Mad Max fury road movie review (2015) by the Movie Slackers
The Mad Max films span almost thirty seven years and creator George Miller has concocted all of them out of his own mind. Max Rockatansky, a wandering nomad of sorts; part law; part justice. Max losing his wife and child has left him scarred and beaten down. He now wanders the vast wasteland looking for a way to survive, most of the time, barely. It has been 31 years since last we saw Max being left along the roadside half beaten to death by Tina Turner and her gang of crazies. Now, we find Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) has hijacked a tanker of water along with five young girls who were being used as birthing machines for the false prophet, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). He is shown to have a long line of women he has impregnated over the years, while he brainwashes everyone around him to serve his needs. He parses out water and hordes the food and is an all around pile of human scum. Once he realizes that Furiosa has betrayed him, it is an all-out race across the barren wasteland with no less than three separate gangs in pursuit.
For the first thirty minutes, Max (Tom Hardy) has been beaten, chained, beaten some more and used as a blood bank for the sicker young ones, one named Nux (Nicholas Hoult). When the pursuit begins, Max is tied to the front of Nux’s vehicle with an iron mask attached to his head. This is the basic setup for George Miller’s latest film. This is not a reboot as much as it is a continuation of the franchise. There is no Mel Gibson in this one, but Tom Hardy is a great Max. He does not say much and if I had one problem with the film, it was that I wished they had given Hardy more lines of dialogue. He is such a great actor and can deliver such a powerful performance with great writing. Why coop him up with nothing to say? We get certain glimpses of people that Max has lost over the years, most notably his daughter and his wife. Is Max going as crazy as everyone around him?
The plot for Mad Max Fury Road is paper thin, but this is not the movie for that. This is a chaotic and frenzied chase picture from start to finish and it is the best one of the franchise. Miller, not big on CGI effects, has crafted natural mayhem with spectacular editing and stunning cinematography. His imagination is bursting with ingenuity and craftiness, which includes a guitar playing miscreant that actually doubles as a flame thrower out of the instrument’s neck. Enormous drums fill up an entire truck and are pounded on as Immortan Joe and his band of scavengers chase Furiosa across the Australian desert. This guy travels with his own band.
At the heart of this picture is the action and it is simply jaw dropping, electrifying and awe inspiring. I will say some of the action is so loud that I had a hard time hearing some of the dialogue. Somehow that did not bother me too much, though. Theron, as Furiosa however, is terrific as she plays a woman who has survived long enough by her wits, but realizes it is time to make a run for a better place, which would be anywhere but with Joe. Theron plays Furiosa with toughness, resilience, and intelligence but not without a certain amount of human frailty. She longs for a happier existence and thinks she can find it….somewhere.
Nicholas Hoult has a larger role than I had expected and he provides some comical elements, but starts to understand just how evil Joe really is. Hoult is very good as his character matures through the film. He even develops and attraction to one of the girls and the two form and childlike bond which was very sweet in spots.
Hardy as Max does everything the role requires and he really sells the action scenes. He can deliver lines but he is also a very physical actor. But his character is more than just a blunt instrument. He, too has maintained his humanity and still believes life is precious, even though he is a broken human being. Max is always thinking and knows a lot more than he lets on. Hardy was the right choice for this role, no doubt.
But this is mostly George Miller’s party. He has staged wonderful set pieces, choreographed spectacular action, and made this film exciting. The colors, action and tremendous score (worth every penny on Amazon by Junkie XL) pulsates through each scene. This film is alive with vivid ferocity, crazy energy, ingenuity and is a well crafted picture. Mad Max Fury Road is Miller’s towering and thunderous achievement.
Mad Max Fury Road- Rated R for extreme violence, Adult situations, brief nudity
Mad Max Fury Road – run time is 120 minutes