When I first discovered that they were rebooting the Mad Max franchise my immediate thought was great, I have another little factoid that I can file away in my overflowing “things I will instantly forget about” cabinet. I can only assume this is what happened as I don’t actually remember registering that a new Mad Max film was being made until I saw the trailer a few weeks ago. The trailer was probably the most memorable moment from my trip to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
It will shock no one when I confess to not having watched the original Mad Max films. I have even become too lazy to pretend that they are in my “to watch” pile. They aren’t.
PLOT: The world has gone to hell and mankind has been reduced to living in a desert wasteland ruled by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Max (Tom Hardy) crosses paths with Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who is sneaking Joe’s wives out of the city. When Joe finds out he takes his fury on the road (see what I did there) and will stop at nothing to reclaim his property. END PLOT
The plot of Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t exactly a head scratcher but it doesn’t pretend to be. The basic premise is there and once everyone sets off on the road the action takes over. Despite a simple plot there are some brilliant unexplained moments such as the weird human milking parlour and the flaming guitar guy but these all add to the craziness rather than distract from it. Sometimes style, when it is done right, matters much more than substance.
Once we get on the road the action scenes are tense and genuinely exciting. I can only imagine that James Wan is watching Fury Road somewhere thinking damn, that’s how you make a movie about people driving cars. The action is crazy and felt like a return to man-made action sequences rather than CGI super-moments. I’ve suddenly realised that I have missed this type of action.
Unlike standard dystopian futures Fury Road wasn’t sapped of colour and managed to make a sandy environment look as pretty as it was harsh. I was thirsty just looking at it. Fury Road was gorgeously shot and it probably deserves another viewing to take the spectacle all in.
Tom Hardy is one of those actors who is always watchable but is at his best when he doesn’t have many lines. Hardy is great as Mute Max and grunts his way through the film with ease. Hardy may be playing the title character but this is Charlize Theron’s film. Theron manages to be the films biggest badass and its emotional core and she does it without breaking sweat. Hopefully this is the start of a resurgence for Theron as she is an actress that I want to love but never seem to enjoy the films she stars in. Nicholas Holt has added another fine performance to his resume and my inner nerd rejoices.
The trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road did its job well and got me all riled up for a film that hadn't appeared on my radar. I was not disappointed. Mad Max: Fury Road was great fun and for a summer action flick it was unexpectedly refreshing. It gets 8/10. Fury Road is a cinema film - whether or not it holds up on bluray remains to be seen. It will get a fair shot though. This is more than most films get these days.