Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road
In Cinemas May 14th, 2015
Directed by George Miller
Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult

by Joanna Orland

Is Mad Max: Fury Road perhaps the best action film ever made?

Thirty years or so after George Miller’s original post-apocalyptic film series hit the big screen, the director has rebooted the franchise with a new Max and a ravenous hunger for action. Tom Hardy is Max. Max is mad, hearing voices as he’s haunted by both the living and the dead. But in spite of being the title character, Max is merely the supporting protagonist of the film, with characters he meets along the way taking both priority and focus in the story, notably Imperator Furiosa played by Charlize Theron in a ferociously brilliant performance.

The film is an intensely visceral B-movie made on a Hollywood budget. The entire premise is a two-hour-long car chase through the post-apocalyptic setting of the Mad Max world, with the bulk of Hardy’s dialogue consisting of grunts rather than words. His character takes a literal backseat to Theron’s Furiosa who has charitably kidnapped the slave wives of overlord Immortan Joe who rules the citadel and a fleet of rabid War Boys, including the crazed Nux somehow played empathetically by Nicholas Hoult. When Immortan Joe realizes Furiosa’s plan, the chase ensues, and it is pure exhilaration from start to finish.

Subtle and nuanced are two words that certainly do not describe Mad Max: Fury Road, but the finer details of the set, cinematography and art design are a beauty to behold. While the action is turned up to eleven, the visuals simultaneously stun as the film feels like a comic book come to life. Camera shots, audio design and overdubbing that would seem to be in error in other films fit perfectly in this over-the-top tongue-in-cheek adventure. Comedic moments including an awkward thumbs up from Max or merely the entire concept of a War Boy going to battle with nothing other than a multi-neck guitar and a speaker system that even Glastonbury Festival would envy make this movie ride even more extreme. The fact that the film is self aware makes it all the more enjoyable.

Mad Max: Fury Road is much more than mad – it is bat shit crazy and the most voracious Hollywood action movie of all time.

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