Author: Dylan King – 3.5/4
In an age of computer graphics and CG stunt work, it is so refreshing to see a film that returns to basics. George Miller is truly a mastermind, not only in creative concept, but also for using tried and true ways of making a thrilling action film with real stunts and real explosions. For a sequel that released 30 years after the last installment, it captures both the visual and stylistic feel of the earlier films and continues to expand on the decline of humanity. The first 15 minutes are a visual marvel. The effects showing the society that has inherited the Earth is spectacular.
Miller’s latest entry to his Mad Max saga introduces Tom Hardy as the Road Warrior himself. As awesome as it would have been to see Mel Gibson return to his breakout role, Hardy was able to both make it his own, yet stays true to the character Gibson personified 30 years ago. The film also stars Charlize Theron as Furiosa, a sort of general in a mad tribe of psychopaths. She is the catalyst of the plot as she stole the 5 Wives, beautiful fertile women held captive by villain Immortan Joe, who is played by Hugh Keays-Byrne, the antagonist of the original Mad Max film, who uses them to sire a new age of humanity for his own gain. Theron and Hardy’s fighting chemistry in the film is amazing as well. They both play characters that are great warriors, and after they duel for a moment, they are killing off bad guys in such unison and flow. The choreography for them is almost like a dance.
However, the plot has always been mostly secondary in this series. The original Mad Max had much more story in terms of character development, but in The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome the story and character development mostly halts. However, there was one glaring issue the occurred in this film, that doesn’t match continuity-wise with the latter films. Throughout the film Max is haunted by his past, a little girl is constantly showing up, either reminding him of his earlier deeds, or protecting him from danger. Some of these segments lead one to believe it’s his daughter, but Max never had a daughter; he only had a recently newborn son before his family was killed, and that was back in the original film.
The forefront of this series is strictly the action. But most importantly, what makes this film special is that all the vehicles are real, they were built. The driving and the explosions are really happening, there are stuntmen doing much of the action. And that is becoming increasingly rare these days. Overall, the film is done very well. The action is awesome, the acting is spot on, and the film has a nice flow, and keeps you on edge for what will happen next. Fans of the series will enjoy a new adventure for Max to embark on, and casual theatergoers will find the action stimulating enough. For hard-core fans, it is a little upsetting the Mel Gibson doesn’t make a cameo. The score is great minus that classical theme from the earlier trailers, it just doesn’t work that well. Mad Max: Fury Road will definitely be entertaining for everyone who goes to see it.