Out of all the trash that people call popular culture, out of all the meaningless, mindless,
moronic movies there are to see at the theatre or rent at your local American-owned home
video store, there are one or two movies that defy the trend. These visionary movies are
obviously cut from a different cloth than the cheap glitz of Hollywood. One of these movies
is The Road Warrior.
The Road Warrior is a dark, prophetic vision of the not-too-distant future. Mel Gibson is
the main man (but you already knew that), and the movie begins and ends with him. The movie
occurs after all the oil in the world has run out, after a struggle between "two great
powers" has left the world in ruins. We begin on a long stretch of highway, and the first
sound is the high pitched whine of a performance engine. The man behind the wheel is Mad
Max, the Road Warrior. Desperate for fuel for his high performance machine (600
horsepower!!), he gets in a fight with some bikers. After dismantling them, a whole bunch
of stuff happens and he is eventually told of a place where there is unlimited fuel
available, a place where it is still being pumped from the ground. But the oil derrick is
surrounded by fortifications, and is being attacked by an insane group of bikers, led by a
dude with a shiny metal mask and a deep voice. Max becomes caught up in the struggle for
freedom between the oil pumping commune and the psycho bikers.
The Road Warrior is the original post-apocalyptic film. Anyone seen Waterworld? How
about Steel Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze? The Blood of Heroes, starring Rutguer Hauer?
They're all rip offs of the Road Warrior. It's the only movie where the bad guys wear old
hockey pads and goalie masks and actually look good at the same time. But seriously folks,
let's put the setting, plot and all the other crap behind us. Let's talk about themes.
This film is the story of a man's struggle for sanity in a crazy world. There is no order,
no sense of up or down - a modern dark age. He turns into a robot to survive, caring only
for himself, driven by the death of his wife and child to roam the wastelands, living day to
day. This man has no future, and he lives for the moment, needing only enough fuel to get
though to another day. Then he meets the oil pumping cartel and the bikers trying to get at
their carefully protected derrick. The commune is the only example of "goodness" in the
film. Will they change Max into a caring human being? Will he save the last bit of good
in a world of violence? Only if there is something in it for his benefit. Max is a man who
cares only for himself and his own advancement. He may fight for good - if it gets him some
gas. He may fight for good - if evil tried to kill him. In short, he is a representation of
all that is wrong with business executives and career people in the world today. He has no
sense of community, no sense of the greater good. The only laws are his laws, and he has no
respect for anything. As I said, the ultimate business executive.
There are many people like Max today, people who are willing to sacrifice family and
friends for their career or personal gain. If you know someone like this, spit on them
the next time you see them. Tell them to watch the Road Warrior, and explain that they
are all that is wrong with society today. And let's get some values in here people! Values!