Film: The Road Warrior

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Film:

The Road Warrior

Director: George Miller
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: Warner Home Video

A strong candidate for the designation of most thrilling action movie ever made (the turbo-charged exhilaration of its full-throttle highway chases has never been equaled), the second part of George Miller’s post-apocalyptic trilogy is also a magnificently imagined movie myth. Like the Star Wars trilogy (by that other George) the Mad Max films draw their inspiration from the works of mythologist Joseph Campbell. In the 1979 original, Max (Mel Gibson) is a policeman, the last guardian of civilization and order in a devastated world reduced to chaos.…

Reviews

Amazon.com

A strong candidate for the designation of most thrilling action movie ever made (the turbo-charged exhilaration of its full-throttle highway chases has never been equaled), the second part of George Miller’s post-apocalyptic trilogy is also a magnificently imagined movie myth. Like the Star Wars trilogy (by that other George) the Mad Max films draw their inspiration from the works of mythologist Joseph Campbell. In the 1979 original, Max (Mel Gibson) is a policeman, the last guardian of civilization and order in a devastated world reduced to chaos. But when a leather-clad gang of sadomasochistic speed demons mows down Max’s family, his remaining connections to humanity are also permanently severed. After brutally exacting his revenge, Max wanders off into the wasteland alone, “a burned out shell of a man” who (to paraphrase The Searchers) is destined to wander forever between the winds. In The Road Warrior, Max rediscovers a sliver of his shattered humanity, and a spark of redemption, when he helps an embattled colony of pioneers fight off the savages who are after that most precious of all commodities: “guzzline.” Max is transformed into a legendary hero, just as Mel Gibson was catapulted to international movie stardom. With its final stirring images, The Road Warrior transcends its genre (whatever that may be—science fiction? Western? action adventure?) and becomes something timeless. It’s a great movie. —Jim Emerson

Barnes and Noble

Picture life after the apocalypse, and most likely, the vision will be the one found in director George Miller’s high-octane sequel to 1979’s Mad Max: the image of the Australian outback as a ravaged wasteland populated by packs of car-crazed nomads has imprinted itself indelibly on moviegoers’ imaginations. In Road Warrior, the western goes punk, and the lone horseman becomes a leather-clad Mel Gibson tooling across a barren frontier in his car, defending a ragtag band of survivors from the tribe of ruthless scavengers who want their oil. Led by a faceless, magnum-armed giant known as Humungus, these savages battle settlers, not for land or livestock, but for fuel—it is car culture taken to its most violent extreme, and director George Miller’s riveting, breakneck-speed car chases are legendary. Mel Gibson, in the role that catapulted him to international stardom, is perfect as the stoic drifter; with Road Warrior, his Max entered the pantheon of mythic movie heroes. Regina Raiford

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