There are action movies and then there’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Nothing will prepare you for director George Miller’s enfant sauvage. Visuals of which were probably picked from Jules Verne’s Steampunk, Dystopian nightmares. This almost feels like it belongs to a different era when movies were not spoon fed to the audience. From the first scene itself, I thought it felt different and refreshing in a way that this wasn’t following any convention, not much exposition, the tried and tested Hero’s Journey that has been the prime studio formula is thrown out in the first 15 minutes itself, and the most audacious part is that Mad Max isn’t even the primary protagonist of this movie.
Fury Road isn’t a reboot. It’s just another chapter in the legend of Mad Max. One significant change made to the character is that he’s literally made mad, by having him constantly haunted by visions of dead friends and family. His paranoia is amped up after his escape which employs Tom Hardy full acting abilities into making us believe how psychotic he can get, both with his nuances and his use of words or noises which are mostly monosyllabic. The true star of this movie is Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa, who deserves her own spin off. Her steely gaze emote more than most actors would do with a Shakespearean Script. This is the best female roles written for this genre since Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor. Hugh Keays-Byrne returns to the Mad Max world playing the villain, Immortan Joe. He played Toecutter, the antagonist in the first Mad Max feature film.
If you’ve seen the previous Mad Max films, you’ll notice how eccentric it got with each successive movie. Fury Road embraces all that craziness and turns it up to 11. The stunts are mostly practical, CGI crashes would be disingenuous to what had made the earlier movies so special. This should teach modern directors on how to make proper vehicle oriented movies and also include super models in it and have them actually play a part rather than be eye candy only.
The Vehicle designs are out of this world. Drawing inspiration from the previous films, they are as badass as can be expected in a Mad Max feature. Fans of The Interceptor will be left disappointed, it barely gets 5 minutes of screen time, hence my claim of this not being a Mad Max movie in the first place, it’s replacement the War Rig though more than makes up for it.
The action set pieces keep coming. They’re relentless, unabashed displays of glorious violence. 90% of the running time is dedicated to set pieces alone and Miller keeps finding new ways to gleefully let go an arsenal of full Summer Blockbuster explosions on command.
In conclusion, Mad Max is the movie which Michael Bay dreams of making. It dares every other action movie to stop being “Mediocre”. If you haven’t watched it yet, you need to drop everything you’re doing and go WITNESS IT!