If there’s one thing everyone who watches Mad Max: Fury Road can agree on, it’s the fact that it is the definition of “intense”. It is two hours of absolute mayhem with only a couple scenes where you can actually breathe and relax your body… but only for a few seconds. There are countless post-apocalyptic car chases involving crazed, wide-eyed characters; plenty of hand-to-hand combat; a handful of models on the run; and a mostly-silent Tom Hardy caught in the middle of the chaos. Dialogue and backstory are limited, but the gist of the story isn’t that difficult to understand.
It’s a barren world consisting of mostly sand and heat and appears to be set far in Earth’s future after what one can only assume is some nuclear disaster. Those who have survived are struggling with day to day life and fighting over oil and water. The man villain, called Immortan Joe, is hoarding a large water supply and imprisoning women who have been untouched by deformity as his wives. When one of his best (Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron) decides to rebel, all hell breaks loose. The unlucky Max (Tom Hardy) is literally caught in the middle of the chase but teams up with Furiosa when his options run out. It becomes obvious that Max has some issues relating to whatever happened in his past, but we’ll have to wait for the sequel to learn more – and there will definitely be a sequel.
Thankfully for the younger generation, watching the original Mad Max trilogy from the 70’s and 80’s (Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Beyond the Thunderdome, all starring Mel Gibson) is not necessary; but given that the writing and directing is by the same man (George Miller), one can assume there are ties and similarities that would be appreciated by the crowd who liked the originals. Admittedly, sometimes it is difficult to understand what is going on and what the main villain is saying (think ‘Bane’ from The Dark Knight Rises), but in the end it doesn’t really matter. The action and cinematography are nothing short of spectacular and despite the general insanity going on on-screen, most of the stunts and action sequences seem ‘possible’ (with a few exceptions, of course). Unlike natural disaster movies that leave you rolling your eyes and saying, “Ya, right”, Max Mad: Fury Road will just leave you wide-eyed because it doesn’t give you time to think about anything else.
The general concept of the film, the ensuing madness, and the extreme violence (somehow it is only rated 14A in Canada) will not appeal to everyone; but like it or not, it will still be an ‘experience’ you won’t be likely to forget. Just keep in mind that the “Oh my God!” look on your face (eyes wide, eyebrows up, forehead crinkled) might lead to a few more botox injections down the road, so budget accordingly.
Mad Max: Fury Road was released on May 14, 2015 and is now playing in theatres where it has grossed well over $350M worldwide.
Update: Mad Max won Academy Awards for:
Best Achievement in Film Editing
Best Achievement in Costume Design
Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Best Achievement in Production Design
Watch the trailer: