Mad Max: Fury Road is a post apocalyptic action ride through Australia. This is the fourth Mad Max film and serves as a reboot, but also not really. The story and the characters stay the same, only the actors have changed. Max gets dragged into the middle of an uprising against a tyrannical leader in the midst of a vast desert. George Miller once again helms this film serving as the director and one of the writers (and yes, he did direct Babe and Happy Feet). The film stars; Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult.
The good; beautiful, glorious practical effects! Miller brings us right back into it. Crazy suped-up wheeled vehicles of mayhem roar through the desert, you’ve got to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into creating these beauties, from a double decker Cadillac to a monster truck roadster, there’s something for everyone. Then when they blow up, it’s tragically beautiful and yet welcomed.
There’s a lot more color in this film than there was in the previous installments. At first I wasn’t sure about this, but it definitely distinguishes it from the other de-saturated post-apocalyptic movies.
The world building done here is supreme. There’s a sense that it’s been this way for years, from the mechanics of things working without the aid of electricity, to the wardrobe that everyone is wearing, it’s all there and it feels like we could be there one day… When we see the tricked out vehicles there’s a sense or practicality, a great example of this is the War Rig’s plow, it’s used to great effect against fire.
Above all though… the action! Oh the action… Miller does an amazing job of covering car chases and action sequences. It’s refreshing to see action that I can actually see and slow motion that is justified.
The bad; Max Rockatansky isn’t in this film. Tom Hardy ain’t no Mad Max, it’s not just his look, but it’s the way he is on screen. His voice is overly manipulated, as if it were overdubbed (ala Bane…). I understand that this is a reboot, but he’s just not Max. This is probably why he spends a lot of the film in a mask and chained to something.
What drives this further home is that the story’s main character is Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. Her character has an arc and she drives (literally) the story forward, and not Max. Max is just along for the ride (pun intended).
We get to see the Last of the V8s, but then that’s it… I was hoping Max would get his car back by the end…
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film, despite it not having the titular character up and front on center stage (he spends a good portion of this movie in shackles). This is how reboots should be done (I’m looking at you Man of Steel and The Amazing Spider-man… and Fantastic Four…), quickly establish the origin and the world, then tell a story with our main character in said world. We also get Hugh Keays-Byrne as the main antagonist again, he was the Toe-Cutter in the first movie. Oh and I have to point out the special effects on Theron’s hand, makes you think she doesn’t have a left hand, stunning.
Mad Max: Fury Road is a high octane thrill ride, I highly recommend seeing this on the big screen. Never has mayhem looked for beautiful and I’m glad to be back in this world.