George Miller | 1981 | 91 mins | Australia
I can't believe it took me this long to see the goddamn Road Warrior.
When I watched and loved Doomsday earlier this year amid the flurry of critiques about whether it was an "homage" or a "rip off" of Mad Max, I kept saying to myself "you've really got to finally see Road Warrior". It took a few months, but here we are!
Handsome, young Mel Gibson reprises his role in the original as the lone wanderer, scavenging for (now-priceless) petrol in the devastated wastelands of Australia's outback.
He finds a compound of good people running a small oil refinery and becomes embroiled in their efforts to transport their gas to safety without getting killed by a vicious post-apocalyptic motorcycle of punks in terrifying gimp masks and ass-less chaps (they're more awesome/scary but no less gay than I'm making them sound).
Chock full of amazing car chases, death defying crashes and at least one totally incredible explosion sequence (that must have comprised about 75% of the film's budget), Mad Max 2 is really quite awesome (and incredibly topical in our peak-oil obsessed world).
Leave it to the Australians to be 20 years ahead of the game in terms of pithy social commentary in their action flicks. After the third Mad Max joint, director George Miller went on to do The Witches of Eastwick. His most recent film was Happy Feet. What is he trying to tell us about women and the environment that we just aren't ready to hear yet?! His next project is Justice League: Mortal. Clearly the end is nigh.
Perhaps I overdid that tangent. The point is: am I telling anyone anything they don't already know about the Mad Max franchise? Probably not. Am I encouraging you all to rent a copy of this and watch it on the largest TV you can find? EMPHATICALLY YES.
Next up on my "catching up on things I should have seen already" list: Babe: A Pig in the City.