I have two words to describe George Miller’s latest installment into the “Mad Max” series: adrenaline rush. Not only is the film one of the most epic films of 2015, it’s an achievement for cinematic action films.
Starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in the lead roles with returning director of the original 1970s/1980s films, this action packed narrative is supported by a terrific screenplay from George Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris. There is not a dull moment with the chase scenes, swirling dust storms and violence. My only disappointment is that I let myself wait until DVD to watch the film, as it would have been a spectacle to see in theaters.
The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that was just hit by a nuclear holocaust. Now the world has become all desert and all hopes of civilization has collapsed as the remaining men and women fight for survival. Max (Hardy) is one of the survivors who is caught by the War Boys. The War Boys are led by the tyrannical leader Immortan Joe (played by Hugh Keays-Byrne, who starred in the original “Mad Max” as Toecutter). Max is ordered to be the universal blood donor and is imprisoned to help the six War Boy, Nux (played by Nicholas Hoult).
Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa (Theron), one of Joe’s lieutenants, is sent in her armored truck to collect gasoline. However, Furiosa has a plan of her own and drives off-route, with Joe’s fives wives selected for breeding hiding in the truck. When Joe realizes this, he heads with his entire army in pursuit of Furiosa, calling on the aid of nearby Gas Town and Bullet Farm.
Max is part of the pursuit, strapped to the front of Nux’s car for blood supply. Soon, a battle begins between Furiosa and the army, forcing Furiosa to drive into a sand storm, evading all pursuers except Nux. He attempts to sacrifice himself so that he can destroy the truck, allowing Max to escape when the car is destroyed.
Finally Max joins Furiosa and the wives when he sees them repairing the truck. First, he tries to run off on his own in the truck, but it’s designed with a kill switch that only Furiosa can control. So, Max lets her and the wives join under strict supervision from himself. The film leads on to more action-packed chase scenes, in hopes that Furiosa, Max and the wives will make to a place called the “Green Place,” a land Furiosa remembers from her childhood.
Replacing Mel Gibson, Tom Hardy is worthy choice for Max. It’s one of his best roles to date, stepping outside his image of Bane from “Batman.” He’s obviously easy on the eyes and carries the film quite well. In relation to the leads, Charlize Theron is terrific. Strong, sexy and confident are words to describe this kick-ass lady. To me, she is the standout in this film, in a role that will sadly be forgotten come Oscar time.
The rest of the cast holds their weight as well, including a hyped up Nicholas Hoult, portraying a character that resembles someone on acid. Hugh Keays-Byrne is also solid in his Bane-like appearance as the leader. He has the utmost obsession to retrieve his wives, as one of them, The Splendid Angharad (played superbly by Victoria Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), is pregnant with his precious child.
As for the direction, George Miller captivates the not-stop, fast-paced action beautifully in this visually stunning film. If the picture doesn’t receive any major nominations at the Oscars, it surely will for the technical categories. Plus, like I said, the screenplay is sharp and exciting, making us enthralled throughout the entire film.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is one of the best action films of the year, thanks to this spectacular visuals, action and very strong performances. George Miller has returned, and we cannot wait for more. Rated R.