Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Film Review--The Road Warrior

starring Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Virginia Hey, and several Australian/British actors I've never heard of and you probably haven't either.  Plus Bill Zimmer as "The Beav."

Mad Max (Gibson), a lone wanderer in the post-apocalyptic wasteland that is Australia, comes across a small bastion of good, honest people who are guarding a trove of the most precious commodity left: gasoline.  But there is an ugly biker gang willing to kill each and every one of them for the fuel.  Can these people convince Max to help guide them to safety with their tanker full of petrol?

I've been on a kick lately of viewing films from my youth.  The Road Warrior is such a film.  I used to love it, the post-apocalyptic vibe combined with cars and trucks tricked out into mobile weapons.  In college, I even wrote a term paper on the entire Mad Max trilogy, discussing how it applies to the philosophies of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau.  You know, man reduced to a state of nature and then behaving little better than the lowest of animals, then inevitably forming new tribes, then communities out of the ashes.  
Today, my affection for the film has waned.  Rest assured, I still believe it to be a fine piece of work with an artful and surreal atmosphere to it combined with kick ass action.  I just cannot enjoy it that much for it seems too close to becoming a reality for my tastes.  In the Mad Max films, there were wars that helped to ravage the globe and a nuclear exchange of one magnitude or another is alluded to.  Despite that, major reason cited for society's downfall is that the oil ran out.  We are perilously close to that today and...if I may be so bold...nearer to our own Mad Max scenario.  An additional reason for my dwindling affection for this film is...let's just say it involves a dog.
Yes, I used to love it.  It's easy to love a movie like this when you're 18 and have no one to worry for or protect besides yourself.
Addendum: Fans of Farscape will enjoy seeing Virginia Hey as a warrior woman.  
It also occurred to me that the character of Mad Max may actually be saner than the real life Mel Gibson.

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