Directed by: George Miller
Written by: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris
Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nicholas Hoult
Running Time: 120 Minutes
UK Certificate: 18
Format: In Cinemas Now
Studio: Warner Bros.
In the wasteland Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) is alone and haunted by the faces of people he couldn’t save. His mind is all but broken and he ponders on whether he has finally become mad like those around him. He jumps into his car and is chased down by the War Boys, a group of warriors. Max is caught and taken to the citadel. The citadel is an outpost where high above the poor and starving rules Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Max is caged here and will be used as a human blood bag, his blood fed into the weak War Boy, Nux (Nicholas Hoult).
Immortan Joe controls the supply of water, keeping his citizens down trodden but feeding them the hope that one day he will lead them to the gates of Valhalla. Enter Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the driver of the War Rig, a tanker sent to the next outpost to trade water for fuel. Furiosa sets off on her mission but diverts. Within the War Rig lies Immortan Joe’s most precious cargo, his five wives, young women meant for breeding only.
In a rage and feeling betrayed by Furiosa he sets out to reclaim what was stolen and his only hope of having a ‘normal’ child, one not born with deficiency and damaged by the harsh environment. Nux wanting to prove himself, sets off in his vehicle with his blood bag, Max, chained to the hood. When Max finally escapes during a sandstorm, one of the film’s most breath-taking sequences, he decides to help Furiosa and the wives escape to the ‘green place’ that lies beyond the wastes.
It has been 30 years since Max went beyond the Thunderdome and he hasn’t lost any of his edge. In fact you could quite happily say that this is The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2) multiplied by a thousand. The film will be what Miller is remembered for, he has truly mastered his craft, making the 30 year wait well worth it. The set pieces are jaw dropping and awe inspiring, scenes are filled with colour and energy which stick in the mind long after. Fans of the franchise and newcomers alike will be happy with what has been a labour of love to get to the screen. Fury Road has had a rough production, delays being the least amongst the problems facing Miller and the cast, luckily none of these troubles show.
The production team have worked hard to keep the style in tone with the originals but also pushed the boundaries. Some of the vehicles just shouldn’t be able to do what they do, everything has been thought about carefully and my favourite part about this…they are real. Miller has gone, relatively, old school. With little use of CGI you have to wonder how some of the stuntmen made it home alive in the evening.
The performances are strong too. Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight, Bronson) is a good choice for replacing Mel Gibson in the title role. His Max is more damaged now but the characteristics are all there, the silent nods, the winks, the cold stares. Max shares most of his screen time with Furiosa. Charlize Theron (Monster, Prometheus) throws herself into the role, she has been hurt, she is a survivor and has a drive to see others survive too.
In fact without Max, the film would be just as engaging based on her performance alone. Nicholas Hoult (X Men First Class, Warm Bodies) plays Nux as a fanatic, willing to do anything just to be seen by his leader, sympathy soon creeps into his character and Hoult gives it his all. Returning for another bout of Miller’s madness is Hugh Keays-Byrne (Mad Max) as Immortan Joe. Keays-Byrne will never quite shake his Toe-cutter days, he was an iconic and unusual villain but Immortan Joe will be iconic for his look and guttural voice.
I believe it would be safe to say that George Miller and writers, Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris, have created one of the greatest movies of modern cinema. In an age of reboots, superheroes and found footage horror it has been nice to go back to basics and witness some adrenaline injected action. Hardy has been contracted for 3 more journeys into the wasteland, I’ll be a willing passenger on every one them.
Movie Rating: 10/10