TL;DR – A masterpiece of action and cinema, something you should go see just for the spectacle.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Wow, just wow, George Miller knows how to put on a visual spectacle. Now I should mention at this point that I have never seen any of the other Mad Max’s (outside of those clips you see from time to time on TV) so while I had a basic understanding of the lore, I (for better or worse) did not come into this film with nostalgia baggage, which is good because you don’t need any of that to enjoy this film.
So for those who don’t know anything about this franchise, it’s the post-apocalyptic (everyone got nuked apparently) Australian (well Namibia due to untimely flowers near Broken Hill) Outback and we have reverted to tribalism/barbarism. I think it is these themes of Barbarism/Tribalism that the movie really shines, as it mashes all of those images of Germanic/Nordic tribes with technology left over after the world ended. This creates a visually stunning world which feels both highly alien yet familiar. Overall there are some very interesting themes running under the action of this movie which is truly fascinating.
As far as the casting Tom Hardy is a believable Max, though I would say 90-95% of his dialogue is through grunts, Charlize Theron (Furiosa) kicks ass and the supporting cast is almost all Australian actors. Wait is that John Howard, yep, no is that Megan Gayle, you bet ya, wait a second that’s the old lady from Farscape (Melissa Jaffer), indeed it is.
There are a number of things that simply elevates Mad Max Fury Road above other movies like this. Firstly there is the directorial discipline of George Miller, the action is always in the center frame so no matter how many cuts you make you can follow what is happening. The next is the substance of the film, without giving the story away it is more than just a run and gun shoot-em-up, there is a strong message about the world that you don’t usually see a film like this tackle. Of course, the one thing you have to admire is the action, wow, as more and more films move to CGI (not a bad thing, just a thing), Mad Max shows how good practical effects can still be. Though if you are not a fan of action, then this is not the film for you as it is almost one long action beat, with only a few moments of downtime throughout and it earns its MA15+ rating.
In the end, this is a visually stunning film with a lot of substance behind it. I highly recommend.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Directed By – George Miller
Written By – George Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris
Starring – Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee & Courtney Eaton
Rating – Australia: MA 15+; Canada: 14A; Ireland: 15A; NZ: R16; UK: 15; USA: R