When you want an undeniably cool setting, you go post-apocalyptic.
Decades ago, the ‘Mad Max’ movies made this cool.
Now, in 2015, Max is back, but not all is the same…let’s take a ride on ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’.
Max (Tom Hardy) is a wanderer of a post-apocalyptic desert. He is captured by the army of a tyrannical leader, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and taken to the nearby highly populated city. Immortan Joe lives a life of luxury while his subjects suffer below with the bare minimum amount of water to survive. Anyway, Max is used as a blood bag for one of the army’s sick soldiers named Nux (Nicholas Hoult). Joe’s lieutenant Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) goes rogue, hijacking a truck that is secretly carrying Joe’s concubines. Nux and others are sent out to capture her.
Max being Max, manages to escape during the pursuit and joins Furiosa out of having a common enemy. She is resistant to trusting this strange man, but he proves himself to be a more than worthy ally in battle.
Our heroes attempt to make it to the ‘Green Place’ that Furiosa remembers from her childhood. It is, quite possibly, the only naturally green landscape still thriving on the planet. Of course, Joe and his army are right behind them.
What right did we have to expect this to be any good? It had been thirty years since the last sequel, the underwhelming and decidedly more family-friendly ‘Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome’. That’s what makes the return to no-holds-barred brutality all the more surprising.
Yes, this is the same George Miller who handled the original trilogy decades ago. More impressively, he has done two ‘Babe’ (the talking pig) movies and two ‘Happy Feet’ (dancing, talking penguins) movies. Age, a changing film climate and focus on light family fare have not diluted the man’s vision and ability. It’s impressive that a studio would even allow a film like this to be made without massive interference. As it stands, nearly all of the visual effects are of the practical variety.
As you can tell, there is next to nothing to this plot. It amounts to a feature-length chase and this simplicity is beautiful. Max isn’t even really the protagonist of this story. He is simply along for the ride and helps Furiosa with her attempt to free the girls and to overthrow Immotan Joe (spelling). Some have been upset at this shift in focus and have called this a feminist tale. Maybe Max could have had a little more to do, but a great action film should be allowed to succeed no matter who takes the reigns. Expect violent action aplenty here.
Hardy certainly pulls of the strong, silent type well here and Theron gives one of her best performances yet. Hoult also has a lot to work with as he plays a manic soldier who has a lot to prove to not only his leader, but to himself.
Special features include: a look at filming, the vehicles, the dynamic between Max and Furiosa, weapons, the models/wives in the film, demolition of the vehicles and other featurettes.
‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ isn’t just one of, if not the best, film of the series, it is one of the best action films in recent memory.
Rated R 120 minutes 2015