Frankly, I don’t remember much of the original Mad Max series, well having seen just the 1st installment many years ago, my memory of the events which transpired is somewhat limited, especially when it comes to more specific elements of the world, so I might be wrong in saying that this sequel/ reboot has some of the most ingenious and in-depth world building I’ve seen anyone accomplish. Even if I’m wrong about that, the post apocalyptic society Miller has constructed in this film gives an insight into what humanity might devolve into after the apocalypse. In a time when superhero films like Avengers or aliens robots beating each other up (Transformer series) are considered action blockbusters, director George Miller has given us something which we could not even imagine from its exciting trailers – a true blockbuster!! George Miller has returned with the some serious firepower at his disposal. Firepower in the form of 150 million dollars and the limitless wonders of modern technology.
Miller fires off this ammunition at full force to create the impossibly vast and intimately gritty world of Max Rockatansky in the grandiose way I think he envisioned it from the start. Upon seeing the first trailer for this film I said it looked like the Mad Max film Miller always wanted to make but didn’t have the tech or the money to accomplish. Seeing the movie in its glorious two-hour entirety affirms that statement. The story follows Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), an ex highway patrolman haunted by his past who after roaming the deserts is captured & held captive in the Citadel, the city where the ruthlessly totalitarian leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) is ruling over. The grotesquely brutal lord maintains tight grip of every valuable resources across the land. This brings the entire populace crippling under his control. As for Max, he becomes merely a blood bag for Nux (Nick Hoult) one of Joe’s War Boys, who is a fatal devout to the cause of their fascist leader, who has promised them the glory of getting into Valhalla, the promised land. During a high-octane speed chase, he He meets the Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who is being pursued by the dictatorial Wasteland leader “Joe”. Furiosa reaches for Max for help in keeping the ‘Five Wives’—women she brought with her—into safety, as Joe’s deranged breed of warriors called The War Boys, that are barely humans, are raging across the desert to capture them. This pursuit throws the unlikely partners into the walloping dangers of bloody escape, suddenly sending them into a game of survival. Much of the movie is spent with furious speed chases that goes from end to end of Joe’s subjugated land, while also taking surprising twists and turns along the way. It’s like it doesn’t know how to stop, and if it does, that’s surely only to allow us breathe and catch up with the next electrifying action set piece. There’s an enigmatic style Miller has employed to provide distinctions in his fantasy world, and it keeps the momentum in tack, if not ever progressing. The tone of the movie, all those vividly dark colors, that magically shifts from something to another, imparts a drowning experience, only it’s enjoying and looks festive to the eyes. This makes every eye-squashing spectacles take mammoth forms of visual extravaganza, turning all those burning combustion, metal blasts, and endless pursuits, from mere technical marvels into a hair-raising escapade.
The action is so brutal and appropriately high-octane. I thought to myself more than once, ‘I think I am loving this more than Terminator 2′ but other than that, there wasn’t time to think. It kicked off fast and barely stopped, and the lulls were amplified by the insanity preceding them. Amid these sanity-grabbing action sequences, though, is an emotional streak that keeps Max and Furiousa’s humanity alive. Hardy is brilliant as the tortured lead character and delivering a believable portrait of his desire to survive the present while mentally enduring his past. He is given minimal dialogue, but is able to become the heart of this post-apocalyptic tale. Interestingly, Hardy is not the primary lead in the film that bears his name. Charlie Theron‘s shining portrayal of Furiosa is the literal and figurative driver of the film. She manages to redefine feminine heroism for film makers. She has strength, purpose and a sacrificial depth that presses the story beyond a mindless chase scene. In a genre that tends to victimize or sexualize the female leads, Miller portrays a strong female lead without any unnecessary feminist underpinnings. In masking her natural beauty, Theron is allowed to develop her strengths and vulnerabilities without making a political statement. Both Hardy and Theron are supported by an excellent supporting cast that moves this experience from a mere adrenaline rush to a story of fighting for your right to live, seeing that sacrifice is part of freedom and ultimately for the hope for redemption. Nicholas Hoult and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are likeable! Director George Miller delivers a masters class in story telling and stunt driven effects that successfully convey back story, cultural nuance and the justification of these desperate acts of disobedience and violence.
Even as the fourth outing for this character, we are given a fresh storyline and wealth of new characters for a new generation. Apparently, It is not necessary to see the original films to enjoy this chapter in Max’s adventures, but just for the sake of it I might go back to watch the first two well received films in this anthology. On the whole, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘ is a visual masterpiece! It’s an explosive, obscene, grotesque, beautiful movie which is made to satisfy every movie goer! This is a film that needs to be experienced, felt, and forever cherished. This is the best film released all year, well it is the best action film so far this of this decade, and that is no exaggeration. The moment I stepped out of the cinema, all I could feel is “What a lovely day.”
Overall Rating: 9.8