|George Miller Director||previously directed Mad Max|
The sequel to Mad Max, The Road Warrior was released in 1981 and follows Max Rockatansky in his attempt to help a small community defend, and escort their fuel supply from a group of bandits.
The name Mad Max 2 was dropped from the title for North American distribution. It was believed that due to the original having a limited US release, using the term Mad Max 2 would gain little attention and maybe also cause some confusion. Outside of the US it was commonly known as either 'Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior' or simply 'Mad Max 2'.5 More Trivia
Referred to as backstory at the beginning of the movie.
|Mel Gibson||Max Rockatansky|
|Bruce Spence||The Gyro Captain|
|Max Phipps||The Toadie|
|Kjell Nilsson||The Humungus|
|Emil Minty||The Feral Kid|
|Virginia Hey||Warrior Woman|
|Arkie Whiteley||The Captain's Girl|
|See Full Credits|
A 1981 action film set in a post-apocalypse directed by George Miller and helped launch the film career of star Mel Gibson. This is the sequel to the cult classic Mad Max following Max as he searches for gasoline among an Australian wasteland. After stumbling upon a small refuge that is pumping oil and refining gas themselves he soon finds himself helping them escape the evil gang that has been harassing them with violence.
The world has gone into an energy crises after the majority of the Earth's oil ran out. With no alternative energy to replace it, the world soon died to a crawl and all order broke down. The majority of places are controlled by gangs and outlaws who scour the wasteland searching for anyone with gas and stealing it from them.
Max Rockatansky is a former police officer who has lost everything after a gang ran down his wife a child. After the pain of such an event, Max is now a shell of a man burnt out on the life he leads. He, like almost everyone else, must search for food, water, and, the most valuable resource, gasoline in his V-8 Pursuit Special. We first see Max already being chased by a gang seemingly led by Wez, Max is able to defend himself long enough to scare Wez and the remaining gang off and begins salvaging leaking gas from one of the vehicles.
With some more gas in his tank, Max begins the search again for more of it. He stumbles upon what appears to be an abandoned autogyro in the desert. As Max deals with a snake on the autogyro, its pilot springs his trap, catching Max off guard. The pilot is about to take all of Max's gas when Max's dog bursts out of the car window forcing the pilot to drop his gun. To save his own life from Max the pilot reveals he knows of an oil refinery nearby with plenty of gasoline.
The pilot leads Max to a cliff overlooking the refinery but it isn't safe. The refinery is being harassed by the same gang that has been chasing Max earlier. The gang's leader, Humungus, is a grotesque man but one who is articulate and appeals to the peaceful protectors of the refinery to give themselves up to avoid bloodshed. The refinery refuses any deal and night begins to fall.
Max waits out the night and witnesses four refinery vehicles leaving their compound. The gang quickly is on top of them even as the four vehicles separate and go in different directions. One of the vehicles comes Max's way only to be disabled by the gang. Max and the pilot watch on, horrified, by the brutality of the gang as they rape a woman and force the other dying driver to watch. Max cannot watch any longer and surprises the remaining gang members and kills them, saving the dying driver. Max makes a deal with the man, Max will take him back to the refinery in exchange for as much gas as Max can carry.
Max's deal isn't what he thought it would be when after he enters the refinery compound the man dies and the refinery's leader, Pappagallo, tells him his deal was only with that man. The settlers in the refinery are about to kick Max out when the gang returns, forcing them to handcuff Max up. Humungus makes a speech to the settlers offering them safe passage out of the wasteland in exchange for their fuel and the refinery. With Pappagallo stuck between the offer, some of his settlers wanting to leave, and needing a way to escape Humungus, Max strikes a deal with him. Max will recover a semi-truck he found on the road, which would provide the settlers the abillity to take thier gas out on a tanker, in exchange for as much gas as Max could carry.
The settlers keep Max's car and Max sneaks through the gang's surrounding lines around the compound and reaches where he expects to find the pilot still handcuffed on the cliff. Instead he finds the pilot pulling the large branch he was cuffed to in the desert and the two go and retrieve the semi. The pilot is ecstatic about being freed by Max and partners up with him, providing Max cover in his autogyro as he drives the semi back into the compound. Now preparing to leave the refinery they offer Max to come with them and to drive the semi through the gang but he refuses. Still scarred from the loss of his family Max takes his gas and leaves in his car.
Despite his driving skill Max is unable to escape the gang still sitting outside the refinery compound. On the road Wez is able to wreck Max's car injuring Max pretty badly. Max is able to crawl away as two of the gang members scrounge for gas, when one discovers Max he kills Max's dog. Just as he is about to fire one more arrow into Max, the booby trapped gas tanks on Max's car explode. With Max barely living and Wez retreating back to the rest of the gang, the pilot spots the smoke from the explosion and decides to check it out just in case Max is alive.
Max is alive and taken back to the compound where he recovers. He offers his driving to the settlers partly to get revenge on the gang. The semi truck bursts out of the compound and is instantly being chased by the entire gang. Just as the majority of the settlers sneak out the compound after the gang is gone, a few gang stragglers enter the compound and begin setting up home, unaware in a few moments the refinery is rigged to explode.
With Max driving down the highway the gang slowly but surely begins to fall into the gang's hand. One by one the settlers defending the rig are killed including Pappagallo. Even the pilot is shot down by one of the arrows. Max is able to fight the gang off long enough to keep driving. But with Wez clinging onto the grill Max spots Humungus ahead of him. The semi-truck and Humungus' vehicle smash into one another causing the semi to roll over off the side of the highway. The remnants of the gang and Max are some of the only survivors and notice the tankers secret, it was full of sand.
The pilot finds Max with his still drivable gyro and recuses him. The settlers had taken the gas in smaller tanks themselves and the pilot would go on to lead the settlers for years on their new home on the coast. Max would not go with them remaining in the desert becoming a drifter once again, alone.
This film was received highly by critics and has influenced films since its release. It's depiction of wastelands and post-apocolypse society can be seen today in movies like The Book of Eli and in games like Fallout. The film did take a slight departure in tone and setting from the original Mad Max film but is regarded as a much better one by some and certainly, partly due to the originals lack of publicity, was the more financially successful one. To this days The Road Warrior is considered a highly influential movie as well as one of the greatest movies of all time.
Screening Room: 02/23/11
Rorie and Alex are joined by Ryan to talk some "angry driving" flicks including this weeks movie club pick, Road Warrior.
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