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Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2 (original title)
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In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1,922 ( 83)
8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Preston ...
Pappagallo (as Mike Preston)
Max Phipps ...
Kjell Nilsson ...
Emil Minty ...
Arkie Whiteley ...
Steve J. Spears ...
Syd Heylen ...
Moira Claux ...
David Downer ...
David Slingsby ...


A former Australian policeman now living in the post-apocalyptic Australian outback as a warrior agrees to help a community of survivors living in a gasoline refinery to defend them and their gasoline supplies from evil barbarian warriors. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In the future, cities will become deserts, roads will become battlefields and the hope of mankind will appear as a stranger. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 May 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,527,864 (USA) (21 May 1982)


$9,003,011 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints) (as Dolby Stereo)| (70 mm prints)


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The breed of Max's Dog is a Australian Cattle Dog or "Blue Heeler". See more »


After Max mans the flamethrower and helps turn away the marauders, there's a brief shot of him looking back into the compound. This shot is from earlier, when he was cuffed to a railing. (The crossbow turret can be seen to his left.) The flamethrower turret is to the left of the crossbow, so the crossbow should be on his right. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos... ruined dreams... this wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called "Max." To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time... when the world was powered by the black fuel... and the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now... swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war, and touched off a blaze ...
See more »


Referenced in Robot Chicken: Yogurt in a Bag (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Classic Action Film...
21 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For those who have not seen any of the Max Max films, do yourself a favor and get to your local rental store. Max Max 2 or The Road Warrior as released in the United States, is undoubtedly one of the greatest action films I have ever seen. Starring a young Mel Gibson, who plays the title character, Max, this film is practically at the pinnacle of action films, surpassed only by a few select others. But moving on, this movie quite simply rocks! The setting is a post-apocalyptic world where fuel is hard to come by and so is human life, for that matter. Max, having moved on from tragedy in the first film, (you really shouldn't be reading this if you haven't seen the first one) has now become a Road Warrior, wandering the desert landscapes aimlessly. He eventually finds a small, surviving settlement with a surplus of fuel. However, the town is repeatedly terrorized by a gang of outlaw motorcyclists, led by Lord Humungus. Through a series of staggering events, Max becomes involved with the town's efforts to finally rid themselves of the biker gang. The performances are good enough to propel the film forward and Mel Gibson does a great job reprising the role he made famous in the first installment. The embittered Max and the hopefuls in the town play well off each other and bring dramatic character interaction, uncommon for many present action films.

But of course, the film's scenes of brilliance arrive in the form of its action sequences. The action is choreographed well and Max is unrelenting as are the members of the biker gang. The ending sequence is one of the most memorable action portions I have ever seen in any film, past or present. The music played throughout balances and abets the action sequences, adding a furious intensity. Even scenes with the motorcycle gang feature hard-metal rock that suits the tone of the film well. Needless to say, the film seriously delivers all the way to the finish line.

The shots of the post-apocalyptic world are frightening and barren, giving a glimpse into what could be. Panoramic shots of the wasteland are featured and even signs of hope are doled out by the camera crew. Of course, this film's true merit will always be its action but where other action films fail with sloppy camera work and boring characters and plot lines, Mad Max 2 succeeds, giving the great journey of a debilitated man and a secluded group. And through all these components, Max Max 2 rises above the rest of the films in the action genre.

Ultimately, this film is one of the best action films of all time. It doesn't place all its eggs in that basket, mind you; it features memorable characters, a well-developed setting, and an incredible story. It belongs to a select list of films where a sequel outdoes the predecessor. Max Max 2 is better than the first in every way and stands out on its own as an exceptional action film.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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