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Mad Max 2 (1981)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
Movie Connections:
Mad Max
> Mad Max (1979)
> Mad Max 2 (1981)
> Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Genres / Traits:
Action, Road Movie, Sci-Fi Action, Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic
Director:
George Miller George Miller
Starring:
Mel Gibson Mel Gibson
Bruce Spence Bruce Spence
Michael Preston Michael Preston
Max Phipps Max Phipps
Vernon Wells Vernon Wells

7.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 15, 2007
Remember how I claimed that the sequel was far, far superior to Mad Max? Well, after watching it again today for the first time in a very long time, I find myself thinking "Yep, I sure remembered that one correctly." This is the film that most people think of when reflecting fondly on the series, as it features all of the classic scenes, characters, and lines. Everything about this one is superior to the original: the action sequences, the performances, the storyline, and hell, even the villains were better this time around.

Taking place five years after the events found in the original film, Mad Max 2 introduces us to a post-apocalyptic world courtesy of two warring nations basically reducing the planet to a smoldering wasteland. There are now three 'groups' of people roaming the earth: the bikers, led by Lord Humungus (Kjell Nilsson), are the type of guys who would murder their own grandmothers for a tank of gas (which is the hot commodity in this world), a handful of peaceful survivors who have grouped together in small bands, and then there are the loners who are simply looking out for themselves. Max (Mel Gibson) belongs to the latter group, and his scavenging ways eventually leads him to another drifter (Bruce Spence) who also happens to own a gyrocopter. This drifter is also rather eccentric, and this leads to the two getting into... well, I guess you could call it a fight, although it was pretty one-sided... and this in turn leads to the gyro captain making a deal with Max.

This deal involves the captain taking Max to a refinery where the gas is in abundant supply. The catch? This place is heavily guarded, and Max isn't the only one who wants a piece of this pie: the bikers also have their eyes set on taking the gas for themselves. To make a long story short, Max ends up helping the refinery workers defend themselves against the bikers in exchange for his share of the prize... and what a battle it turns out to be.

Yes, everything I said up above about this film is true: it's better than the original in every way, save for the exclusion of the Fifi character (man, I loved him). I suppose that's a small price to pay when you consider that with this one, viewers are in for more action, more story, better characters, and a much better performance from Gibson as the road warrior himself. He was also good in the first one, mind you, but this time around, he is the character - never once do you feel like you're simply watching an actor play a part. The supporting cast is also quite good, and although he wasn't one of the main ones, I was especially fond of the "feral kid" (Emil Minty). This actor / character shows that children can actually help a movie instead of dragging it down when done right, a stark contrast to the vast majority of the other films that attempt to go this route and leave the audience simply wanting to slap the kid.

The previous film had some damned fine action sequences, but this one ups the ante in just about every way imaginable. You want a good car chase sequence? Check out the original. You want an epic, over-the-top car chase sequence that ranks up there with some of the best in the history of action films? Pick this one up and prepare to be amazed. You want crossbow shoot-outs, flamethrower torchings, car smashings, and yes, even a razor-sharp boomerang? You'll find all of that and more here, and personally, I couldn't have enjoyed it more.

It's rare that a sequel lives up to the original, but it's one for the books when a sequel comes along that completely blows the original out of the water like this... and that is exactly what Mad Max 2 did. 9/10.
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BuryMeAlive #1: BuryMeAlive - added 06/16/2007, 06:55 AM
Easy Mel Gibson's best movie (in my opinion he made three great ones: Mad Max, Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome) and one of my favorite movies ever. But I can't really put my finger on why I love it so much.
Dametria #2: Dametria - added 06/17/2007, 04:26 PM
This is probably one of my favorite movies of all time. As many times as it comes on late night cable there seems to be an inability for me not to sit down and watch it. The characters are great, the plot is amazing, the action is INTENSE and the ending kicks ass! Ive always been a sucker for the post-apocalyptic movies but this is the one they must all be compaired to.
Bliss From A Dead Embrace #3: Bliss From A Dead Embrace - added 01/30/2009, 01:40 AM
One of my favorites as well. A very well put together movie and a perfect cast.
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