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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on Mad Max: Fury Road

MadMaxFuryRoadAfter thirty years, director George Miller returns to his signature franchise with Mad Max: Fury Road.  Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) scours across the post-apocalyptic wasteland haunted by visions of his tragic past.  Max finds himself captured by the War Boys, lead by the tyrannical Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), and is designated as a living blood bag for War Boy Nux (Nicholas Hoult).  Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) secretly sneaks out Joe’s five wives while leaving on a gas run.  When he finds out about this betrayal, Joe and the War Boys give chase and Max and Furiosa reluctantly team together to get to their destination of the “Green Place.”

Mad Max: Fury Road is a film that George Miller has been trying to make for quite some time.  The film was originally set to go into production over a decade ago, with Mel Gibson slated to return to the role of Max Rockatansky.  Those plans changed after the film was delayed and now Mad Max: Fury Road has been refitting to be a “reimagining” of the franchise.  The film is not quite a sequel to the original trilogy, but it can’t really be called a reboot either.  Instead, Mad Max: Fury Road uses the already established backstory and drops the character of Max Rockatansky into this story, involving Imperator Furiosa’s efforts to liberate five women, including The Splendid Angharad (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) and Toast the Knowing (Zoë Kravitz), from the War Boys.

For a film titled Mad Max, the film does a somewhat brave thing and deemphasizes Max for much of the film.  For practically the entire first act, Max is a prisoner of the War Boys and is tied to the front of Nux’s car for the first of many lengthy car chases in the film.  Even after he is eventually freed, Max somewhat ends up playing second fiddle to Furiosa, who is the true stand-out character of the film.  That said, Tom Hardy is pretty decent in the role and this film is one that really emphasizes the “madness” of Max, since he frequently has hallucinations from his past.  The film also features the return of Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played the villain Toecutter in the original Mad Max, as the masked villain Immortan Joe, with former professional wrestler Nathan Jones playing Joe’s son and second-in-command Rictus Erectus.

As per the film’s title, the bulk of Mad Max: Fury Road involves the journey to the “Green Place.”  In fact, it can be argued that the film is essentially one giant multi-part car chase.  With many modern action films relying on CGI, it is pretty refreshing that the bulk of the car chases and stunts in Mad Max: Fury Road are done practically.  The film also goes quite over-the-top with this post-apocalyptic world, which includes many weird and deformed characters and guys playing flame-throwing guitars.

I can very confidently say that I was pretty entertained by Mad Max: Fury Road.  After three decades of waiting, George Miller has returned to the series and has created a high-octane apocalyptic opera.

★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).