the best australian film i’ve ever seen, and one of the best post-apocalyptic films of all-time. it’s so spare and economical, yet it sticks in the mind like a larger film might. plus, there are few films that make me want to drive real fast more than this one. the modified falcon that gibson drives is just such a cool car – it kicks ass on the road, but only because that’s the most practical possible configuration. i want that car. beyond the car, the film is solidly built from top to bottom. none of the performances are stilted, the production design is nearly flawless, the direction is spare and taut, the music is large and looming….the writers said they discovered joseph campbell’s “hero with 1,000 faces” after making mad max and wanted to explore campbell’s idea of the universal hero further by making road warrior. i’ve never read the book, but gibson is a martyr character of sorts who, in the end, sacrifices his own self-interest for that of the group. beyond that, i’m not sure how he fits the campbell mold.
if i had to isolate one strength of the film i’d probably highlight the production design. the setting is perfect for the post-apocalyptic world and the sets and set pieces bolster the sparse, dirty, and rugged themes of the film. abandoned and destroyed vehicles, the boomerang throwing kid and his custom mitt, the “northern tribe’s” fort, the raiders’ weapons and outfits, etc. all round out the idea that the world is only a shadow of what it once was. this is a film that sticks in your mind because of how unique and visionary it is.