Mad Max: Fury Road Movie Review
Like one of its souped-up, spike-wearing, machine gun-carrying, Big Foot Buggys, racing through the desert, the action in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD takes off at an exciting energetic pace. As soon as the film begins, the audience is nearly left in the dust. Thankfully, writer and director, George Miller, craftily throws a long enough rope for the audience to grab and hang on to for dear life as they are dragged through a wildly rockin’ ride.
Relentlessly intense, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is the best action film in years. The premise is simple. Furiosa (an impressively tough Charlize Theron) has driven off with War Rig, a large tanker vehicle that carries precious water and fuel along with a dozen defensive accessories, stylized like any good post-apocalyptic MAD MAX film should. The most important cargo, however, are the five wives, or breeders, fleeing from the ruthless evil leader, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, the villain, Toecutter, from the first MAD MAX), who will stop at nothing to get his baby makers back. A mysterious prisoner, Max (Tom Hardy), finds a way to escape, teaming up with the truck full of powerful women, helping them and himself to survive.
For nearly two hours, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is basically one amazing chase scene with numerous death-delivering vehicles and plenty of insanely colorful characters, all fighting (or flaming guitar playing) through eye-popping action sequences. Breathing life and energy into every scene, the action speaks for itself, telling all the story that is necessary.
It has been thirty years since Australian native George Miller has revisited his MAD MAX franchise starring Mel Gibson. Having directed BABE: PIG IN THE CITY, HAPPY FEET, and HAPPY FEET TWO, one might think the talented filmmaker had lost his edge. But his fourth installment of the famous post-apocalyptic future doesn’t miss a beat, stepping in with the same raw tone of the originals. Obviously, the higher production level is much more polished and Fury Road is a natural progression for this world to reach.
The highest praise that I can give MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is the fact that everything looks so real. The high flying stunts on a variety of wicked looking, mutated vehicles through a vast desolate desert is authentic. By minimizing and blending the special effects and CGI to give the whole film a natural appearance, Fury Road becomes completely immersive. Only when the film ends, does it feel safe to finally exhale from the exhilarating and exhaustive journey.
Sporting a primitive Bane mask as an imprisoned punishment through half the film, Tom Hardy fills the role as the loner Max with a hard demeanor and the charisma of a true action star. Chalize Theron nearly steals the show as a one armed brute and savior to a truck load of other strong female characters in a film that celebrates women’s physicality and fortitude. With minimal dialogue, exposition, or explanation, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is perfectly succinct as a high-octane, non-stop thrill ride that is more fast and furious than any film with that title.