5 Reasons Why Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior Totally Rocks!

The-Road-Warrior1

This post is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur – Dystopian Movies. Be sure to check out all the reviews in this feature by heading over to MovieRob.

Before the days of smearing blue paint over his face and going commando in a kilt (hey, let’s not judge), Mel Gibson roamed the barren, post apocalyptic wasteland in a Ford Falcon.  Of course, this is a reference to Gibson’s breakout role in the Mad Max movies which launched the actor into stardom. Let’s put on the breaks for a minute and take a rear view mirror look at the most popular movie in the Mad Max franchise. Here’s why 1981’s Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is totally awesome.

1. Dystopian Is Not A Bad Word

There’s no shortage of dystopian movies but that doesn’t mean all of them are worth watching, in fact some are bogged down by implausible high concepts. What makes the dystopian world in Mad Max work is the straightforward explanation. It’s not too far of a stretch that mankind’s destructive nature and the world at perpetual war caused civilizations to crumble. At the same time, the backdrop is distinctive for its open desert roads where gasoline for vehicles is essential to survival.

2. Pedal To The Metal Action

The basic story of Max rescuing a small oil-rich community from crazed bandits sets the framework for the high-octane action. The opening scene quickly grabs your attention by putting you in the driver’s seat. Between the quieter moments are fiery explosions and wild car crashes, it’s impressive knowing these were done using good old fashion practical effects. There’s an epic multi-car chase which runs a tad long but it’s tightly choreographed and never falls off the rail. It’s not all car chases either, finger-slicing boomerangs and mounted flame throwers keeps viewers expecting the unexpected.

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 3. Man Behind The Madness

Director and writer George Miller is the man behind the Mad Max franchise. Miller’s vision for his post apocalyptic sandbox is a harsh, desolate location that resembles the wild west frontier.  As quickly as Miller creates a pit-of-the-stomach unsettling scene he surprises us with a rare flash of humor. With little dialogue, Miller tells his story visually.  Even in non-action scenes camera shots are rarely locked down, maintaining this action driven movie’s sense of momentum. It’ll be interesting to see how Miller will push the visual style further in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road where he’ll have an arsenal of modern CGI effects to play with.

4. Max Learns To Live Again

As Max, Mel Gibson exudes an intensely charismatic presence. There’s a dark, deep loss from Max’s past that is captured in Gibson’s eyes.  Max may be a man of his word but he can’t be counted on doing the honorable thing. Max’s fractured faith in humanity is defined by why as much as what he’s escaping or driving away from.  It’s a little ambiguous at the end whether he’s driven by revenge or if it’s a selfless act of saving those in need. Either way, his murky motivation adds nuance to this cinematic anti-hero.

mad-max-2-1981-mel gibson

5. Music To The Apocalypse

Australian composer Brian May happens to share the same name as the British Queen guitarist but there’s no mistaking his great musical score. It’s simply riveting. In much the same way that Miller’s uses visual cues such as a close up shot to inform what is significant, it’s telling when the music soars. The orchestration adds to the on-screen drama, even more so when characters have little dialogue and the action is center stage.


These are just five of many reasons why The Road Warrior is worth watching. Are there any other reasons you think should be added? How excited are you for Mad Max: Fury Road?

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About Eddie@Jaccendo

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on May 9, 2015, in Movies, Review and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I’m intensely excited! And I haven’t seen any of the originals!! So, if you only had time to watch one before going to see Fury Road, would it be this one? Just…..hypothetically….

    • Hey Tom, I’m super excited for Fury Road, based on the trailers. 🙂 I actually haven’t seen any of the originals until I just recently watched Max Max 2 for the first time. It was recommended by a few other bloggers as the one to watch before Fury Road. I think it’s a good choice, it’s light on story but has other cool stuff going on.

  2. Thanks for participating Eddie!

  3. Grog the Ginger

    I hadn’t seen any of the originals until I recently watched the trilogy. Road Warrior was easily my favourite. That feral kid was awesome! Great post!

    • Totally agree that feral kid was awesome. I’ll probably check out the other movies soon. Thanks for checking out the post and commenting! 😀

      • Grog the Ginger

        The first one hasn’t aged well but it’s still fun because it’s not quite as mad. The third one kind of went off the rails and forgets about the cars. Both have problems but I’d still recommend both of them.

  4. abbiosbiston

    I am so excited I could vom. Mad Max + Tom Hardy??? I am so fricking sold. Bring on Friday!

  5. Mad Max 2 is one of the few sequels I can think of that is even better then the original.
    It definitely benefits from a bigger budget and its setting in an even bleaker post apocalyptic world. This film is like a well-oiled machine, and after all these years, it still gives me chills.

    • A well-oiled machine is a great way to describe this film. It holds up pretty well. I like the setting of the barren desert landscape and the action can be intense. I haven’t watched the original yet but will get around to it eventually. Thanks so much for commenting!

  6. Haven’t seen this yet as I was on vacation but just about to post my pal Ted’s review and he agrees w/ you that it’s awesome 🙂

  7. I apologize for not reading this, but I have not seen this and Im going to be seeing it in theaters This Summer. I have yet to see the other ones as well and I hope to see Fury Road as well I did nominate you for a Liebster Award. https://videovortex.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/the-vern-honors-some-great-online-critics/

  8. Reading this is like another kick to the balls. I feel like such an outsider for not having seen the original Mad Max movies!!!

    Oh one thing though, pretty sure Mel Gibson isn’t an aussie 😛 I am interested to hear how his accent sounds though, I haven’t heard any actors from abroad nail our accent. They always sound horrible!

  9. Haha, no worries I actually only watched the 2nd of the original Mad Max movies for the first time a few weeks ago. Good catch, thanks for letting me know about Gibson, I’ll be sure to fix it. Funny thing is, he doesn’t have much dialogue in The Road Warrior. 😀

  10. Great write up.
    I have watched this many years ago and wasn’t that impressed. I was more astonished with Terminator. I watched it around the same time as terminator

  11. The best of the original trilogy for me. One of the great dystopian films and great looking piece of work. Great article!

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