Road Warrior, The

WSR Score5
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Warner Home Video
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Color With B/W Sequences
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Not Indicated
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George Miller
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Road Warrior, the sequel to Mad Max, is a full-throttle futuristic action thriller that features Mel Gibson as the legendary lone heroic warrior who leads a nomadic life in a post-nuclear age. Not only is he haunted by the tragic memories of his family, but he is continually pitted against evil and vulgar barbarians who rape and pillage the region. Fueled by his hatred for these murderous villains, Max's resilience surfaces in his determination to seek revenge for his family and his honor—making Mad Max one of the most awesome anti-heroes of all time. (Gary Reber)

Special features include an introduction by Leonard Maltin; commentary by Director George Miller and Cinematographer Dean Semler; and the theatrical trailer.

First reviewed in Issue 10, the LaserDisc was transferred severely off vertical center and reframed at 2.46:1. The DVD's anamorphic and letterbox aspect ratio reviewed in Issue 25 was 2.42:1. The DVD exhibited film grain and other apparent noise in the picture. In the anamorphic mode, the DVD exhibited dramatically improved sharpness and good detail. Though resolution was good, it was not superb, and color saturation was generally poor. As with the previous Blu-ray Disc™ release, this remastered 2.39:1 AVC picture is superior to all past releases, with rich and vivid hues, for a picture that is strongly saturated. Fleshtones are perfectly natural throughout. Contrast is well balanced with decent black levels and shadow delineation. Overall, resolution is quite good with nicely detailed imagery. This is the best that The Road Warrior has ever looked and is certain to thrill fans of this classic. (Gary Reber)

The DVD credits indicated the soundtrack was remastered in Dolby® Digital 5.1, but in reality the DVD often sounded limited to 2.1, with the .1 low-frequency effects delivering powerfully deep bass that is almost constant. Otherwise, there was hardly a signal in the two surround channels. The LaserDisc Dolby Surround matrix PCM soundtrack by comparison was aggressive in the surrounds and provided a nicely enveloping surround presence at all times. The DVD experience was very uneven and sounded thinner as well. While the new remastered DTS-HD Master Audio™ soundtrack does not engage the surrounds for major effects, or even the music, at all times the front two channels sound much wider and spacious. The roar of engines and explosions have an effective .1 LFE energy. Brian May's wonderful orchestral score sounds authoritative and nicely defined with excellent instrumental timbre. The music at times extends to the surrounds. While the dialogue is sparse and a bit muted, spatial integration is excellent. Intelligibility is greatly improved. Overall, this is the best the soundtrack has ever been presented. (Gary Reber)