The Road Warrior/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Since Mad Max: Fury Road is coming out soon, I decided to rewatch the first two films as preparation. As I said before, I prefer the original Mad Max since it has a much darker and more realistic attitude about humanity and how someone deals with it. What about Mad Max 2? From what I remembered, I thought it was okay...but not as great as original one. I decided to watch it again recently. For various reasons, I now think it's incredible.
The plot is about Max (Mel Gibson), who has become a hard-boiled drifter on the desolate roads of Australia. His life is still aimless until he finds a small community in the Outback desert that have a lot of oil. There, not only does he help them fight a savage gang, he also finds his humanity again. Before I go any further, let's take a look at the narration at the beginning of this film:
"My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos... ruined dreams... this wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called "Max." To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time... when the world was powered by the black fuel... and the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now... swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war, and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel they were nothing. They'd built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed on men. On the roads it was a white line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice. And in this maelstrom of decay, ordinary men were battered and smashed... men like Max... the warrior Max. In the roar of an engine, he lost everything... and became a shell of a man... a burnt-out, desolate man, a man haunted by the demons of his past, a man who wandered out into the wasteland. And it was here, in this blighted place, that he learned to live again."
This narration is fantastic. Although it was created for the worldwide audience that had no idea what was going on after the first film (to explain further, this scene doesn't appear in Australian version). Also, the popularity of original Mad Max in US wasn't that great, so they decided to create this opening scene. It sums up perfectly the film's setting and character's background. Plus, an oil epidemic is emphasized since it motivates the many characters to do things revolving around fuel.
Besides the fantastic scenery and exciting car chase sequences, another thing I really like about The Road Warrior is the characterization of Max. We see a progress of his behavior and opinions as the story goes on. At first, he trusts nobody and his only companion is a dog. But he has to get through many obstacles. From his meeting with a guy named Gyro (Bruce Spence) who at first wanted to rob him, to his fatal car accident...our hero learns to appreciate humanity and friendship more and more. Perhaps the main factor that drives Max to look on the bright side again is this quote from tribal leader named Pappagallo:
"Do you think you're the only one that's suffered? We've all been through it in here. But we haven't given up. We're still human beings, with dignity. But you? You're out there with the garbage. You're NOTHING."
This quote teaches us that whenever we have problems, sometimes it's better to share it with friends. This way we not only know that there are many people out there who have problems similar to ours, but you can also find a way to fix things easier. It teaches us that humans are social creatures. We can't just be a lone drifter in our life.
I really enjoyed this film more than when I watched it the first time. It's a highly exciting action adventure classic with an important message about natural resources and mankind.
Nuttawut Permpithak hails from Thailand. He spends his free time watching exploitation films (or any films from the past) writing articles, taking photos and reviewing films for GCDb.