Mad Max 2: the road warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
Directed by George Miller
Written by Brian Hannant, George Miller and Terry Hayes
(number 288)

Content warning for the dog dying, which is a pity because it’s a really really pretty dog. Also rape, torture and human slavery so… that’s fun.

I didn’t love Mad Max, so I wasn’t much looking forward to watching this one.

On the one hand, the gay people in this are generally shown to be the nutso bad dudes. On the other hand it’s nice that nutso bad dude at the start has a pretty slave boy that he rides around with. I mean. Representation right? It’s this balance I keep seeing all through this list – there might be gay people but they’re probably bad guys. What a fun trope to keep coming up against.

Okay the twist where he hasn’t had any ammo for his gun through half the movie is pretty great. I rated that little reveal.

The on road battles were predictably impressive. Especially knowing that it’s all actual vehicles and stunts, not CGI. I guess this is why people loved Fury Road so much, I can see a lot of echoes of this movie in that one. Just… many fewer women in this one, but the same weird dictator controlling a bunch of people in leather, Max being the reluctant hero saving some more or less decent people and restoring a little bit of humanity to the world. I didn’t much rate Fury Road, but maybe I’ll watch it again after this and see if I appreciate it more.

Does it make me love the people? I mean. Yeah you like Max but only because he’s sort of all right, not because he’s a good person. Only because everyone else is just so much worse. The bad guys are masked, punk, using the strapping people to the front of the car decoration theme. The good guys wear mostly white so that’s easy to tell them apart.

I like feral kid. Feral kid’s got some good stuff going on. Even Gyro Pilot kind of grew on me but those awful teeth were painful to look at every time. (They fixed his teeth up for the big grin he shares with Max.)

Bechdel test: no, no named women, barely any named men. It is very much a sausage fest of a movie though, there’s a couple of a women who are shown to be lovers, or mourning widows or victims. Almost all the speaking parts, the plot points, the exposition is handled by men.

Best line:

Gyro pilot: a man lives by his word I reckon, and I’ve kept mine.

Humungous: I understand your pain my dog of war, we’ve all lost someone we love…

State of Mind: Overall this movie is pretty entertaining. It’s much much more engaging than the first one, and although there are some awful moments of violence overall it looks like the actors were having fun, that the storyline was interesting and easy enough to follow and the script was more clever. Big improvement on the first one, may even watch this again at some point, maybe!

Watched movie count