Mad Max Fury Road is a breath of fresh air in the modern action genre, a new entry in the film series created and now continued by George Miller and the film stands alone as an entry point to the world of Mad Max or as continuation of the story in a way, though the film isn’t a sequel or prequel. Fury Road stars an updated cast of characters, including the ever brilliant Tom Hardy as Max, as well as Charlize Theron as Furiosa, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington Whiteley and with Hardy and Theron in the spotlight, though Theron steals the show as Furiosa, an empowered and generally kick ass character.
The world of Fury Road is set in a dystopian future, presumably after a global nuclear fallout with scarce resources, the story takes place in a desert, so you can probably guess what major resources will be scarce. And in this world there’s a hierarchy headed by ‘Dad’ or Immortan Joe, a sort of spiritual leader to the group leaving in the valley, he controls the flow of water in the area and subjugates the people below him, using women as tools for breeding or providing milk… yep. However after years of strife and service to Joe and his ways, Furiosa takes a different route and sets about freeing the wives from Joe and going to a safer, better land and along the way she and her group happens across Max, kicking off main plot. The setting itself provides for the open road car chase sequences and some of the best car related action and stunts that I’ve ever seen and Fury Road is a film driven by action and while that makes up a large portion if it, it’s not purely action. Also interesting to note is the world itself that makes Fury Road, populated by various factions and locales, not fully explored in the film which leaves room fore expansion and sequels.
The visuals are stunning and it’s incredible and also clear that more or less all of the big action set pieces were done practically, in real life and with no green screen, adding to the thrill and sense of danger in every extended car chase, the cars themselves are weapons and imaginatively designed, from tankers to spiked hedgehog looking off road cars. And the weapons and tools the characters used were just as creative and different, from spears with explosives on them to long bars used to move from car to car when on the move, Fury Road simply stands out from the pack in terms of action films with a very distinctly George Miller feel to it, from the action, the costumes and weapons to the dialogue itself.
Dialogue which is very succinct and always purposeful, whether it’s exposition, or dialogue from Nux about the concept of Valhalla and the warrior mentality the sleek boys have and while some of the lines in it were cheesy, there weren’t many wasted words in the film, especially not from Max as Tom Hardy. He doesn’t speak that much in the film like in the originals, but he’s still far from silent, especially expressing himself through his actions and Hardy really envelopes the role, embodying the idea of the traditional action hero, out to save others but not looking for praise or glory. While Theron as Furiosa embodies female empowerment and perseverance, though the character being male or female shouldn’t hugely matter as she’s a strong character and well written.
Fury Road was an exciting thrill ride from start to finish and the time certainly flew by as I watched it, the plot holds onto you and the action excites you as things progress and the action was genuinely tense and thrilling with some very extended action set pieces and for the most part unpredictable parts. Max, Furiosa and other protagonists were very close to dying several times and no one felt truly safe, again this is testament to some great writing and the lack of CGI or throwaway characters, though plenty of people do die in the film. It’s great action at its’ finest and it doesn’t try to be anything deeper, which isn’t to say an action film has to be pure action but Fury Road is also a good drama that blends an interesting bunch of characters together in an exciting and thrilling story with some fantastic action, it’s an easy re-watch and also easily one of the best films of 2015 so far.
. Has some fantastic acting, especially from Theron, Hardy
. Excellent action sequences with a feeling of genuine tension, helped by use of practical effects
. Fantastic visuals, expertly shot film
. A few cheesy lines here and there