Quick Movie Review: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)


During a time where sequels were, more often than not, much worse than the original, we get a rare helping that improves on its predecessor. It fixes itself in all the necessary areas. We’re given the background that was missing from the first film, the struggle for oil is more obvious, and the premise is more clear.

In Mad Max 2, Max (Mel Gibson) wanders along the empty highway when he hears of a small community that is an oasis of oil. He infiltrates their gates and helps them ward off the heathenish biker gang that is attempting to take everything they own.

Many times in a sequel the characters have hit a wall as far as development. They learn all they have to learn in the first film, and the second film just shows them facing a new adventure with nothing new to be taken from it. But here, Max continues to develop as he realizes that he’s not the only one with a loss and that there may actually be a purpose for him other than serving himself. Even though he still leaves his friends despite this realization, this forced predicament is needed in order for him to learn a valuable life lesson.

While the first film feels really anticlimactic, this one knows where it’s going and we are more invested because of it. In the broad spectrum of things these movies don’t have much reliability to our own lives, but watching a respectable hero can be motivating alone.

The action is even better-choreographed and the effects are more impressive, but there is still that same issue that the first film had of trying to stretch its script too thin. The dragged out fight scenes, where the characters cumulatively fire an average of one shot per minute, not only lower each party’s chance of winning, but increase our anxiety.

Although I wished that the filmmakers had connected the events in this film to the first, I have to say that it’s significantly more entertaining and much less disorganized.

Twizard Rating: 83


Quick Movie Review: The Evil Dead (1981)

I’m not a huge fan of the horror genre. I like the unique ones, but the ones that exist purely for shock and awe are useless to me. The Evil Dead definitely falls into that category. Don’t let its legacy fool you. Full of bad editing and gore for gore’s sake, this movie borderlines pointless for me. There’s never any surprises, and the characters besides Ash are annoying and never learn from their mistakes. I start off interested but never feel satisfied with the unfolding of events and the unfulfilled plot elements.

The movie just drags on and the plot is stretched way too thin. They even attempt to waste time at the end by elongating the deaths of the creatures. Most of the film is either boring or gross. The only time it gets slightly interesting is when Ash is all alone towards the end. 

I will say that the art was pretty good, especially at the end, but overall the concept is empty and the movie never gives us a reason to worry about the fate of the characters–other than the fact that the music tells us too. I understand that The Evil Dead is supposed to be a cult classic and all, but I just didn’t get any fulfillment out of it, nor a whole lot of laughs. And it leaves me asking the filmmakers why Ash doesn’t get possessed along all with the others.

Twizard Rating: 48