At first the signs did not look good for this movie. After all it’s the third sequel to a classic movie, that has been stuck in development hell for years, so how good could the film be? But then strange things started happening. It got a load of rave review and wide acclaim. Despite all it’s problems getting here could Mad Max: Fury Road actually be a decent movie?
Set in the future after nuclear war has made the world a desert wasteland, Max (Tom Hardy) is drifting on his own, haunted by his past. He is soon captured by a group called the Wild Boys led by the tyrannical Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrns). However when Furiosa (Charlize Theron) betrays Joe and takes his five wives away, Max ends up unwittingly involved in the women’s escape. But Immortan Joe won’t let his wives go without a fight.
I have a vague recollection of seeing Mad Max and Mad Max 2: Road Warrior, or at least I remember seeing the end of them. I haven’t seen the third movie, although I’ve definitely seen the Tina Turner music video for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. So while I’m not able to say if Fury Road lives up to its predecesories I can say that on its own merit it’s an adrenaline fuelled movie, that’s absolutely bonkers, and all the better for it. Whether it’s human blood bags being strapped to the front of vehicles or the villains’ crew including men playing guitars and drums on cars as they chase their victims across the deserts, this movie is appropriately quite mad. It’s also hugely enjoyable.
While Tom Hardy is strong and on brooding form as the title character its great that a testosterone full movie like this is not afraid of having strong female characters. Charlize Theron in particular is great as Furiosa. I was worried that the Five Wives (Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) were going to be useless baggage dragging the film down. While they are living McGuffins there to drive the plot along, they are actually interesting and make themselves useful. As the movie goes on you’re willing for them to make it away from Immortan Joe’s grip. Nicholas Holt as Wild Boy Nux is also great in this movie. He manages to be funny in one scene and then pitifully sad in another, even though he’s one of the people chasing after The Five Wives. The baddies are also appropriately grotesque and creepy.
It’s not a flawless movie. Max’s visions of his dead daughter are annoying, while I’m sure they provide the audience with Max’s motivations I still got irritated every time she appeared or heard her voice. But when a movie is as fun as this it’s a small quibble to have.
Rating 4/5 – over the top it made be, but it’s definitely the post apocalyptic-action blockbuster to beat