Calling Mad Max: Fury Road a great movie is a severe understatement. The best way I can describe it is as a two-hour, action-packed blockbuster with some of the most outstanding visuals and cinematography I’ve ever witnessed in a post-apocalyptic setting. Is that too long of a tagline? Oh well. The film deserves this praise. It’s simply unbelievable. Even now, long after I’ve left the theater, my mind is still reeling and winding down from all the intensity packed into the movie. (spoilers ahead!)
I wouldn’t call Mad Max: Fury Road a sequel to the original series, but I also wouldn’t call it a reboot either. It’s somewhere in the middle. You can watch the film as a die-hard fan of the old Mad Max films, or as a newbie with little-to-no knowledge of the lore. Don’t worry – the story is very straightforward, so you won’t get tripped up along the way.
In a post-apocalyptic and resource-limited world, Max is a solitary drifter haunted by the memories of his murdered daughter. At the beginning of the film, he’s caught and imprisoned in the Citadel, a massive, class-divided canyon city under the rule of King Immortan Joe and his War Boys. Imperator Furiosa, a gas-collector for the Citadel, flees the city in her War Rig along with several other women. Along the way, Furiosa and her team meet up with the escaped Max, and they work together to find a distant land full of nourishment called the Green Place. Things get difficult when Joe and his War Boys pursue the escapees to the edge of the desert to take back what’s rightfully theirs.
The post-apocalyptic scenario has been done to death, but Mad Max: Fury Road somehow knows the right formula for reviving the genre. I think what made this film stand out was the high use of color and bright visuals. Usually, when you watch an end-of-the-world film, everything looks so bleak and barren. Not in this case. For a movie that’s attempting to convey the hopelessness and emptiness of a post-apocalpytic Earth, there sure are a lot of bright and vivid colors. No complaints here. I liked the change of pace. Not only did it make it much easier to see what the hell was going on, but it also emphasized the outstanding special effects used in the action sequences. Fun fact: did you know that this film used as little CGI as it could? Director George Miller wanted to avoid relying on too much computer generated imagery and instead opted for practical effects to get the point across. You’ll be surprised when you watch this film and realize that such a small portion is CGI.
When I say the movie was 95% action sequences, I am not exaggerating. It’s not even mindless action either. These scenes aren’t like something you would find in a Transformers film. They’re actually entertaining and interesting, with no monotony or repetitiveness whatsoever. There are about five to ten minutes of non-action scenes, and this is the time you’ll spend catching your breath. Have I properly emphasized the amount of action yet?
Even the acting was pretty good in this movie. Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy both kick major ass, however, whenever Hardy grumbled his lines, I couldn’t help but think of Bane. I hope I’m not the only one who noticed this. I can’t forget to show some love to Nicholas Hoult either. I haven’t seen him perform in many movies, though I have to say that this was one of my favorite roles for him. I won’t even tell you who he portrays. I’ll let you figure it out. It should be glaringly obvious, but it’ll still blow you away when you discover it’s Hoult portraying the character.
The villainous King Immortan Joe, is unique, menacing, but a bit hollow overall. The first time we see Joe, he’s being suited up in light armor and a breathing apparatus. This strongly reminded me of the scene from Guardians of the Galaxy where Ronan is first being introduced. Joe is almost as one-dimensional as Ronan is, which is a shame, because he’s wonderfully portrayed by Hugh Keays-Byrne and deserved a little more development. But who am I kidding? I didn’t go to see this movie for a super-deep antagonist or complicated plot. King Joe was a decent villain and a proper enemy to face off against Max and Furiosa.
The last thing I have to talk about is the overall campiness. In the original Mad Max series, there was a lot of silliness with the characters and their behavior. With this new film, you’ll get a moment or two of this same style. The movie keeps up with a mature, serious theme most of the time, but there are certain aspects that viewers may find a bit ridiculous. I’m mainly talking about the Doof Warrior, a guitar-playing War Boy tethered to a speaker system mounted on one of Joe’s War Rigs. Let that sink in: in all this mayhem with truck chases, canyon raiders, and explosions, there is still room for a post-apocalyptic rock show. The Doof Warrior’s tunes make up the best part of the film’s soundtrack, and you can’t help but cheer him on whenever he comes on screen.
Go see this movie. I’m going to say that again. Go see this movie. You don’t have to binge-watch the earlier films before you go, but they will help familiarize you with the attitude and themes you might experience during Mad Max: Fury Road. Also, make sure you see it in theaters; I doubt that the epicness will properly transfer to DVD or Blu-Ray. Take advantage of the full experience by catching this hit in theaters ASAP.
Have you seen Mad Max: Fury Road yet? What did you think? Are you excited for a sequel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter!