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The Road Warrior Movie Review

max george miller gibson

1981 – George Miller –

If you're looking for a dialogue-driven movie, The Road Warrior is not it. If you want action and base violence, this is definitely the one for you. Set in the post-nuclear world, the film chronicles the adventures of a man who drives the highways in search of fuel for his hopped-up car. And since gasoline is a very scarce commodity, his life is pretty full with just that task. It's a very cold and cruel existence. The roads are prowled by gangs who seek to rule and kill anyone driving something with gas they can steal. Max (Mel Gibson) is sort of a one-man gang, doing the same thing only as an independent agent. He meets a man who has a gyrocopter (Bruce Spence) and is taken to a refinery, perhaps the only one left in existence. The bad guys also want it and Max makes a deal with the refiners. If Max can have all the gas that he can carry, he'll get them a truck so that they can haul their gas past the villains to safety and a better life. Max is finally persuaded to drive the tanker himself.

What makes The Road Warrior an epic? It depicts the epic nature of a great struggle. Even in the future, these good guys and the bad guys are differentiated. But in this film, not only is the real conflict man against man, it is also man against nature, since the movie is set in a desert wasteland and survival must be won not only against the villains but also against the harsh reality of the desert.

The Road Warrior emphasizes action to the near-exclusion of all else. This early performance by Gibson showcases him in a totally different light than the character-driven films like The Year of Living Dangerously, Forever Young and The Man Without a Face. The Road Warrior is also the second of three movies Gibson made playing this same character. The first one was Mad Max (1979), in which he portrays a post-apocalyptic cop out to avenge the death of his wife and kid. The third one is Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985) in which Max becomes a gladiator, is harrassed by Tina Turner, abandoned in the desert, and rescued by feral orphans. Note that director George Miller is not the George Miller of The Man from Snowy River, but is the George Miller of The Witches of Eastwick.

Cast: Mel Gibson (Max), Bruce Spence (The Gyro Captain), Michael Preston (Poppagallo), Max Phipps (The Toadie), Vernon Wells (Wez), Kjell Nilsson (The Humungus), Emil Minty (The Feral Kid), Virginia Hey (Warrior Woman), William Zappa (Zetta), Arkie Whiteley (The Captain's Girl), Steve J. Spears (Mechanic), Syd Heylan (The Curmudgeon), Moire Claux (Big Rebecca), David Downer (Nathan), David Slingsby (Quiet Man), Kristoffer Greaves (Mechanic's Assistant), Max Fairchild (Broken Victim), Tyler Coppin (Defiant Victim), Jimmy Brown (Golden Youth), Tony Deary (Grinning Mohawker) Screenwriter: Terry Hayes, George Miller, Brian Hannant Cinematographer: Dean Semler Composer: Brian May Producer: Byron Kennedy for Warner Bros. MPAA Rating: R Running Time: 94 minutes Format: VHS, LV, DVD Awards: Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, 1982: Foreign Film Budget: $4M.

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