Mad Max: Fury Road

Film, Action and adventure
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Mad Max: Fury Road

This belated franchise reboot is every bit as wild, weird and, yes, mad as we'd hoped

The fourth instalment of George Miller’s punky post-apocalyptic ‘Mad Max’ saga feels like a tornado tearing through a tea party. In an age of weightless movie spectacles, here’s a movie that feels like it was made by kidnapping $150 million of studio money, fleeing with it to the Namibian desert, and sending footage back to Hollywood like the amputated body parts of a ransomed hostage.

It’s been 30 years since we last watched Mel Gibson’s Max Rockatansky drift into the horizon in ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’, but the Road Warrior hasn’t aged a day. He’s been transformed from a reluctantly charismatic Gibson into a terse Tom Hardy. Yet much has changed in the wasteland that Max wanders. While previous episodes were set amid the rubble of a ruined world, the colourful hyper-saturated landscapes of this new movie locate the story closer to the dawn of a new civilization than the twilight of an old one.

Things begin inside the mountain stronghold ruled by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), an inbred monster who lords over a society that guzzles its citizens like fuel. Women are drained for their breast milk, girls are farmed for their wombs, and men like Max are used as vehicle ornaments called ‘bloodbags’. Unsurprisingly, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), Joe’s one-armed lieutenant, is ready for a change. When she drives off with his prized concubines, the warlord unleashes a suicidal eight-cylinder army on their trail. Pretty much the entire film is a screaming death race down Fury Road.

Marrying the biting frenzy of Terry Gilliam’s film universe with the explosive grandeur of James Cameron, Miller cooks up some exhilaratingly sustained action. But the key to this symphony of twisted metal is how the film never forgets that violence is a sort of madness. Miller’s world is a raw portrait of man at his most primitive, and the oppression of women has long been a recurring motif. With Theron’s Furiosa behind the wheel, though, ‘Fury Road’ steers this macho franchise in a brilliant new direction, forging a mythical portrait about the need for female rule in a world where men need to be saved from themselves.

That’s why Max is an enduring hero: he knows when to drive off into the sunset. This time, he leaves a generation of blockbuster cinema choking on his dust.

By: David Ehrlich

Posted:

Release details

Release date: Friday May 15 2015
Duration: 120 mins

Cast and crew

Director: George Miller
Screenwriter: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy
Cast: Tom Hardy
Charlize Theron
Nicholas Hoult
Zoë Kravitz

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Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:9
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
LiveReviews|16
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Ben C
1 of 1 found helpful
moderator

My heart rate never dipped below about 120bpm, and was often up nearer to 170. Relentlessly crazy...haven't seen a film like this in a very long time. Definitely one to see at the cinema.

Chris J
1 of 2 found helpful

this was incredibly boring after enjoying 10 moinutes of some good special effects it had nothing more to say , far too violent with no purpose whatsoever and no story this is nowhere near as good as the originals. 

Liz G
tastemaker

Felt exhausted after watching this film - so much action! As a sceptic of re-makes, I was pleasantly surprised at how gripping this movie was. The cinematography was spot on too. Weird and wonderful.

Adrian H
Tastemaker

This faced paced, adrenaline fuelled action features Tom Hardy as 'Mad Max', replacing the legendary Mel Gibson. Alongside Hardy, Charlize Theron joins the franchise as the one armed Furiosa.


The plot is basically a 2 hour car chase through the Australian outback. Tom Hardy has very little dialogue and often takes a back seat to Charlize Theron, which I feel adds to the overall dynamic of the film.


Well worth a watch and I can say that 3D adds a lot, having seen it in both 2D and 3D. This film is for everyone and not just fans of the original trilogy.

Alex Plim
moderatorStaff Writer

This film is breathless and intense, and it'll leave you feeling the same way. Sure, it doesn't waste much time on dialogue or a complex storyline, but who needs that when you've got a desert full of oily trucks and cars revving around and bumping into one another? This is one of the purest action movies I've ever seen – certainly not a disappointing continuation of the Mad Max franchise.

