Action / Films / Reviews

Mad Max: Fury Road Review

Note: This is from my old blog, but the film is too good to not re-post my review.

In a post-apocalyptic world full of scavengers, a rig driver liberates a local warlord’s personal harem, sparking a chase across the wasteland.

This movie is a superb action movie. It tickled my fancy so much that I had to see it again the following day. George Miller reintroduces audiences to the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max, full of raiders, bikers, and tricked-out cars, while also turning up the awesome factor to eleven. Mad Max: Fury Road is a glorious rock opera on an unholy amount of steroids, speed, and meth. The desert punk gearhead post-apocalyptic chic is on full display here and all of these amazing visuals are melded with incredible action choreography, creating a raw and intense roller coaster ride through a surreal, almost nightmare like, experience.

From the beginning, Fury Road offers up a visual smorgasbord, a veritable feast for the eyes and ears, as the remnants of humanity struggle to survive in the harsh nuclear wasteland. The titular Max (Tom Hardy) is captured by a band of chalky ghost-like Raiders called “War Boys”, the personal army of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), a powerful figure who controls one of the few places with clean water. Much to his chagrin, Immortan Joe is surprised to discover that his Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the person in charge of driving a war rig tasked with retrieving supplies like gasoline and ammo, has absconded with his harem. And so the chase is on with Max caught in the middle.

That’s all there is in terms of plot for the most part but don’t hold that against the film. Calling Fury Road a “two-hour chase sequence” does a great disservice to the sheer brilliance and the level of craft that went into composing, designing, shooting, and choreographing the action scenes. This is vehicular combat at its finest, a brutal symphony of metal, fire, and gasoline. Everything in the movie is so over the top yet it fits with the world that Miller and his cohorts created. For instance, one vehicle among Immortan Joe’s fleet is composed of drummers banging away in the back while the front features an insane war boy shredding on a guitar. The car is a mobile heavy metal show complete with pyrotechnics which serves as a grim warning of their approach.

This movie is simply insane when it comes to the visuals. Whether it’s the leggy models clad in wispy white clothing contrasted with the harsh orange desert, the creative and destructive designs of the vehicles, or the gorgeous cinematography which helps keep the action clear and easy to track, Miller has clearly outdone himself. Hardy is a capable Max, certainly, but he doesn’t convey the same sense of pathos that Mel Gibson did. However, this may be an unfair criticism since Max is more of a supporting character in his film. The real star and driving force of the movie is Furiosa who tries to do something heroic in order to redeem herself. Max and Furiosa have a deep understanding of one another which is communicated well by Hardy and Theron.

I had very high expectations for this film and to my pleasant surprise Fury Road met or exceeded all of them. This is one of the greatest action movies I’ve seen. Combine intense action scenes featuring daredevil stunts, practical effects, a unique aesthetic, and fast-paced choreography and you get an unbelievable film. This is a manly movie for manly men who crave beers and burgers and love explosions!



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