REVIEW: Mad Max Fury Road
This review contains spoilers!
Flesh and metal collide in the part sequel, part reboot, post apocalyptic, no holds barred Mad Max: Fury Road. 70 year old director George Miller returns to the franchise he created, 30 years after the last outing. This time with Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, two rebels trying to survive in a desert landscape of lost humanity.
The plot is fairly simple, Furiosa abandons her duties and sets out to find her homeland, and take Immortan Joe’s young brides with her. Joe of course sets out to stop her and Max is caught up in this battle. Charlize Theron is fantastic as Furiosa, with her artificial limb and war paint, determined to find her home and reunite with what’s left of her family. Tom Hardy as Max is a man of few words, troubled by visions of past horrors. Both need to work together as they guide the fragile and beautiful brides to safety. The film has a core theme of feminist solidarity that balances well against the testosterone of Max, Immortan Joe and his War Boys. The performances from the two leads and their mutual respect is told mainly through actions rather than dialogue, exposition takes a back seat here.
Unlike previous films in the series, the budget this time around of $150 million finally matches the ambitions and imagination of the director. The sheer originality on display is impressive. Stunning photography, high contrast, warm colour palette and smooth camera work draw you into the wild west wasteland. The jaw dropping carnage of the action scenes are indescribable, Fast & Furious is a walk in the park compared to this. You must see it to believe it, but even then you still ask yourself, “Is this actually happening?” It has the right mix of CGI and real stunts that will make you think back to classics like James Cameron’s Terminator 2. And it all looks awesome in the 3D IMAX screening i attended. The score by Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL) is loud, heart pounding and epic, at times in sync with the bizarre but soon to be iconic flamethrower guitarist and tribal drummers.
I highly recommend this film if for some strange reason you’ve been sitting on the fence. It’s feral, dark, gritty, anarchic, surreal, just pure mayhem. Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t just any action film, it’s one that sits side by side with your favourite Hollywood blockbusters, a new classic that demands repeat viewings for it’s visual and technical triumphs. Now if you excuse me, i’m off to watch it again!