Mad Max: Fury Road is a scorching hot action-packed film about a traumatized nomadic ex-cop who’s caught in the middle of a conflict between a water-hoarding draconian warlord and his finest commander, Imperator Furiosa, a ferocious one-armed war-painted warrior. Tom Hardy, aka Bane from The Dark Knight Rises, headlines the cast alongside his co-star, Charlize Theron (Prometheus). The majority of the movie takes place during an intense high-speed chase across a post-apocalyptic barren desert, a gloomy muddy badland, and a terrifying skin-shredding dust storm.
Director George Miller answers the prayers of the millions upon millions of action movie acolytes with Mad Max: Fury Road. Side bar: I might have to give credit to Sylvester Stallone for bringing back ‘80s action (Expendables) because it has clearly laid the groundwork for Mad Max’s return, and what a return! The phrase visionary director usually implies long and wide shots of epic proportions. I’m talking all-encompassing spectacles that rattle your bones and bring tears to your eyes. Mad Max is nothing short of this visually, and not one damn shot is wasted. Things are always coming at you visually, and they move with such neck-breaking intensity that you’ll probably find yourself clutching onto the armrests of your seat at some point. Almost everything in this film seemed hellbent on conjuring up an emotive response, visuals aside, the movie soundtrack is just so METAL. Seriously, there was a blind-folded character literally shredding the crap out of a double neck flame-throwing guitar, on top of a speeding wall of stereos on wheels, and attached to bungee cords–I assume because everything else wasn’t life-threatening enough. Metaphorically speaking, this film will punch you in the face. Many times.
Some movies “kill the buffalo” just for the meat, if you follow me. Mad Max, on the other hand, goes native, and uses every part of the animal. Nothing in the story appears to be wasted, unnecessary, or forced. The budget is big, and the stakes are high for a classic franchise that looks to make a comeback. With such a huge budget for a blockbuster summer movie, you’d expect something laced with an ungodly amount of CGI, or maybe something that compromises the story-telling (looking at you Age of Ultron). However, the dialogue is frugal, especially in regards to Max, who is practically a silent hero, and the action scenes utilize practical, real-time, real-life special effects and stunt work. The narrative is clear-cut, and the pacing, although charged with handing out heart attacks, pumps the brakes just enough to allow the audience to connect with the movie’s main characters. The story-telling is impeccable, not much needs to be said in this film to understand what’s going on. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron both delivered great performances, and I can’t help but give more props to George Miller for lingering just enough in some of those close-ups to convey the emotionality of Max and Furiosa. Also, the movie’s main antagonist, Immortan Joe, played by Hugh Keays-Byrne, the actor who played the first villain in the original Mad Max movie franchise, is frighteningly hellacious.
Suffice it to say, Mad Max: Fury Road is the must-see action film of 2015. There are other movies out there that have made record-breaking amounts of money, but will be hard pressed to match the quality of entertainment that Mad Max provides. Go and see this awesome spectacle, and send your eyeballs down the fiery road of a chrome-laced oblivion.
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Mad Max: Fury Road Review: Photos courtesy of: facebook.com/madmaxmovie