The No. 1 action flick of the decade is finally here! Brace yourselves; director George Miller’s brutal and cinematic whirlwind is breathtaking on a massive apocalyptic scale. This film will kick your ass hard.
Where to begin with the latest installment of Mad Max? For starters, it’s a real grandeur to see Miller, 70, step away from the tap dancing penguins (Happy Feet) and return to his post-apocalyptic wasteland. It’s been 30 years since we’ve seen Max on the big screen and with the advancement of technology, Fury Road has changed the definition of action films. Many of you probably remember when a young Mel Gibson playing the iconic Max Rockatansky hit the road in Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome, after his family was murdered.
Max had lost everything and now is apart of this wasteland, consumed by grief, anger, vengeance and now survival. His days as a cop are in the past and his moral conundrum has simply dissolved from his presence. Now, 30 years later, Miller returns to the desert to continue Max’s story of survival in this world of fire. Replacing Gibson from the crown is British actor Tom Hardy as Max. Backed by Hardy is a fierce Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa. Hardy is superb in the role of Max, but the real award goes to Theron who steals the screen with her gut-wrenching performance of a warrior striving for redemption. Hitting a feminist core may surprise some fanboys, but this propels the film to exciting new levels of adventure.
All of you men’s rights bigots can piss off because this is Theorn’s show and she’ll kick your ass. Going back to old school, over 80 percent of effects seen in the film are real practical effects, stunts, make-up and sets. This gave the film a more gritty and realistic feel. Many action films today fall under the heavily used CGI, which boggles down the film. The stunt work is state-of-the-art, as we see vehicles collide, explode and bodies fly. From the get-go, Miller throws the audience into madness and goes full throttle with the plot. Hardy tells the audience with a voiceover, "My name is Max. My world is fire." That’s all you need to know about Max at this point. Haunted by his lost child, Max is captured by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who also played the evil Toecutter in the first Mad Max), an insane warlord who governs his people by controlling their water supply.
Joe’s elite are brainwashed war boys, who shave their heads, smear body paint on themselves and believe in a zealous fantasy of an erotic afterlife: “I live, I die. I live again!” The plot goes vroom, when Joe’s trusted ally Furiosa (Theron), a warrior with a mechanical left arm, goes rogue and takes off in a heavily-armored War Rig with his five breeder wives (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoe Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton and Riley Keough). Joe is furious and commands his war boys to pursue after them. While this is happening, Max is literally being used as a human “blood bag” for one of the war boys Nux (a wildly fun Nicholas Hoult). Nux wants to get in on the pursuit and straps Max to the front of his car, while still feeding him blood.
Poor Hardy is stuck behind another mask, similar to the muzzle he wore as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. While not spoiling any of the fun, Miller and his team of co-writers Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris pump your adrenaline with spectacular stunts and electrifying action. The entire film is one giant chase scene, but Fury Road is still packed with character development and narrative heft. This heart stomping, summer blockbuster never lets up. Miller’s Fury Road is daring, as it is emotionally satisfying.
Theron is a knockout and deserves an ovation for her powerful performance and even when he’s not saying much, Hardy’s facial expressions are compelling. Once Max and Furiosa team up the movie let’s loose. Miller’s fast pace and direction are keen, as he keeps putting obstacles in the way. Fury Road is not only the best film of the summer; it’s the best action flick of the past decade. Period. Believe the hype, I give Miller and his visionary creation the highest of highs … five out of five stars. This mad masterpiece is definitely worth the ticket price and will send movie-lovers out with a bang! “What a lovely day!”
Mad Max: Fury Road is rated R (Restricted). For intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images.