An unspecified time has elapsed since Mel Gibson's road warrior and Tina Turner's Bartertown matriarch parted ways in the desert and in that spell something has rotted inside the loner: we meet a bearded, half-crazy Max (Hardy, looking deliberately but inexplicably younger than when we left Gibson thirty years ago) chewing a live lizard. He is captured by bald, pasty-looking religious nuts and taken back to their canyon citadel where god-like leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) holds the water to ransom.