WRITTEN BY: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
DIRECTED BY: George Miller
STARRING: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne
RATING: 4.5 stars
Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) is a former policeman whose family was murdered. He now has no life – just survival driven by his own madness in post-apocalyptic Australia. Max is soon taken prisoner at a community run by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) who rations out the water supply to keep the poor people in line. Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) works for Immortan Joe but turns against him, fleeing with his beautiful wives in search of the Green Place. Max then joins forces with the women to escape his captors.
Mad Max: Fury Road is everything a post-apocolyptic action film is supposed to be. You will be on the edge of your seat and holding your breath for large chunks of time during this film, which is essentially a two-hour car chase. It is not even necessary to have seen the original films to understand what is happening because the premise is set up with a voice-over at the start. The film is a visual feast with gorgeous landscapes, wild costumes and even more outrageous vehicles. Hats off to the stunt team, who obviously had a lot of work to do, because the CGI is limited. Mad Max: Fury Road also has a powerful score, some of which comes from Immortan Joe's own travelling band, including drums and a flame-spitting guitar. It is ridiculous but it somehow works in this bizarre world.
Perhaps the only real – and slight – downfall is that we do not learn enough about all the characters. Even still, for a film with such little dialogue, there is a surprising amount of character development at least with a few protagonists. Hardy certainly fills Mel Gibson's big shoes very well. He is sexy, tough, enigmatic and moody. Theron is also brilliant in a gutsy role that will make feminists proud. However, there were some annoying damsel in distress characters too. Nicholas Hoult is also enjoyable to watch as one of Immortan Joe's goons and his character arc is one of the most satisfying.
Director/co-writer George Miller is a visionary filmmaker. I look forward to the next instalment in this franchise.