My favourite action movie of all time has got to be Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, or—as it was known in Canada when it first hit theatres in 1982—The Road Warrior. I remember walking out of the Granville strip moviehouse I saw it in—I think it was the Vogue—and feeling like everything I saw and heard around me seemed a little more vivid than it did two hours earlier.
It’s the same sort of mental buzz I would get four years later from one of my all-time fave horror flicks, The Hitcher.
There’s something about brilliantly shot, suspense-stoked chase films that just does that to me, I guess.
After getting so righteously blown away by Mel Gibson’s heroic drifter Max in The Road Warrior I checked out the character’s debut in 1979’s lower-budget Mad Max, and was equally impressed. I wasn’t so thrilled by his third appearance in 1985’s overblown Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, but maybe that had something do with that equally overblown Tina Turner tune.
Anyway, if you’re the type of person who’s been jonesing for a reboot of the thrills you got from Max back in ’82, you may find them in the fourth installment, Mad Max: Fury Road, which is slated for release next year. It’s directed by the same guy who did the first three, George Miller, who talked a little about Fury Road at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend.
“I love chase movies; I think they’re the purest form of cinema,” he said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “That’s where the film language started. I wanted to make one long, extended chase, and see what we could pick up about the characters along the way.”
This time around, the Mad Max character is played by Tom Hardy, who played the villain Bane in the last Batman flick.
Whether he’ll be able to bring the same amount of gritty charisma to the iconic role that Gibson did remains to be seen.
But we can always hope.