Masumi S

What a disappointment, all it is a chase movie, they escape, then get chased get to freedom, go oh!? Then return, thats it! Feck, glad I only watched it on an airplane

mcuttle
Tastemaker

Write a review...This has to be one of the best action movies I've ever seen, although I do disagree with a friend of mine who said "never have I been so breathless and so bored at the same time". For sure it is effectively just one massive car chase, but the mix of bat sh*t crazy visuals such as electric guitarists swinging on the front of diesel beasts or what looks like a futuristic Peter Stringfellow trying to get his strippers back makes for one hell of a ride! This isn't Max's story, it's Imperator Furiosa's. Charlize Theron is a total badass in this movie and I can't wait to see it again. I'll just bring some paracetamol next time.

Adam N

Absolutely mental from beginning to end, love the concept of meat bags, the guitar dude, them pole people... Saw the first film for the first time a couple weeks back and didn't like it, this is non stop action and completely nuts, very enjoyable film

Carly-Ann Clements
Staff Writer

I have never left a cinema so tense before in my life. If Max does indeed have high octane blood, I must have been getting my very own transfusion because my heart was pounding right from the start.


This film is stunning from beginning to end. It's rare to see something that has such a specific visual goal and to nail it in every scene. The attention to details is impeccable making the film all consuming. 


The fact that this is basically a two-hour car chase made me surprised that not only were the characters complex but I became entirely attached to them also. Charlize Theron (one of if not the best female actor working at the moment IMO) gave a seamless performance and Tom Hardy slipped into the role of Max effortlessly.


Yes, it was more about the action and about the grandeur of the set and design but this film made some great statements and told a story.


I would say I'd watch it again right now but I don't think my heart can take it.

LSO

I loved it!  Especially in bold IMAX 3D :)  Thought Charlize Theron was superb as the hardcore warrior woman and the visual effects etc were fab.  Storyline I agree was somewhat lacking but I certainly wasn't bored at all.

Emma P
Staff Writer

The set designers have done an incredible job of creating a visual world and the actors do the best they can with dialogue that fills perhaps 1% of the running time. Someone forgot about story, nuance and character.

Here's a potted version to save you wasting your time: Max gets taken prisoner by an empire run by an evil dictator; Max teams up with some women from the evil empire who escape (this bit takes ten minutes tops). Long vehicle chase scene. The End (some people die along the way but you won't care).


The absolute worst bit is when you think the film is about to end and then you realise there's a whole chapter to go involving the chase scene in reverse.

Max T

I expected big things from this for several reasons, not least because Tom Hardy is one of my favorite actors on the planet. Sadly, adding this to the media hype left far too much for the movie to do. I love a good action movie but this was honestly hugely OTT and the utterly relentless chaos which ensued for all 120 minutes made me uncomfortable throughout. In turn, the plot suffered. Especially as someone who hasn't seen the originals, I was completely dumbfounded by the direction of the movie (literally and metaphorically it moves in one direction an then heads back). Disappointed. 

Charly Lester
moderatorStaff Writer

Incredible film - NOT just one for the boys - be totally transported to another world for two and a half hours.  As someone who normally switches off during car chases in films, I was gripped by every minute.  Far more than a car chase. 

Paul C
Tastemaker

Pleasantly surprised what good fun, escapist and how physical this film is, playing to a near full house on a Sunday night. Ok, the story is totally daft and a Jeremy Clarkson three tissue fantasy,  the vehicles really are the stars.This time,Tom Hardy doesn't have a car phone to worry about and reprises Max in an exciting reboot. Charlize Theron brings a fantastic new tough female character to the screen, on a par with Ripley,  it would be great to see more of her as Imperator with Max. The Beat as Nux was a surprise and worked well, adding another fun spin to the story. This film is a fitting tribute to Newton's Laws of Motion and Top Gear so do go along, leave your Haynes manual and swarfega at home and have some non-stop mindless fun.

Popcorn Pig
0 of 1 found helpful

Bemused and bewildered by the 5 star reviews of this film. Yeah ok its very stylised and maybe I'm not the target audience but the endless vehicle chases and jumpy editing was relentless and boring. While it was quite enjoyable seeing Charlize Theron kick ass to begin with I lost interest in the characters and left half way through. Nothing against action films (in fact looking forward to the next Mission Impossible) but boy has this film been overhyped