Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior Review

This is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s no secret that I thought the first Mad Max was dreadfully awful. Well, unfortunately this one isn’t much of a step up. It’s still a film that is pointlessly bleak at all times with no corner of hope for any of the characters. You can survive in this future as best you can but you certainly can’t thrive here. The instant a dog showed up as one of the main characters I knew the film was doomed. It’s all downhill right from when the film starts so at least this isn’t a surprise. I will say that the poster is really good though, feels like a completely different movie!

The movie starts with a big flashback/narration explaining what happened in the first film. Considering that not a lot happened I think they could have sped this up but the film is really big on being as dramatic as possible. The opening and ending narrations are both very long and do well to lower your expectations. From there we see Max who is minding his own business with his beat up car when he’s attacked. He fends these guys off but then finds himself in the middle of a skirmish between two gangs.

One is a violent group that goes around terrorizing everyone. They’re all intent on causing as much terror and destruction as possible with no real goal beyond that. Their objective right now is to steal the fuel from the other group though so they can go back to committing mindless destruction against everyone else. The group on the defense seem nice enough but their group is split on fighting back or running off. Both options will lead to their ultimate destruction so they aren’t keen on either plan. Ma will end up being the deciding factor here. They manage to get his car and also have all of the fuel so if Max wants to go anywhere he will have to barter with them. Nobody can trust anybody around here so we’ll see how that goes.

It’s easy to see how so many people became crooks here though because there is absolutely nothing to do in this world. The entire planet is covered in sand and dust. It’s got to be one of the most depressing futures imaginable. Not only is there no sense of government or humanity so you’re surrounded by thugs everywhere you go, but there don’t even seem to be human essentials like stores and such. You’re stuck scavenging for your own things for the rest of your life which is as bleak as it gets. Seriously, it’s hard to have any fun in this place.

Max isn’t intending on having any fun though as he is still depressed from the events of the first film. I can’t say I blame him because the world has only gone south since then. At least in the first film it felt like there was still a civilization. Maybe it’s just the area that the second film takes place in but any civilization appears to be long gone at this point. There isn’t much to say about Max because he doesn’t say much and barely has any real character. He’s certainly not awful but he’s not that good either. The kind of character you forget even exists really.

None of the villains are any good. You’ve got Humungus as the leader of the group and the best thing I can say about the guy is that he is very strong. Nobody’s going to mess with him, that’s for sure and he chokes out the one villain who started to get out of line. Other than that, he’s just another thug trying to make a name for himself. Wez is much worse as the guy is one of those crazy types who only barely manages to get through his missions without going overboard.

The villains were just bad here because they had no real personality. The leader is the strong guy and Wez is the crazy guy. That’s the extent of their character here and I never got very interested in what was going to happen to them. This just isn’t that kind of film and that’s a shame. To make a good villain you’ve got to give them a solid goal or just make them generally charismatic. Some fun dialogue and a few good lines would have gone a really long way here.

As for the other group, well you have two main members. There’s Papagallo who could have been an action hero in a different movie. In this one the guy is still in the leadership role and makes the tough calls but he’s not all that likable. I’ll give him some points for being one of the most developed characters in the movie though, maybe even the most. You can at least see that he has some rationale behind his decisions and he certainly earned the unofficial title as leader. When the group needs a decision, then he comes through.

Then there’s the kid who can’t talk yet and acts like a wild animal. Well, he’s certainly savage enough and lands a lot of good blows so that’s impressive. His skills with a boomerang can’t be denied. Not really my kind of character but he proves helpful which is important. Then you have the gyro captain (I don’t think he ever got a name and this is what Wikipedia refers to him as so I’ll take their lead here) who goes from being Max’s fugitive for a while to actually helping out in the end. He definitely came in handy since aerial mobility is huge in a fight like this. In a car battle one wrong bump can take you out but in the air it’s hard to counter.
So those are the characters but I was less than impressed with them. As mentioned earlier, there is some animal violence here which really doomed the flick. You should not have a dog die in your film…ever. It’s just never going to end up being a good move and ends up backfiring horribly! Definitely a regrettable move. I mean, the film was going to get a low score regardless because I didn’t really like anything about it, but this ensured that it fell almost all the way down.

At the end of the day, the deck was really stacked against the film. I don’t care for the desert environment as it is. Then you’ve got a futuristic world with absolutely no high tech concepts which is missing the point of a future based film in the first place. I would also make the case that the film barely has a plot. Yes, we have to protect the fuel and Max just wants to get out of there but that’s a 20 minute plot, not a whole film’s worth.

Overall, I would give this film a hard thumbs down. Max Max is really not a film I would recommend. Even the newer films tend to not look very interesting but maybe it will eventually break out. The issue is that I feel the series would need a complete revamp in order to be good and that’s not likely happening anytime soon. If anything I’m sure that would be extremely controversial.

Overall 1/10

Mad Max Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be even more negative

It’s time for one of those films that has always been known as one of the worst. It’s always an interesting experience to go into a film knowing that there is over a 95% chance that it’s going to be terrible. Well, Mad Max certainly lived up to the hype. There is no real plot and the writing is worse than an Adam Sandler film. There are no redeemable qualities for this film whatsoever and right away you can tell that this film is going to be a chore to get through. If this film was intending to be good then it failed miserably but if deep down its intention was to be known as the greatest mess of a film during its time, then perhaps it succeeded. Either way, I think we know what the score is going to be here.

