When the first Mad Max film came out, I was not even a year old and the only things I remember of the last of the Mel Gibson led Max films was Tina Turner singing “We don’t need another heroooo…” So, I went in to the George Miller reboot of his own creation, Mad Max: Fury Road a bit blind. But oh, I have seen the light and it is glorious. Not only do the beautifully filmed action sequences leave you breathless, but in Fury Road, you also get a car chase to rival all car chase sequences in history, a soundtrack that is a storyteller in itself, non stop adventure with purpose and we finally, FINALLY get the female hero we have long asked for in Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. Bad ass doesn’t even begin to describe Furiosa.
When Fury Road opens, Max (Tom Hardy) is staring out into a wasteland as a his voiceover tells us that the world is pretty much, gone to hell. He has survived this far, although haunted by visions of those he couldn’t save. Then, the action begins and it doesn’t give you time to catch your breath. He gets kidnapped by the War Boys of warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and turned into a literal blood bag for one of the war boys named Nux (Nicholas Hoult).
Ok…take a breath cause the next one won’t come for a long, long time.
Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), under the guise of making a gasoline run with her war rig and a small crew of Immortan’s guys, actually smuggles Joe’s wives aka “prized breeders” (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoe Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton and Riley Keough) out and when Joe finds out, well, he’s kinda pissed. He sets out to reclaim his “property” and now, we have an all out battle shot through the Namibian desert.
Dialogue is minimal, at best, but the cast conveys more emotion in a look or a stare than most other films need pages of dialog for. Instead, Miller uses an endorphin boosting score by Junkie XL to further define the story, and creates supporting characters in every single element on screen that include the cars, bikes and even the desert itself. Most scenes where shot directly with no use of CGI or green screen, instead opting for strategic editing. The whole time you cheer because you know you are watching an hones to goodness stunt, not a computer maneuvered sequence.
…and then there is Furiosa. There has never been a better female hero created. She is not perfect but she is strong, thoughtful, fierce and loyal. She is not there to “support” Max but rather to stand as his equal in every blow, step and explosion along the way. The wives aren’t your damsels in distress either, each is active in their own escape.
Mad Max: Fury Road will leave you awed, breathless and you’ll feel like your mind has exploded a few times. You’ll let out that breath you’ve been holding the full span of the movie, and then beg for more.
Mad Max: Fury Road is rated R and opens May 15th.