Friday, December 16, 2016

Sci Fi Top 100, #61: "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior" (1981)

Movie Stats:
Released 1981 (Australia)
Australian, in English
Director - George Miller
Stars - Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells

Plot Summary:
In the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Australia, drifter Max (Gibson) runs afoul of a nasty gang and discovers a group of people refining oil. Spence co-stars as Max’s sort-of-sidekick The Gyro Captain and Wells as a member of the gang, Wez.

Violence; gore; female nudity (breasts only); rape (mostly offscreen/non-graphic); very minor blue language. (IMDB claims there’s a scene where a woman’s crotch is shown but I don’t recall that.)

Bad Stuff:
It’s a little thin on plot, although it frankly has more than Fury Road does.

Hated the soundtrack.

Although it’s not a long movie, I got bored. Maybe I didn’t see the crotch scene because I started playing a game on my phone. It’s a lot of “drive around a kill people/destroy things.”

Good Stuff:
The action sequences are pretty bad ass.

It’s actually a little bit funny. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but amusing in parts, especially when The Gyro Captain is onscreen.

I really enjoyed the cinematography. It's stark but beautiful.

The Verdict:
I never saw this before, so it was interesting to see it after Fury Road and recognize that Fury Road paid homage to it. The plot lines are relatively similar without being exactly the same, unlike another recent sequel I could name (*cough* The Force Awakens *cough*). That being said, I thought it was just okay. It’s a solid action movie, full of a lot less of the ridiculousness that plagues modern-day action movies, and the practical effects are really cool. Other than that, though, there’s not much to it. There’s no message. Nor is there much character or world building. It’s not a thoughtful film. Not that it was intended to be, but, I don’t know, it simply didn’t grab me. Perhaps too many action movies in the 35 years hence have copied it, which made it feel rote to me.

I give it 3.25 stars.


Patricia said...

Still standing at zero for number of Mad Max films seen. I was going to watch Fury Road, but only after I had caught up with the others, and I never got around to catching up with the others, so there you have it. I suspect if I would have seen Mad Max at a certain age, I would be all in (a la my love of Point Break) but since I did not, I may never get around to watching these films.

balyien said...

I've never been a fan of the Mad Max 'verse. I saw Beyond Thunderdome (the one with Tina Turner) when I was a teenager and thought it was dumb. Only saw Fury Road because of all the praise it got. It had great special effects/looked cool but had virtually no plot. The Road Warrior has only slightly more plot. Yeah, I don't get the love. I don't think you're missing out.