The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2) (1981)

9.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 10/10

Last 20 minutes are awesome


Movie Info

Movie Name: The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2)

Studio: Warner Bros.

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/B-Movie

Release Date(s): December 24, 1981

MPAA Rating: R


Just me, my dog, and the road

Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) finds himself alone and on the road after the death of his family and finds that the already lawless land is getting rougher.  When Max finds settlers protecting a working oil refinery, he agrees to help free get the settlers to safety and confronts the gang menacing their compound.

Max Max 2 was directed by George Miller who directed the first Mad Max.  It is obvious that this sequel had a bigger budget and looks great.  Fearing that not enough people had seen Mad Max in the United States, Max Max 2 was released as The Road Warrior.  Critically, it was received very well and genuinely liked by audiences and most of the major critics.   It really gained popularity in the late ’80s with repeat playings on cable.


Your bases are belong to us!

Like The Road Warrior‘s sequel, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, it isn’t horribly necessary to see the previous film to get The Road Warrior, but it is interesting to see it to witness the crumbling of a society.  Over the course of Mad Max and this film, you see attempts to gain control by the failing government have all but disappeared, and Max…once a lawman…is now an outlaw (if any law even exists).

Like Mad Max, The Road Warrior is filled with big over-the-top villains, car chases, and crazy deaths…It just does it bigger and better.  The final car chase in the movie is one of the best car chases on film, as Mad Max tries to haul a tanker through the desert with the gang pursuing him in hopped up cars.  It is fast, furious, and fun.


We’re just trying to be friends!

Mel Gibson also does a great job as Max.  He is very downplayed, but also presents a shattered guy (somewhat physically by the end of the movie).  He is a man at the end of his luck and he cares so little about his life that he’s willing to do what he has to do with it to spare others.

Mad Max 2 is one of the classic examples of a sequel that surpasses the original.  The Road Warrior did suffer from the fact it was played into the ground in the ’80s and ’90s on cable, but it also did (as mentioned) give it more of a name recognition.  I recommend giving it a fresh look (and on Blu-Ray if you have the option).  It is a great movie and a classic.  The Road Warrior was followed by Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985.

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Related Links:

Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max:  Fury Road (2015)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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