Review: ‘Mad Max 2’

Uncomplicated plot has Max (Mel Gibson), a futuristic version of the western gunslinger, reluctantly throwing in his lot with a communal group whose lifesupport system is a rudimentary refinery in the desert (he needs the gas).

Uncomplicated plot has Max (Mel Gibson), a futuristic version of the western gunslinger, reluctantly throwing in his lot with a communal group whose lifesupport system is a rudimentary refinery in the desert (he needs the gas).

Western parallel continues as the compound is under continual attack from a bunch of marauders led by the gravel-voiced, metal-visored villain Humungus (Kjell Nilsson).

Ever-the-loner Max decides to strike out on his own again, and is saved by his friend the Gyro Captain (Bruce Spence) who swoops down from the clouds, and takes him back to the safety of the compound.

The climactic chase has Max at the wheel of a super-tanker in a desperate flight to Paradise 2,000 miles away (the promised land is the tourist resort on the Queensland Gold Coast, an unexpected touch of black humour). It’s a dazzling demolition derby, as men and machines collide and disintegrate, featuring very fine stunt work and special effects.

Director Miller keeps the pic moving with cyclonic force, photography by Dean Semler is first class, editing is supertight, and Brian May’s music is stirring.

Mad Max 2

Australia

Production

Kennedy Miller. Director George Miller; Producer Byron Kennedy; Screenplay Terry Hayes, George Miller, Brian Hannant; Camera Dean Semler; Editor David Stiven, Tim Wellburn, Michael Balson; Music Brian May; Art Director Graham 'Grace' Walker

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Mel Gibson Bruce Spence Mike Preston Emil Minty Max Phipps Vernon Wells

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