Published on May 21st, 2015 | by Allan Brown1
Mad Max: Fury Road Review
Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Running Time: 120 mins
Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Josh Helman, Nathan Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton
Culminating in over thirty five years of creative magnificence, come’s director George Miller’s valiant return to his sun scorched post-apocalyptic desert wasteland that began in 1979 with Mad Max. Despite his latest incarnation (or reboot) having an entirely original and separate narrative to its processors; Mad Max: Fury Road sits proudly (and deservedly) by the sides of its older siblings.
Our story takes place on a rough arid landscape, where sand dunes and huge dust clouds ravage the twisted remnants of humanity. Out of this tormented and hostile wasteland rises psychopathic leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), who commands his army of ‘War Boys’ whilst controlling the masses, with the scraps he throws from his safe perch, high up on a cliff face citadel.
When his best and most trusted driver Furiosa (Charlize Theron) turns a standard supply run to a nearby town, into a run for freedom – with Joe’s prized female breeding stock, Joe gives chase with a full war party.
As Joe’s forces unite with two other gangs, Furiosa and her ladies seem all but doomed. That is of course, until a mysterious, tough and dusty drifter by the name of Max (Tom Hardy) reluctantly steps into the frey.
exhilarating stunt coordination, visceral set-pieces and CGI-LESS cinematography, evokes an almost lost cinematic sense of ‘how the hell did they do that’
At its core, Mad Mad: Fury Road is a visceral 80s throwback movie, supercharged for a new generation. It fires along at breakneck speed in what is accentually one action packed 2 hour chase sequence, that spans the entirety of the film. As the narrative synopsis above would suggest, the surface concept is a simple one, but what Miller effectively executes and generates throughout, is a wealth of atmosphere, subtle multi-layered characters, each a damaged soul with their own story to tell, and of course, that nail-biting tension that will have you pinned to your seat from the word go.
Sure, the film is utterly bonkers and Miller does over-indulge – often, and yes in true 80s B-movie fashion, it is peppered with cheesy throwaway dialogue and the odd wooden performance here and there. However, where the film excels, proving a cut above the rest, is in its exhilarating stunt coordination, visceral set-pieces and CGI-LESS cinematography, evokes an almost lost cinematic sense of ‘how the hell did they do that’.
Tom Hardy leads the way as our mysterious drifter Max, he grunts his way through the picture saying very little, yet remains an incredible physical presence who is once again, utterly captivating to watch. He is a man haunted by his past and as a result he is a man on the dancing on the edge of insanity. Despite Max taking the title of the film, the real hero or should I say heroine of this picture, is non-other than Charlize Theron. She ignites the part of Furiosa with vigour and strength leading it to be one of the strongest female heroine roles I have witnessed in recent times. Yes, she would even give Ellen Ripley a run for her money. Both leads give wonderfully subtle performances, each carrying their tortured soul looking for a glimmer of hope and salvation. To their credit, neither actor overplays the part which is normally common place for such action orientated spectacles, and in some respect, expected, especially amongst the relentless action and ferocity that surrounds them in every scene.
Nicholas Hoult also provides a note worth edition, fleshing out what could have easily been just another one dimensional bad guy role. Instead, Hoult presents a touching and integral central part to the overall story. His character arc is not only interesting but extremely heartfelt. Hugh Keays-Byrne once again leads the way as a badass leader of his own motley crue of half-life War-Boys. Much like his presence at the ‘Toecutter’ in the original Mad Max, his presence and his gravitas is felt with thunder in single every frame.
Summary: George Miller delivers a masterstroke in what must be, one of the most exhilarating, adrenaline filled, visceral cinematic action spectacles in decades. Action filmmakers of today, take note!!!