Mad Max: Fury Road review
Mad Max is back after a 30 year absence from film, but can director George Miller recapture the excitement of the world he created after all these years?
The plot is simple, one woman, Furiosa, is on the run after freeing a group of slave women from an evil dictator. Max, who has been captured and is being used as a human blood bag, gets wrapped up in the escape, though he’d much rather go off alone and leave the women behind.
Charlize Theron plays Furiosa, a woman who is anything but a damsel in distress. The relationship between Furiosa and Max is one of the more interesting parts of the film. Both characters are extremely self-sufficient, yet they need each other to survive which is something neither of them are comfortable with.
Theron’s performance is so strong that she pulls a lot of focus from Max. Her character is proof that a well written female character could lead a multimillion dollar franchise, though it’s unlikely any character apart from Max will return in potential sequels which is unfortunate. Though there is a precedent for actors coming back in different roles.
Max, the silent protagonist of the film, is played this time by Tom Hardy. His motivation is simple, he wants to survive at all costs. Though he is being haunted by those he’s lost along the way, which helps to connect this story with the older films in the series as well as provide some insight into Max’s PTSD riddled mind.
In the Mad Max universe, control of resources like water and gasoline, have lead to a power vacuum. This time Max is up against Immortan Joe who controls a large volume of water, which gave him the power to create a cult around himself.
Immortan Joe is played by Hugh Keays-Byrne, who previously played a different villain in the first Mad Max movie. Immortan Joe’s face is hidden behind a mask for the whole movie, which helps add some weight the character’s cult leader status.
Nicholas Hoult plays one of the warriors who believe in Immortan Joe. His raw belief and need to impress his ruler, brings an interesting subplot to the movie that explores what happens to a cult member when these beliefs are questioned.
The plot is purposely simple. The real draw of the movie is the beautiful imagery. Far from the dark filters used in modern day post-apocalyptic movies, Mad Max Fury Road has a bright colour palette filled with orange landscapes and blue skies.
Most of the movie is dedicated to long impressive action sequences to the point where the movie feels like watching a two hour long trailer and that’s a compliment. Very little CGI was used which makes those long stunt filled action sequences even more impressive.
George Miller, the man who originally created Mad Max, returned to make this movie and, while he may or may not have recaptured the magic of the original, he created a unique action film that should have no trouble standing on its own if fans of the original series reject it. Though they probably won’t.
What do you think? Are you a Mad Max fan? Which is your favourite film in the franchise? Did you want Mel Gibson to return as Max? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.