It is impossible to overstate my love for "The Road Warrior" (1981). The original Mad Max (1979) is a very solid B-movie made for about a million dollars, Austrailian (About a half million US at the tme). Solid, but not brilliant, it's still a triumph of an inventive storyteller getting around his limitations. In no way did it prepare us for "The Road Warrior," however, which was made for about $1.5 million Australian (About $750,00 US) and remains arguably one of the best action films of all time. It is als unquestionably the greatest postapocalyptic film ever made, and, it has been argued, the best western, too.
And it is really a western at root: Hero without a name - or barely a name - ends up between the good prarie folk and the bloodthirsty savages. Substitute "Gay Bikers on Acid" for Indians, and awesome weirdo musclecars for horses, and there you go: Everything old is new again. Don't even have to squint very hard: most of the gay bikers have mohawks and wear warpaint. Curiously, the question of whether or not it's a racist film has never come up. I find that an odd oversight.
But the fact remains that it is a movie I've seen more than a hundred times, and apart from some minor technical quibbles (A camera overcrank here, a too-jittery shot there), it is a perfect film.
Mad Max III was a hollywood film with a budget of around $40 million US, and it was terrible. I was always interested in the diea of another sequel, but I held out no hopes. The magic was lost, clearly, and George Miller went on to do "Happy Feet" and "Babe" and other stuff, and when the world is composed of talking pigs and pro-environmentalist penguins, is there ever anything left for the simple, beautiful things in life, like 30-minute real-time chase sequences using only practical effects and actual strategy, with awesome performances and minimalist dialog? No. No, there is not. Everything in the world ends up corrupted and destroyed by Tina Turner and/or a pig that thinks its a dog.
Or so I thought.
Yes, folks, I believe. Moreso, I now realize that for 30 years, I've been subconsciously hoping for this.