Saturday, March 14, 2015

Movie Review: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

In 1982 an amazing movie came out called The Road Warrior. My wife and I went and saw it in a theater in downtown Seattle (since demolished). The movie stared a then-unknown (at least in the U.S.) Mel Gibson and was directed by the then-unknown (at least in the U.S.) George Miller.

What very few people knew was that outside the U.S. this movie was called Mad Max 2 and was a sequel to a very popular (at least outside the U.S.) movie called Mad Max. Sitting in the theater 33 years ago, I remember thinking that parts of the opening montage looked as if there were from another movie. They were: from Mad Max.

There's a new Mad Max movie coming out soon called Mad Max: Fury Road which appears to be a re-boot of the series. At least it's directed by George Miller. Because of that, I decided I wanted to see the original Mad Max 2 (the best of the three Mad Max movies) again. I got it from Netflix on Blu-Ray and watched it a couple of days ago.

When I first saw Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior in the theater, I was shocked by the violence. Admittedly, this was one of the first R-rated films I'd ever seen (the other being Saturday Night Fever which wasn't exactly violent). The rape/murder scene early in the movie haunted me, for instance.

Now, by today's standards, Mad Max 2 is rather tame. The rape/murder is hinted at and hardly shown. There is minimal blood and gore. Most of the violence is car crashes. You know there is violent death happening but it is often hinted at and you are allowed to fill in the blanks. I believe this is one reason why this is such a powerful and exciting movie.

Mad Max 2 still is fun and amazing to watch. It's edge-of-the-seat exciting. It's lost some of its edge over the ensuing years but it's still very well done. There are a couple of times you have to not think too hard. The roads are in great shape for a post-apocalyptic world, including recently graded dirt roads. The diesel truck has an air starter that probably wouldn't work very well after it had been sitting for who knows how long. But those are small quibbles.

If you want an exciting, fun time, this is a great movie to revisit.

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