MAD MAX 2 (1981), in which how to invent a genre, the post-apo !

Avec MAD MAX 2, George Miller change completely optical, propelling the anti-hero in a world that is much more apocalyptic and socially ravaged in the first game. More rules, more police… It is the law of the strongest that counts… That of survival.

MAD MAX 2 can be summed up in the maxim Leoneienna;

“In this world, there are two categories of people. Those who have a loaded gun and those who dig.”

But in Mad Max, it is not the hero who interacts with his world, to shape it, but the universe fucked that interacts with him (cf Mad Max 1). And this time, George Miller has had the resources to grow to their climax the aspects that are most promising from the first movie.

In fact, the most brilliant in the saga, Mad Max, is that the story and the madness of this universe are expressed not by the scenario, or the dialogue, but the scenery, the characters themselves, and the fury of their actions… Constitute a kind of narrative, alternative, artistic direction associated with the mise-en-scene… Quite unusual, but absolutely awesome.

And if this actually applies to every episode of the saga, MAD MAX 2 : THE ROAD WARRIOR is the one that works best on each of the points. Explanations.

The characters

Already, by their looks (Hockey/SM/medieval…), the characters express a degree of madness more or less powerful – regardless of their clan ! Then, instead of interpretation, pure and hard, which gives consistency to the characters of MAD MAX 2 was more of the expression of the body; silence, exuberance, constant arousal, gentleness… attitudes say more than words !

Each of the characters by its mere presence, and before you even say anything, already expresses something that is both ultra-specific and indefinable about her experiences. This experience is in all logic, in the universe, post-apocalyptic, in which each is changing the context in which they are all trying to survive.

For example :

The Gyro Captain – in the Wasteland, be smart, it is either become a leader, either lock it away in his solitude up to the madness – him, bah he chose.

The Feral Kid, wild child : no place for innocence or for learning to cool, in this world of brutes. Result : you’re a kid, you spared not… unless you are an animal. A fact confirmed by the opposite, in Mad Max 3 !

Wez – the underling – a character frappadingue, nemesis at a discount of Max… A character completely stupid, but which also reflects, finally, all the other: in this world, the obsession of the basic may be the engine of survival to be the most effective.

Warrior Woman, the woman’s man : no place for the feminine other than functional, in this world of brutes. Warrior Woman is also underling unidirectional, but side nice, to pappagallo.

Gyro Captain

Feral Kid


Warrior Woman

This post-apocalypse can be reduced in spite of everything, in combat: intelligence VS. strength. Even if each leader of a clan has the pragmatism necessary for the survival and the control of others.

Pappagallo – A character is cursed, which, in spite of him, has the obligation to be a kind of guru and guide, just because he is smart enough and determined. Evidence of the despair reigning in this world of shit.

Lord Humungus – also, guru, but version force – the force did not need a face, but just a megaphone to gain the respect of all !

The time or the intelligence and the machiavélisme of the wicked is something that stands out in the cinema, Humungus is paradoxically one of the most charismatic I’ve ever seen. 10 min max to appear on the screen, 10 minutes of power, determination; 10 minutes will dictate the pace of the film, the actions of the protagonists. And then his style what.

Max is for once, the least readable of the characters !

Renamed unofficially theMan with No Name, it has all of the anti-hero, Leone, mutique, charismatic, individualistic. Max, this is the one that moves, one that has reflexes, Max, this is the tool (or a weapon, in Mad Max 3). Max, this is exactly the character he must be to have a chance to survive.

The scenery

Well, it’s not complicated, y ‘has two : THE WASTELAND and The OASIS. Two sets-characters so logical and iconic that it will be the basis of any post apocalypse-MAD MAX 2 !

The Wasteland, this barren wasteland and empty, expressing the end of any society, any organization, any rule. A vestige (by the lack) of the world as we know it, and an environment to tame. Some choose to live a nomadic life, relying on the force to get out (Lord Humungus and his pack) others choose to isolate by settling. To (re)construct their own world… in MAD MAX 2, it is The oasis.


An islet in the middle of the desert or the characterization that was lacking in the Wasteland reclaims its rights : everyone has a defined function (Leader, soldier, engineer, “breeding female”…); a semblance of society can be envisaged thanks to these two symbols the ultimate reconstruction: the will and the energy (fuel oil): the oasis is in fact an oil).

It is therefore focusing and attention issues. The “good guys” want to preserve it, the “bad guys” possess.For how long ? We don’t know. But their confrontation reaches its climax : a point of desperation for both sides who will explain the madness of their actions !

The action scenes

In the Wasteland, your actions speak for you. So when you’re kind and you’re confronted with a gang of bikers, S/M that captures people to violate/use of windshield… You know from the outset that if you want to get out of it, you’re gonna have to go all out. Kind really. This is why each action must be furious – your life depends on it.

The action scenes of MAD MAX 2 are real movements of fury, but always logical, and motivated by survival. They could outright be considered as protagonists in full as they have personality !

The movement is precisely this that gives them their power. Lawsuits, leaks, races, the film only stops the time to ask a few stakes, or the time of a dramatic storming.

Between waterfalls, phenomenal, sensation of speed, until the end-ism of the sequences, inventiveness, evocative power of the scenes…

These action scenes are just: perfect.

Moreover, it is exactly this that suggest the many trailers of Mad Max 4: return to this fury.

Prior to reviewing this trilogy of Mad Max, I was afraid that the fourth episode relies too much on its action scenes… In fact, this will not be a problem as long as Miller will retain this way of using the imaging-general to tell his story.

Pushing the coherence between the three aspects above-mentioned to their maximum via the art direction and mise-en-scene, George Miller was free from the constraints of film basic (scenario, or interpretation), to create his own narrative by the universe, by the pace and intensity of each action.

It has managed to create his own imagery: as a charismatic, ultra-dynamic, symbolic, iconic, UNIQUE.

MAD MAX 2 : THE ROAD WARRIOR is, in the image of the first Carpenter, this film, even 30 years later, makes you reconsider permanently a part of your own culture.

And yes : without MAD MAX 2 : THE ROAD WARRIOR, this works great as Gummn, Fallout 3, Ken the Survivor, The Road or even Bellflower and a bunch of others, N’ ‘T EXIST !!!

“MAD MAX 2 is the film that manages to make you reconsider permanently a part of your own culture”

For the moment, it is said that FURY ROAD will surpass perhaps this second episode on the realm of the mise-en-scene, the sight of the fury trailers. And then, when there is this mysticism subtle that emanates from the last two trailers, we can also imagine a real coherence between artistic direction and scenario. However, it will not have any of the following, it is this originality that is timeless – the mark of the true masterpieces of cinema.





– The pancreas of the Poster Posse for MAD MAX : FURY ROAD

– COMPETITION : lots of prizes to win

Original title : Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Production : George Miller

Screenplay : Terry Hayes, George Miller, Brian Hannant

Main actors : Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells

Country of origin : Australia

Released : August 11, 1982

Duration : 1h37min

Distributor : Warner Bros.

Synopsis : In a future not defined, the oil reserves are exhausted and violence rules the world. Max, a former road safety, goes to the rescue of a community of peasants struggling with pirates of the road. The battle focuses around a tanker to refinery.

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