George Miller has returned to his post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland for the fourth time, but for the first time since 1985 after Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Now if you’re unfamiliar with Miller’s first instalments of the series, the basis of the films are an ex-cop Max Rockatansky who seeks vengeance for his family who were murdered.
Mad Max: Fury Road however, is different, I’d say Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is leading the charge in Miller’s action-packed adrenaline-fuelled showpiece. Now with this film being the fourth in the Mad Max series, having a previous knowledge of these films is not strictly necessary, but knowing he’s a vengeful man, that all forms of civilisation have collapsed and gangs rampage throughout the wasteland.
Max (Tom Hardy) is captured in the film by a group of Immortan Joe’s Warboys and becomes a blood donor for the very sick Nux (Nicholas Hoult) or as Nux calls Max, bloodbag. Immortan Joe in a bid to get more guzzling (fuel) and bullets, sends out a war party led by Furiosa driving the war rig. They go off track shortly which leads to Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) discovering that Furiosa has taken his five wives, or breeders as they are known as to Joe, to chase after them. This is where the fun starts.
It’d be fair to say this is where the excitement happens and it’s largely non-stop aside from a few scenes here and there. Firstly it’s the battle for the war rig as Furiosa drives straight into a sandstorm (That Max somehow survives on the back of Nux’s car). Then comes the excitement of the canyon bikers and the war rig doing battle. What essentially happens is a constant battle for the wives between Immortan Joe and Furiosa/Max. But what they’re battling for rings through as Furiosa seeks redemption for what happened in her childhood and the wives wanting hope rather than being ‘things’, as they painted on the room wall ‘We are not things’.
The mass spectacle in the film is something that is simply jaw-dropping but rather enjoyable. The action sequences are simply incredible and none of them are tiring, or even slightly the same. Admittedly, there are many explosions, but in the way they are filmed was just exhilarating to watch unfold.
Coupled with the music that was involved, a variety to say the least, was simply fantastic and worked perfectly with the film. The war drums blended into the background when the war parties grew closer, to the guy shredding on guitar constantly (he must’ve been knackered) but then the overlaying orchestral music worked perfectly with what was being unleashed on the screen.
Now it’s not often that I mention cinematography or costume/make-up design in films, because it’s just something I’ve never been wowed by, but George Miller’s team was simply fantastic. The cold harsh blue over the marshland was simply fantastic. But the design that went into the cars, the make up, the costumes was just outstanding and an absolute joy making the film even more compelling to watch unfold.
My favourite character I must admit was the rather intriguing Nux. A follower to the death of Immortan Joe and led by the promise that he’ll be carried into the gates of Valhalla by Joe himself is enough the send Nux on the most insane mission. But when he fails. That when things get interesting, as a character who wants nothing more than to welcomed into Valhalla discovers life outside of the war parties and even develops affection.
Alas, everything cannot be perfect in the film. Unfortunately, the actual story is where the film falls flat. Everything else was really enjoyable, the acting, the action sequences and so on so forth. But the story was just a bit naff. I don’t want to spoil it, just don’t expect the biggest plot twist to evolve.
Overall, this is an excellent film and definitely worth the hype and praise that it’s been receiving recently. George Miller wanted to create this ride of a lifetime at the cinema that he used to experience himself and I believe that is exactly what he’s done. The film is exciting, fast-paced and of course (as I’ve mentioned) an absolute joy to watch. The characters themselves are excellent, even though Max is a man of few words, Furiosa leads the charge helped along with Joe’s wives, mainly Angharad (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) as Joe’s favourite, probably helped by her being pregnant. This mixed into the intoxicating rhythm by the war drums and Miller’s excellent use of orchestral music makes this an excellent picture and one worth watching. (In the cinema if you can)
“Oh, what a lovely day”