Mad Max 2 aka The Road Warrior (1981)

Mel Gibson as Max in The Road Warrior. Warner Bros.

After the first Mad Max showed the collapse of society, Mad Max 2 — released in the U.S. as The Road Warrior — could devote itself entirely to imagining life in a wasteland. Director George Miller and young star Mel Gibson delivered a grotesque, vicious, grounded war where gasoline is more valuable than human life.

With a much higher budget than Miller had for Mad Max, it could indulge in the stunning set pieces that the Mad Max films have become known for — and that Miller perfected in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. He sets out to at least rival the previous films with the upcoming Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

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