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MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – Movie Review

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Oh, what a flick! What a lovely flick!

What do you get when you have an emergency room doctor who has seen just about everything pertaining to chaos, takes those memorable experiences and creatively ties them to his obsession with film and cars and takes matters into his own hands?

The birth of one of Hollywood’s badass franchises!

Scraping together a tight budget, George Miller assembled a fun-filled troupe of motorbikes, muscle cars; cast an unknown named Mel Gibson, and hit the desolate highways on the gritty outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. Capturing the raw feeling and energy of cataclysmic scenarios, with real people moving around in vehicles at top speed gave us MAD MAX!

As MAD MAX burst onto screens in 1979 and sent harsh shockwaves throughout movie-based culture, the legend grew, and Miller escalated his singular brand of intense action. Following through such an unstoppable force of a true fast-and-furious flick, Miller blessed us with two more films – the iconic MAD MAX: THE ROAD WARRIOR (’81) and the extravagant MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME (’85).

Thirty years later, the originator of the post-apocalyptic genre presents us with MAD MAX: FURY ROAD! That’s right; it’s the official return of the Road Warrior!

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max (Tom Hardy) believes the best way to survive is to wander as a loner. Nonetheless, he gets sucked in with a group fleeing across the wasteland in a war rig driven by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). They are escaping a tyrannized haven owned and terrorized by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) from whom an irreplaceable, precious commodity has been taken. Enraged, the vicious warlord calls for all his gangs and pursues the escaped rebels ruthlessly in a high-octane, death-ridden chaotic chase that follows.

For starters, I’ve never really been a fan of reboots or spin-offs. However, granted this is nothing like the original, or even tries to be, the engrossing piece of viciousness is the exception to the rule. Nothing near what could be considered a “remake,” George Miller still has that flawless style of unleashing his vision of a world gone mad. Playing it out as a breathless chase from start to finish, along with a unique score of musical intensity, FURY ROAD is somewhere between a whacked out rock concert and a demented opera.

Rough, rugged and raw, FURY ROAD presents a darker version of solitary figures in a world stripped bare following the collapse of a civil society…

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Despite very little dialog, the flick speaks for itself and explains its objective right from the start. Coming off a little hard, for some it may be a bit of a challenge to get into. Gritty and loud, its intro is one that surely takes a strong grip on one’s psyche and takes you to a place outside yourself. Slowly and forcefully, it’s quite a unique cinematic experience. Actually, one that may very well be an acquired taste considering such a harsh genre…

Tom Hardy never seems to fail with anything these days. Looking at it as “Bane Version 2.0,” Mad Max is another role that clearly exposes this man’s raw talent and ability to dominate simply with a stare or movement; it wouldn’t even matter if he was a mute to be honest.

Working off Charlize Theron was an interesting thing to see. Both characters have their back-story, but loses grip once the flick heads on a road to drama. Emotional touch is very difficult with this kind of layout as a narrative, and seeing as there were some characters linked to Charlize (Furiosa) that felt forced, when tapping for the heart erupts, it doesn’t come off well. No room for relation or empathy due to little character development.

The same applies for Nux (Nicholas Hoult, but this particular character is so over-the-top, it’s a joy to take him in as presented.

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

But truth is from scenery, to wardrobe, to the gritty, post-apocalyptic personalities portrayed by all characters, this movie is intensely awesome. Its visual positives outweigh its negatives a million to one. It’s still a mind-boggling experience and doesn’t even need to be compared to its predecessors. Honestly, never has civilization gone mad seem so much fun and interesting in a cynical way. That of course is thanking Miller himself for tackling his own carnival of chaos. Giving it new life and wrangling in a new fan-base.

Bring on the apocalypse. What lies afterwards seems fun!


Grade: A – / Genre: Action, Adventure & Horror / Rated: R / Run Time: 2 Hrs.

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

Directed by: George Miller

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