<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by George Miller. Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Teron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough
This is a film you go to watch without expecting any story. You just sit there bedazzled by violent acrobatics, monster machines pummelling each other and over-the-top characters far more engaging than any Avenger ever could be.
I don’t remember much of the original Mad Max films from 30 years ago that starred Mel Gibson and were directed by George Miller (who is now 70). Perhaps it’s time to watch them again.
With a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 98% and critics raving about it, you’d expect the next 2001: A Space Odyssey or something. Not quite. What Mad Max: Fury Road delivers is one of the most powerfully directed and gritty films you’ll see in a while. It is the gold standard of popcorn films. High-octane, power-packed, cultish, rambunctious and totally whacked out, this new Mad Max is what an action film is supposed to be.
In yet another dystopian future world where everything is salt and sand, people have formed factions of weird and surreal tribes. One of them is lead by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), a scary-looking warlord who controls the Citadel and with it large stores of water and guzzoline (gas/oil). Some of his minions are deformed and others look like the undead. There’s a new world order and a new lingo, most of which you will just have to suspend disbelief for, which isn’t difficult. Max (Tom Hardy) is an outsider who is captured and serves as the ‘Blood Bag’ to one of Immortan’s minions called Nux (Nicholas Hoult).
Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is one of Immortan Joe’s generals who he sends out on a guzzoline run to Gas Town but she has other plans. Soon, Immortan and his war parties are chasing down Furiosa in her souped up semi truck; Max is in tow with Nux but he soon ends up joining Furiosa and her sexy band of passengers. And that’s pretty much it by way of story. There’s a lot of backstory (though not enough about Max’s apparently dead family), there’s a lot of blowing things up, and saving people and perfectly choreographed actions sequences though and that will keep you glued to the screen through the two hours.
I’ve glanced articles online about how this is a very feminine-lead film. And it is. Charlize Theron packs in such a powerful performance as the hard-as-nails, one-armed saviour Furiosa, that at times you simply forget Tom Hardy is even in the film. In fact, he seems to have a Bane-complex from The Dark Knight Rises in that he’s exceptionally stiff and there’s something really weird about his voice. When he has any lines that is. Even Rosie-Huntington Whiteley comes off as a stronger and superior actor. All the characters in Mad Max: Fury Road is eccentric and potent, each one making you cringe and smile at the same time.
One wonders why George Miller has been hiding out for so long making movies like Babe: Pig In The City and Happy Feet! Mad Max: Fury Road is a guilty pleasure that’s weird and wonderful, with acrobatics and action galore, tantalising and terrifying characters, an awesome soundtrack as well as some really hot babes. The Gates of Valhalla are calling. Enter now!
PS: Read this interesting story - 7 ways ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ sublimely subverts movie sexism via hitfix.com