This 1981 action/adventure is an absolute must have for the true movie lover. It's the second of three in a series, and although I've never seen the first one, I can say that this one puts the third one to shame. The Road Warrior is Max, played by a young Mel Gibson, an ex-cop struggling to survive in the post-apocalyptic backroads of Australia. Civilization as we know it is on the brink of perishing, as gangs of men terrorize the highways in pursuit of the most valuable commodity in these times: gasoline. Max happens upon what appears to be the last of the civilized world, a group of 20 people banded together raising chickens who also happen to be producing petroleum. While producing this petroleum, this group find themselves forced to live barricaded from a savage group of motorists that surround their fort-like community and the petroleum producing facility it contains. Max makes a deal to help them find a way out of this home that has become a prison, but his life is on the line if he can't complete his mission.
The casting is perfect, as is the story, dialogue, plot, script, wardrobe, and cinematography. Even after twenty years, it is still one of the best action movies you'll find out there.
On a side note, after its release, it won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards for best foreign film. It was also France's Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival winner for 1982, and in 1982, the Australian Film Institute awarded it for Best Direction, Best Achievement in Sound, Best Achievement in Production Design, Best Achievement in Editing, and Best Achievement in Costume Design. It was, of course, also the movie that made Gibson an international star.