The Road Warrior (also known as Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior) is the 1981 Australian sequel to the 1979 classic Mad Max. The Road Warrior is a post-apocalyptic action movie written and directed by George Miller. Mel Gibson reprises his role as Max Rockatansky. The Road Warrior was well received by critics and considered one of the best movies of 1981. The movie was a worldwide box-office success and launched Mel Gibson into stardom. The Road Warrior film is 95 minutes long.
The Road Warrior movie (aka Mad Max 2) takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting in the Australian wastelands, following a global war and the collapse of civilization after the Earth’s oil supplies were nearly exhausted. Barbaric Bandits have taken control of the environment and make life a living hell for a community of survivors living in a gasoline refinery.
Mad Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson), who is now a shell of man, broken and battered, and traumatized by the death of his wife and son. He wanders the wastelands in a beat up, black turbocharged V-8 pursuit special police car, scavenging for food and gasoline. He has only his pet dog and his sawed off shotgun from his MFP police days to help him survive.
After Max drives off a gang of bandits led by the unstable Wez (Vernon Wells), he runs into a strange man called the Gyro Captain (Bruce Spence), who has a self-built flying helicopter type vehicle. The Gyro Captain, much like Max is also a wanderer and in the same predicament teams up with Max and they both arrive at the gas refinery community.
Max and the Gyro Captain watch as “The Humungus” (Kjell Nilsson) and his marauders that he leads, threatens the settlers to surrender the facility in exchange for safe passage out of his territory.
A group of settlers in the community agree with Humungus, the large muscular man wearing a hockey mask and exit the compound only to be captured, tortured, raped and killed by his gang of marauders.
Max makes a deal with the remaining survivor who is about to die and brings him back into the compound in exchange for some fuel. The setters led by Pappagallo (Michael Preston) refuse the deal with Max and accuse him of being scum much like the bandits are. They also keep his pursuit car from him.
Soon after Max makes another deal with Pappagallo, which involves him driving a semi-truck, capable of hauling the tanker trailer that the settlers use to store the fuel they refine, in exchange for gas and his freedom. Max successfully retrieves the semi-truck, returns to the compound only to leave the community of settlers, who try to persuade him to stay with them, and escape to a supposedly more pleasant environment.
The loner Max departs in his old police car only to be ambushed by Wez and his gang members. Max is seriously injured, his car is wrecked, and his pet dog is killed. Max is left for dead, rescued, and brought back to the refinery compound by the Gyro Captain. Upon Max’s return to the compound he offers his help to the settlers to escape to freedom, with the fuel tanker attached to the truck he will drive, and rid themselves of The Humungus bandits.
The Road Warrior film: The Review
Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior) in much of the same way as Terminator 2: Judgment Day improved upon the first movie. The cars, trucks, and motorcycle chase action scenes are more intense and thrilling. The violence, brutality, and body count have been turned up a notch. Mel Gibson is great as the heroic warrior Max. He has more depth to his character in this film. You get to see Max in this film start out as a bitter soulless loner haunted by his demons of the pasts and not wanting to associate with anyone. He gradually finds purpose in the The Road Warrior as being somewhat of a savior/liberator of people who can’t defend themselves against the evil and strong of the wasteland. He achieves a way of redemption and learns there’s a reason to live on by film’s end. He is still mentally and physically damaged, but becomes a symbol of the ultimate survivor.
The antagonists in The Road Warrior, in my opinion are better than the first film. The costumes they wear, that consists of hockey masks, football shoulder pads, war paint, leather, animal hide are all very cool. The stunt men used in the film for its action sequences were great. Some of them were injured during the filming. No CGI was available to them back then and they risk their lives filming all the great action scenes. Much like the first film it doesn’t really tell you what continuity Mad Max 2 takes place. The movie starts off with an awesome prologue sequence giving a background on world events and what has happened to Mad Max. You as the viewer are left to wonder how far in the future The Road Warrior film takes place after the events of the first movie.
The Humungus guy played by a Swedish body builder, Kjell Nilsson is really menacing and cool. Vernon Wells as Wez, the mohawk haired, leather-clad and an extremely evil biker was also a great villain. Wez was Lord Humungus second in command.
Wez defies his orders from time to time. He isn’t very loyal and it would have been cool if they added a scene with him fighting Lord Humungus. The scene where Wez disobeys The Humungus just shows them arguing and then getting put in a stranglehold by Lord Humungus.
Wez was a big guy too and I think he could have put up a decent fight. There is something funny about Wez and his bikers that is implied and not mentioned in dialogue in the Road Warrior film.
It might come to your attention that Wez and his bikers are gay. Wez carries around a little blonde buddy of him that later gets killed by The Feral Kid (Emil Minty). Wez was the best villain of the movie series. Bruce Spence as the Gyro Captain provides the Road Warrior film some quirky humor. I thought it was kind of gross that he ends up with one of the settler’s daughters in the movie.
The girl looked underage and The Gyro Captain with his rotten teeth and being much older just made that scene un-realistic albeit a bit funny. For a child actor I thought Emil Minty did a good job as the grunting and growling Feral Kid that doesn’t speak. Not knowing the kid’s background story since it’s never said in the dialogue. You can pretty much tell that the Feral Kid suffered some early trauma and that’s why he doesn’t speak.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior has a great soundtrack done by Brian May. I’m not talking about Brian May the famous guitarist from the Rock Band Queen. The sound effects are also very well done, which are all loud and awesome on my receiver when watching my Blu-ray version of this film. The picture has been cleaned up too from the original DVD release. It looks great on my 1080p HD TV. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is the best of the trilogy in my opinion and has great replay value. The film also has a great message in that trauma isn’t an excuse for quitting on life. Mad Max is a hero for the ages!
The Road Warrior film review: Done by Rancel
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior 1981 Trailer
Filed Under: Action
About the Author: Hello and welcome to Rancel's Movie, TV Show, Animated Films, and Japanese Anime Review Website. I love writing, watching films (especially foreign cinema and horror), playing video games, listening to music, repairing computers, and spending time with people I love. I have always been into the world of cinema, animated films, and TV series. So now as an adult I am an amateur film reviewer and intend on getting a degree in journalism.