16 may. 2015

Mad Max Fury Road (9/10): Geroge Miller's vision perfectly executed in this action pounding orchestra of a film

“As the world fell it was hard to know who was more crazy. Me... Or everyone else.”

To describe George Miller’s fourth post-apocalyptic Mad Max film as crazy would be an understatement because it is one of those rare over the top and unique action films that keeps you at the edge of your seat during its entire runtime with fantastic car chases and inventive fighting scenes that feel like a breath of fresh air in an era dominated by CGI effects. The visuals absolutely stun you and Miller’s amazing vision of this apocalyptic wasteland is beautifully captured through the camera. It may have taken 30 years for this sequel to be released, but it is a huge improvement over Beyond Thunderdome and it manages to build on what The Road Warrior had achieved by introducing a much more chaotic world and colorful characters. Fury Road works both ways as either a sequel or a reboot, and it erases most of the problems I had with Max’s character in the previous film. This is a return to what Miller had done in The Road Warrior, but with a much higher budget to work with and that allowed his vision to be fully fulfilled here. Three more Mad Max films are already in the talks and I can’t wait to embark with Max on his next adventures. This is going to be a very difficult film to top and so far it’s the best 2015 has to offer.

In Fury Road, Tom Hardy replaces Mel Gibson for the lead role of Max, a wondering warrior who’s still coping with the loss of his wife and son as he travels through the post-apocalyptic deserted wasteland. The film begins with a group of bandits chasing Max who eventually capture him and take him to The Citadel, where a ruthless leader named Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) controls the water supply for the masses that have gathered below the heights of the mountain where he is based. Joe doesn’t just control the water supply, he also has a large army of War Boys who he has trained to sacrifice themselves willingly for his service, farming women who breed their breast milk, and even several beautiful wives to give him children. Joe has created quite an empire, and Max has been enslaved to serve as a blood donor for the injured War Boys. We are introduced to this crazy place and its rules as Joe sends his trusted lieutenant, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) on a local errand with her fuel filled rig to Gasland. However, she  decides to take another route and her intentions are soon revealed. She is helping some of Joe’s wives escape from their enslavement promising to lead them to the green lands. When Joe discovers that she has betrayed him he sends all his boys out on a desperate chase and that includes Nux (Nicholas Hoult), one of the War Boys who is using Max as his personal blood bag. Nux chains Max to the front of his vehicle and brings him along the desperate and nonstop chase that ensues. For the next two hours Fury Road is basically one extensive chase that will get the entire audiences’ blood pumping.  

I’ve praised Miller’s vision and his direction, as well as the spectacular action set pieces he has crafted, but it wouldn’t do this film justice if the cast didn’t receive its share of praise as well. It isn’t easy to fill the shoes of such an iconic character like Mad Max, but Tom Hardy pulled it off in a very convincing matter. As much as I like Mel Gibson, I have to give Hardy a lot of praise for delivering such an entertaining performance. He is one of my favorite actors working today. It was also great to see Hugh Keays-Byrne back in a Mad Max film playing a different character this time, but he absolutely nailed the menacing role of Joe. Nicholas Hoult was also a pleasant surprise, but perhaps the greatest addition to this franchise was Charlize Theron’s Furiosa who injects the film with a very much needed feminist tone. Theron delivers perhaps the strongest and most memorable role in the movie and she is one kick-ass action star. It helped that she got a lot of action scenes where she actually got to do something instead of being the damsel in distress. The look of the film is also breathtaking, and the way that Miller envisions this world is simply fantastic. The cool vehicles are built from all sorts of scrappy metals and materials you’d collect in the wasteland. Everything about this film is simply fantastic and the action scenes don’t disappoint one bit. You will feel the rush from the very opening scene and it will continue long after the credits begin to roll. Fury Road is the best film of the franchise.   

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