the gasoline.”
– Max Rockatansky

SYNOPSIS: A former police officer is now a lone wanderer, traveling through a devastated Australia after a nuclear war looking for now-priceless petrol. He lives to survive and is none too pleased when he finds himself the only hope of a small group of honest people running a remote oil refinery. He must protect them from the bike gang that is terrorizing them whilst transporting their entire fuel supply to safety.   – via IMDB

mad max road warrior bite to eat

GRADE 7.5Alrighty, on to the second installment of the Mad Max franchise after the none-too-fantastic first outing. The Road Warrior is definitely more Mad Max as I remember from a kid. Probably because this one is more memorable and stands out more, and really is put together quite well, with insane characters and excellent action. Plus Mel Gibson was looking pretty darn fine here, if I do say so (imagine that). There was more plot to this one than the last, which I enjoyed, though it is still nothing incredibly deep or super awesome or anything like that, it is enough to keep you engaged and entertained. What I am incredibly confused about is the S&M bondage gear that seemed so popular, especially with bad dude leader Humungus (plus his Jason-style hockey mask?). Uhm, alrighty then… if they do so insist. Besides that he looked absolutely ridiculous (truly), he was not a particularly grand villain, either, which was a pity. I always love a grand villain. I think more could have been done with him here. There are still some issues with this one, but overall The Road Warrior gives us Max as expected – disenchanted with the world, wandering, looking out purely for himself, smart and wily, a survivor, and bitter. He is one that will fight and come out tops, who slips in and out of the lives of others, but will ultimately always be the wanderer. The movie was shot well and the score worked for it, and Mel Gibson was fantastic here, so much more confident and comfortable in his role. This movie was also pretty rough in places, not really holding back on some pretty gruesome scenes (at least not seen completely, but there was a rape scene which was more than just alluded to), and I was rather surprised about that. I liked the uneasy “friendship” that developed between Max and The Gyro Captain, it added funny moments to the movie, and the post apocalyptic future they are living in looked quite good – barren, dry, dusty wastelands. It is not difficult to understand why this is the most popular of the original movie trilogy, as it is definitely a solid film on its own, well constructed, entertaining, a decent story and some pretty awesome action sequences and has that element of crazy (though presented and structured far better than the first film). I would highly recommend this one, and you can definitely skip out on the first one and just watch this, they don’t really follow too much anyway.

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15 thoughts on “Rapid Review: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

  1. abbiosbiston says:

    I love the craziness of this movie and you are totally right about Mel looking fine back at this time… you know before he went totally mental!

    Liked by 1 person

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