Love action? Cars? Post-apocalyptic action with cars? WATCH.
Last Sunday, I got to watch Mad Max: Fury Road, written and directed by the original himself, George Miller. Been intrigued and excited with this flick ever since the first trailer and now that I’ve watched it… Well.
As a bit of backstory, I’ve watched the second and third Mad Max flicks- I don’t believe I ever watched the first one. They’re cult-classics that have a degree of roughness to them, just like the lashed-together, haphazard vehicles, weapons and implements of this insane world.
We return to a perhaps familiar Post-Apocalyptic Australia where society has fallen, resources are scarce and warlords rule the wasteland. Enter Max Rockatansky, a wanderer and former cop with a heavy chip on his shoulder. Perhaps he is still the same character as previous films, but this time its Tom Hardy filling in his boots.
The grizzled road warrior has the foul fortune of being captured at the start of the film by the War Boys, the bald, white-skinned private army of Warlord Immorten Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who coincidentally played Toe-Cutter in the previous Max films). Having O-Positive blood making him a universal donor, Max gets drafted into serving as a blood bag, or walking blood supply for one of the sick War boys, Nux (Nicholas Hoult).
We then see the personal kingdom Joe has made for himself, by virtue of him controlling a vast water source underground. Ruling with his army and deformed family members (Sons? Brothers?) serving as lieutenants, Joe has everything- farms producing greenery, water, women serving as virtual cows for Mother’s Milk (the food for the gods!) and an alliance with two other settlements providing crucial sources of gasoline and ammunition.
But his perfect world is suddenly rocked when he discovers that his most prized treasures- a quintet of beautiful women who serve as his Wives (or ‘Breeders’) have been stolen away from his vault, spirited off by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), one of his most trusted field commanders. Immediately, Joe mobilizes every able soldier and running vehicle in his army to bring back his possessions, and there is where Fury Road really begins.
What can I say about this movie? This is Action, Car and Post Apocalyptic Car Action as you’ve never seen it. Just the sight of the MAD vehicles running in this film are worth the price of admission- this is Road Warrior Porn. From the central War Rig- which is the main stage of the movie for most of its running time- to the many freaks of machinery like a huge mobile ROCK CONCERT complete with a flame throwing guitar playing in front (an army needs music to roll by after all), this will blow your mind.
Director George Miller truly set himself free in this one- in no other installment do we see so much of the world he has cooked up in his twisted imagination. There is more substance to it, like the evil utopia Immorten Joe has fashioned for himself. Like the religion he espouses, making himself god while his War Boys scramble to die in his service for the promise of eternal life in Valhalla. It makes so much sense it’s… insane. There are truly disturbing sights in this flick, but thankfully it never dwells too much on the more gruesome things, nor is the violence ever gory or overly brutal.
But adding true impact to the action is that most of it is real, practical effects. True enough, there ARE CG moments (probably during one truly heinous sandstorm from hell) but a lot are real, with real machines (all the cars are real running machines) and real stuntmen making these sights possible.
And whoa, there are fights and battles ongoing for most of this flick. I may say that of all the Mad Max films, this one takes the cake in action- less talk, more crash and burn, but still amazingly has more than enough story and depth to the characters and events happening onscreen.
With performances solid throughout- kudos to a tough-as-steel Charlize for making Furiosa both superhuman and human in her debut- she is pretty much Max’s equal and partner in this film. Kinda funny that Miss Theron is so gorgeous that even bald, covered in grease and oil, missing an arm and bloodied, she’s STILL gorgeous. There’s certainly a story behind this character, and who knows- if fates are kind and we are lucky, we may see Mad Max: Furiousa down the road.
Also impressing is Nicholas Hoult, whose War Boy Nux has his own mini-saga within this saga. Overall acting is solid even in a flick that is more action than emoting.
Tom Hardy is readily likable as Max- an understated badass man who lets his actions speak more for him. Is he better than Mel Gibson? That’s really too much to ask for anyone, and no person in his right mind would venture to say so. Suffice to say he makes for a stoic and solid Road Warrior whom I would love to see more of in future Mad Max flicks.
I had an utter blast watching this flick- paradoxically so beautiful as it is grotesque. Filmed with rock-solid clarity and vivid color, this is one action film that is so easy to love because in its quest for Fury Road, it DELIVERS. Nine out of TEN. Watch this in a theater and have yourself A LOVELY DAY!!!