I’m Just Here for the Gasoline
When I went into watching Mad Max, I was very excited. I had a mad hankerin’ to watch that movie. That did not work out well for me. But I was already committed, and I already own the sequel, so what was I to do? Obviously, I was to continue reviewing! I was also not very comforted when I saw that this movie has an even higher rating than the first movie, even though this movie has a perfect 100%. The super high rating that the first movie got didn’t help me, why would it change anything for this one? Am I going to be the first professional critic to hate this movie? There’s only one way to find out. Let’s review The Road Warrior, aka Mad Max 2, written by Terry Hayes and Brian Hannant, co-written and directed by George Miller, and starring Mel Gibson, Kjell Nilsson, Michael Preston, Bruce Spence, Emil Minty, Vernon Wells, Virginia Hey, Arkie Whiteley, and Max Phipps.
The world is, like, so dystopian it’s like not even funny. Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) has kept on truckin’ around the wastelands of Australia in a seemingly endless hunt for fuel that he uses to power his car to further search for fuel. Eventually, he comes across the captain of an autogyro (it’s like a helicopter thing … also he’s played by Bruce Spence), who he takes as his prisoner when the pilot tells him of a community with nearly unlimited funds of fuel. While surveying the community, Max finds that they’re being threatened by a gang lead by ‘roided out Jason Voorhees called “The Humungus” (Kjell Nilsson). Max gets inside and makes a deal with their leader, Pappagallo (Michael Preston), to bring them a semi-truck that they can use to carry their fuel north to safer lands.
I agree with Rotten Tomatoes insomuch as I feel this movie was better than the first one. It was okay, but I still don’t think it’s earned that 100%. The story was less confusing, though no more atypical. At least it wasn’t as best I could tell, because parts of the movie seemed disinterested in allowing you to hear the dialogue. There were parts of the movie that I only realized were intended to be dialogue because the subtitles were on. Then the story was decent enough, but nothing spectacular. It was just Max wanting to find a truck so he could get gas for his car. The action was still decent, and this time they added a few action scenes that were more up my alley: gun-shooting and face-punching! So I found it more interesting in that respect as well.
One problem I had with the first movie is that Max was always set up to be such a badass in my mind and I never really saw in that movie. He gets to do a little bit more of that here. At first, he’s a pretty simple lone wolf type character that just wants to be left alone. Not a very charismatic character choice to be sure, but it works for the badass part. Then he starts getting his heroic notions towards the very end of the movie, and that unleashes more of his badassness. I was also a little excited to see Bruce Spence in this movie, but mainly just because I recognized him from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. His character in the movie came a little too close to comic relief for my tastes for me to really enjoy that part of it. Emil Minty’s character confused me too. He was basically a little monkey boy with a boomerang. I didn’t find him particularly compelling, which I feel like they could have fixed if they gave us a little backstory about why he was a feral little boy that hung out with people all the time.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is a start on the path towards being what I actually expected the Mad Max movies to be. The story is okay, but nothing special. The action was decent, and the world finally looked like a dystopia instead of just looking like Australia. And Max finally started to act like a badass and not just a regular dude that was a little upset with the world. There were some sound issues with the movie, but the movie itself was sound. I would not necessarily recommend this movie for a watch just because you might want to watch the first movie first, and I still don’t recommend that. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior gets “It’s MY snake. I trained it; I’m gonna eat it!” out of “I am gravely disappointed.”
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