Who doesn’t love the Mad Max series? Probably a lot of people, actually, but who doesn’t love the Mad Max series, aside from people whose opinions don’t matter? Exactly. Nobody.
With the surprisingly highly-anticipated summer blockbuster being the fourth entry in the Australian post-apocalyptic franchise, many film fans have been anxiously awaiting the release of Mad Max: Fury Road since the first trailer was released. Now, that day is nearly upon us, and oh, what a lovely day it is.
Mad Max: Fury Road kicks off with a bang, avoiding any unnecessary backstory. Director George Miller shows no mercy to those who missed the other three films in the series, never once explaining the events leading up to the opening of the fourth Mad Max film. Simply put, you didn’t see the last three Mad Max movies? Too bad for you.
Set shortly after the events of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, Max Rockatansky (played by Tom Hardy) is wandering around the desert landscape, merely trying to survive in a world gone mad. After being captured by a group of War Boys, Max is held captive as a “blood bag” – a living blood donor – under the rule of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), a maniacal dictator. One day, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is sent to collect gasoline from an area called Gas Town. However, Furiosa secretly sneaks out Joe’s wives – who are merely sex slaves – in hopes of helping them find freedom. Once Joe discovers what has happened, he calls upon all of the War Boys to retrieve his wives along with Furiosa.
That’s when the action really kicks off, and from there, it never really comes to a halt. Despite having only a few lines of dialogue, Hardy fully embraces the role of Max, and embodies the action hero very successfully. It is Theron, however, who really shows off her abilities as a physical actor, truly stealing the show in many of the action sequences. She and Hardy have an unusual, often comedic onscreen chemistry that makes the bizarre relationship between Furiosa and Max appear all the more authentic.
As one would expect from a Mad Max film, there are loads of insane characters and truly evil villains. Featuring some excellent costume and makeup design work, there’s a real sense of danger due to the terrifying and unusual appearance of the armies of bad guys. Immortan Joe looks like something out of a horror film, and his pseudo-carnival of freaks are equally as creepy.
Filled with fast and violent action sequences, the film rarely slows down. Throughout the 120-minute running time, there are maybe fifteen minutes where something crazy isn’t happening onscreen, and that is exactly what made people love this kind of film in the first place. Miller has stuck to his roots here, and he probably made the best film of his career because of it.
The Bottom Line:
This is an absolute no-brainer. If you’re a fan of the series, post-apocalyptic fare, or even action flicks in general, Mad Max: Fury Road is a must-see. It is everything you’ll want out of a film of this nature, and is sure to be the can’t-miss summer blockbuster of 2015.
Welcome back, Mr. Rockatansky. We’ve missed you. — 9/10
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine