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*** 1/2 out of ****
After so many years The Road Warrior still remains one of the most
exhilarating action films to ever grace the screen. The car chases are as
excitingly pulse-pounding as ever and no film has yet to surpass the final
chase as the best in movie history. Yes, in terms of pure action, not many
films have been able to equal The Road Warrior's thrills.
The film takes place presumably years after the conclusion of Mad Max. The
world has been devastated by a third world war and has suffered a setback by
he rarity of gasoline. The loner, Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is still
wandering around the Australian wasteland, thousands of miles from
civilization, in search of gasoline. He comes across a gyro-pilot (Bruce
Spence), who tells him of a compound that's producing fuel.
Max brings the pilot along with him and studies the compound from atop a
cliff. It seems a large gang also wants the gasoline and has been besieging
the refinery for a long time now. They are a pack of madmen, led by the
Humungus, a hugely muscular man who wears a hockey mask to cover his face.
An attempt is made by the people inside the compound to find a rig large
enough to haul the fuel but the effort is brought down when Humungus' men
take down all the cars.
Max, finding a perfect moment to strike a bargain, makes a deal with one of
the survivors and makes it to the compound. Eventually, he makes another
deal there, as he tells the people inside that in return for as much
gasoline as he can carry, he'll bring the rig to them. What follows is
classic edge-of-the-seat action entertainment.
Having inspired dozens of rip-offs, The Road Warrior still remains the best
of the bunch due to the great lead performance from Mel Gibson and the
unrivalled car chases, which are very much worth mentioning. The movie
begins with a rousing commentary over the events that led to the destruction
of government. What follows next is a short and exciting car chase. True,
the following half-hour does move by a bit slowly, but it all builds up to a
lightning paced final 45 minutes.
The final chase, in particular, is an exercise in action craftsmanship.
Director George Miller has staged one of the most brilliant and downright
exciting action scenes ever. So many spectacular stunts and on-road carnage
occur during this sequence, to describe it simply wouldn't do it justice.
Miller's cinematography is decidedly Un-Hollywood. He gives us many
breathtaking camera angles, some of which are sometimes a bit shaky, which
serves to make the action even more involving. Looking back at the film
now, it might not appeal to a wide range of viewers. The odd characters
(mainly the villains), ultra-violence, dark tone, and the sparse dialogue
may seem a little too offbeat for some people.
Mel Gibson remains the only world-renowned actor in the whole film. He does
a terrific job as the character Max, one of his best and most interesting
characters. The development of Max is another intriguing component of The
Road Warrior, and serves the film by giving it a human edge by featuring
Max's slow transformation from loner to savior. Not only that, Gibson also
creates a great action hero. There's not a moment in the film when we
aren't rooting for Max to smash Humungus and his gang. Bruce Spence as the
gyro-pilot is decent in his role and offers the film's few humorous moments.
Virginia Hey is also pretty good as the Warrior Woman, and though the script
doesn't exactly give her a lot to do, she plays the part well. Mike Preston
also shows a lot of honor as the compound's leader.
On the other side of the equation are the actors who portray the villains.
Surprisingly enough, though the characters are outlandish, no one ever goes
over-the-top. Vernon Wells and Kjell Nilson are absolutely menacing and
frightening as the lead villains, Wez and Humungus. They personify evil
itself, creating characters who we truly grow to despise.
To be honest, I am a little surprised that the critics enjoyed this every
bit as much as I did. The film doesn't delve very deeply into philosophical
issues and doesn't exactly have a lot of grand things to say. I suppose
with the acclaim this film received goes to show that critics do truly watch
movies primarily for entertainment.
As I mentioned before, the film was the benchmark of a genre that grew in
popularity. The premise of a loner helping a group of people in need has
been used a bit too much now. Most notably is the big-budget flop,
Waterworld (which is a good movie I recommend), though none have yet to
match the outright intensity of The Road Warrior.
Tags for Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior Full Movie
, Max Phipps
, Mel Gibson
, Michael Preston
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