Humanity has descended into chaos and war. With water and oil a precious commodity, the warlord Immortal Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) rules with an iron fist. A rebel is caught named Max (Tom Hardy) and is used as a supply of blood for Joe’s fledgling army. He escapes and inadvertently gets embroiled in a frantic chase alongside Furiosa, (Charlize Theron), a woman looking to make it back to her childhood homeland with some very precious, stolen cargo.
After making Mel Gibson a star, Tom Hardy is now front and centre as Mad Max in this visceral and frankly crazy monster of a movie. Full of outlandish characters, breathtaking spectacle and plenty of pyrotechnics, this could be the biggest surprise hit of the summer.
Having original director/co-writer George Miller onboard doesn’t hurt the movie one bit. In fact, it’s a great project to see unfold through the pen and lens of the same person 36 years later. The apocalyptic trailer promised a true visceral treat and it certainly delivers on that. The set pieces are simply stunning with a level of invention and structure that you have not seen on-screen before. The film is, in essence, one massive chase sequence, so the action has to be on-point throughout. Mad Max: Fury redefines the parameters of what spectacle action-cinema should be.
If there is criticism to be levelled onto the film, it’s that Max doesn’t feature as much as you’d have hoped. Charlize Theron classes up any project and her prominent placing in all of the trailers and promotional art suggested that she was always going to play a large role in this film. I would say it’s primarily her movie, with Hardy supplying rugged support. Hardy is great as Max and certainly warranted more pivotal screen-time. The two share a wonderful dynamic though.
The best surprise comes in the form of Nicholas Hoult as Nux. He hands in a transformative performance full of frenetic energy and angst. Josh Helman matches his guile as Slit, while there is solid support from the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough and Zoë Kravitz. There are familiar faces from the original Mad Max too, most notably Hugh Keays-Byrne as the main villain of this piece, Immortal Joe.
Mad Max: Fury Road is an unforgettable cinematic experience that assaults the senses and delivers an outstanding visual treat. The story doesn’t match up to the levels of action on display, but it nevertheless still creates a blockbuster that you absolutely must see. Even if it is one massive ‘wacky races’ car chase of a movie. Let’s hope we see more of Max in a sequel very soon.