The film starts off with the corrupt cops knocking each others cars over and getting steamrolled by two random crooks in a car. Nobody in this film knows how to drive and that point will keep on getting brought up over the course of the film. If the villains even so much as try to turn, then the heroes get knocked over because they can’t do the same. The cops nearly lose this round, but the villain randomly crashes and blows up. Now there is a biker gang on the loose who are trying to avenge the other villains and go around blowing up cops and murdering towns. Max, being the hero that he is, decides to run away and leave the rest of the cops to fend for themselves. He takes his family to an abandoned part of the forest where nobody can possibly help them and then runs off again. They’re murdered and now Max has to try and avenge them. Thing is, if he wasn’t even remotely intelligent prior to this..is he smart enough to finish off the job?

Where to start with this film? First off, the writers should clearly rethink their careers because the story is as nonsensical as it can be. There is no focus to the story as its just the bandits messing around with everyone. They might even have more screentime than the main lead and half of the time it’s just them acting obnoxious and yelling a lot. Nobody even makes any logical moves. Take Max for example. Since he was a cop, he knows all about the biker gang and how they target anyone they come across. This also seems to be common knowledge across the country in this alternate future. Why would he possibly leave his family alone once they made it to the woods? This area isn’t far from all of the biker gang attacks after all so he should have gone with them. Even once he meets up with the family, he deserts them again in the very next scene to check out the forest. Finally, when he is trying to murder all of the bikers, he falls into their very obvious trap. Maybe if the film was trying to portray him as an unintelligent person then it would be decent writing, but this is clearly not the intent. Nobody looks smart here and unless this is a film that’s actually taking place in the past and everyone’s a caveman, then it just doesn’t work.

The rest of the cops? Don’t worry about them since they never actually get a role in the film. Like I said, over half of the film is about the villains and the last 15-20 minutes are about Max’s payback. Nothing else that we see in the film is ever important and most of the scenes can be considered as filler. An important thing when constructing a universe is to make sure that everything makes sense. If you live in a society where there is no law and you’re in constant danger, then everyone should always have a gun at the ready. If driving fast is essential to staying alive, then you’d expect people to know how to drive right away. Yet, nobody actually acts like they live in the world that they’re set in. Characters act as if they’re in a normal world and are then surprised when they are constantly attacked.

Mad Max is also a very mean spirited film as you might expect. The villains have their way with everyone and the heroes always suffer very slow deaths or fates worse than death. This film is quite graphic and dark. There’s never any actual happy scenes so instead the film plays the happy tunes when the main character tortures and murders the villains. Definitely shows you what the writer was thinking while writing this. It’s definitely a film that is trying its best to be as edgy and over the top as possible. It definitely succeeds in that regard and with all the shock value thrown into the film I suppose it was never trying to have any sort of quality anyway. This is the kind of film that you can chuck into the can within minutes. I can’t imagine being in the theaters for a film like this. You’d be dashing to the front to get your refund so fast that you’d be a blur. The problem is that everyone else would have the same idea so it would still be tough.

At least the film has a soundtrack so I suppose I should see that as a silver lining, but since the sound director had no idea what he was doing, the music is placed in all of the wrong scenes. It never actually makes sense and I get the feeling that the person in charge of the music didn’t actually watch the movie. Smart idea actually so he’s probably the smartest guy on the team. I can’t really put too much blame on the guy as a result.

There’s not too much more to say and bash about Mad Max since you get the drift. If the characters are poorly written, the plot is nonexistent, the music isn’t placed correctly, the writing for the universe and everything in it is terrible and the script is terrible…what is left for the film? Even the scenery is rather bland as it’s just a bunch of roads and we don’t have any cool buildings. Everything is torn down and old, just like this film. You can get to snoozeville before you actually find something interesting about this film. If the writers couldn’t be bothered to make an actual story why would you even want to try to find one? There is nothing to be found here, only despair and decay.

Max Max’s main incentive for viewers is to see a revenge story. It’s supposed to be exhilarating because they make villains that are really mean and then you get to see the hero become just as mean as he destroys them all. It’s just such a poor way to try and create a plot. Revenge fantasies are just no good as the “hero” ends up becoming just like the villains in his mad quest for vengeance. Still, it’s a popular writing technique for writers who don’t know what else to do because it is extremely easy. Just have a bunch of tragic things happen that causes the hero to snap. You could come up with a plot like this in seconds and that’s likely what the creative staff here did. You could probably come up with a better plot and script in a few minutes than what we got in this film.

Overall, This film is definitely a disaster. It’s the kind of movie that you play to get everyone to shut off the TV and save electricity. There’s no enjoyment to be found here and you’d have a lot more fun just taking a nap or watching a show about paint drying. Sure, paint drying is the classic example, but at least it’s so much of a meme that it would still be a little entertaining as you just space out. I don’t have any real hopes for the sequels to be honest, but how much worse can they get? I know that a film can always get worse, but you do really have to try to be this level of bad. Next time you think of watching Mad Max, remember that nobody deserves to have to watch this film. That’s just how bad this movie is.

Overall 0/10