Director George Miller's follow-up to his own 1979 hit Mad Max is proof that not all sequels are inferior to their originals. If anything, this brutal sci-fi action film is even more intense and exciting than its predecessor, although the state of its post-apocalyptic world has only become worse. Several years after the deaths of his wife and child, Max (Mel Gibson) has become an alienated nomad, wandering an Australian outback that has fallen into tribal warfare conducted from scattered armed camps. After a road battle with psychotic villain Wez (Vernon Wells), Max meets up with the odd Gyro Captain (Bruce Spence), who takes him to the camp of a sympathetic group led by Pappagallo (Mike Preston). As Pappagallo's people are camped at a refinery, Max plans to take their oil -- more precious than gold in this world -- but eventually joins them to fight a band of marauders led by the evil Humungus (Kjell Nilsson). The stunning climax features a heart-pounding chase scene involving an oil tanker-truck and a frenzied rush for the coast, with Humungus and his forces in hot pursuit. Nilsson is a scary villain, with huge muscles and a sinister pre-Jason hockey mask, but the stunt work is the key here, and it is more flamboyantly dynamic than ever, edited at breakneck pace and staged with manic fury by Miller and stunt coordinator Max Aspin. Savage and kinetic, Mad Max 2 is a must-see for action buffs. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
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