It’s been thirty years since George Miller’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and alas the much anticipated sequal/reboot/alternate universe or whatever you want to call it, is finally here. It’s the fourth instalment of the high octane cult franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road. Living up to and exceeding the reputation of it’s predecessors, Fury Road is a cocktail of electrifying intensity with rough and tough characters.
Civilisation has become unhinged in a futuristic wasteland. Water and gas are extremely scarce, even blood is a precious commodity for those weak and sick. Tom Hardy takes on Mel Gibson’s previous role of the gruff and wild Max Rockatansky. The film opens as Max is chased down and captured by a tribe of people who use him as a portable blood bank. Charlize Theron co-stars potraying Furiosa, a badass rebel, with a metal arm who risks everything. She starts a war when taking her boss, Immortan Joe’s, prize possessions; his angelic five brides. Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played the big bad in the original Mad Max (Toecutter), returns to the franchise as a, bigger, badder villain; Immortan Joe, the leader of a blood thirsty tribe of the Citadel. Among these stars is also a fantastic performance from Nicholas Holt who is transformed into one of the pasty punk war boys, Nux. Sickly but desperate to prove himself, Nux sets out with the rest of Immortan’s army to capture Furiosa. Max is whisked out into this manic chase by Nux so he can keep using Max’ blood. It all sounds quite mad and it is.
The film is pretty much one epic car chase as Furiosa is pursued by Immortan’s army. Humanity has gone back to primal instincts, it’s a matter of survival. Punk rock hooliganism with guitars shooting out flames and robotic arms are just a few elements that take you back to the era of early ozploitation films (for those cult film lovers), filled with barmy characters and rough ‘n’ tough action sequences. Yes, they do use CGI but when your riding through sand storms it’s the only way to bring the story to life on a behemoth scale. There are still elements of good old fashioned stunts and fight scenes, keeping the film edgy and the audience on their toes.
Even though Hardy has the titular role, Theron definitely leads the film. Female empowerment is a defining theme in the film and Theron has created an iconic female warrior. If you haven’t watched the previous trilogy, you should, though it’s not necessary to have watched them before watching Fury Road. Having worked on Babe and Happy Feet Miller has shown quite a bit versatility, but he has gone back to his roots after biding his time with this much anticipated film. It’s safe to say it’s been worth the wait. A fun yet brutal ensemble is just what an Aussie action movie should be. I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do with the next two, so watch that space.
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