Once again director George Miller tosses us into the chaotic post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max, it’s been 30 years since are last visit to the Wastelands and things have only gotten crazier. So fasten your seatbelts and strap on some spare ammo as the summer is about to explode.
The title of this movie is Mad Max: Fury Road, and though Tom Hardy gives an excellent portrayal of a man driven over the edge of insanity by his past and isolated life in the wasteland it is Charlize Theron’s character Imperator Furiosa who is the real star of this picture. Simply put she is the heart and soul of this balls to the walls actioner and she takes no prisoners. Calling this film an “action movie” is almost an understatement for once all the characters are in place the action barely stops to let you catch your breath.
The Wastelands were never a fun place to drive through but as the world fell apart; as shown in Mad Max, The Road Warrior and…um…I’m sure there was a third one but for the life of me I can’t remember it what it was called, anyway in those films we were shown that it was the worse elements of humanity that seemed to thrive the best in amongst the chaos. In the case of Mad Max: Fury Road we are introduced to Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) a monstrous cult leader that controls the population from atop a fortress in the desert called The Citadel. It’s his control over the only source of water in the area as well as his army of War Boys that keep the masses in check.
Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) is picked up by one of Immortan Joe’s raiding parties and turned into a living blood bag for Nux (Nicholas Hoult) a tumor riddled War Boy who really wants to earn a place in Valhalla. It’s when Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), who has the prestigious job of tanker driver for The Citadel, goes rogue and makes off with Immortan Joe’s five breeder wives that the story goes into overdrive, and it’s during this first of many epic chase sequences as Immortan Joe and his war parties give pursuit that Max and Furiosa are thrown together. Now this Max isn’t the upholder of the law we saw in the first Mad Max movie, nor is he the jaded world weary Max from The Road Warrior, no this Max is in a much darker place and you are kept on edge of your seat wondering in what direction this very unbalanced man will go.
Most of this movie’s two hour running time is action and George Miller holds nothing back, with but few pauses for character moments that I bet are there mainly so as not to kill the audience. Visually it is a feast of the bizarre from the menacingly masked Immortan Joe to his war party that look like they could have escaped from the pages of Judge Dredd. And who could not love a car chase that brings it’s own drum section and a flame throwing guitarist?
I’m guessing the budget for this one is either equal or greater than that of the previous three films combined, and the stunt work in this movie is beyond belief and will surely set the bar for future road movies to come. It certainly puts to shame most of the CGI compositing action we’ve become accustomed to seeing in such films as Furious 7. It’s not even the insane stunts that make this film so awesome it’s the creativity behind them; War Boys on long poles that pendulum up and down to attack with explosive tipped javelins is mind-blowingly cool.
Mad Max: Fury Road is easily the best action film of the summer so far, sure Asgardian gods hammering on psychotic robots is fun but George Miller give us an adrenalin fuelled thrill ride that leaves you with your jaw permanently dropped in amazement. From it’s incredible character designs to its impeccable casting this is one fantastic film, and I certainly hope Miller decides to return to the Wasteland at least a couple of more times.