“Mad Max: Fury Road” is taking theaters by storm and I can guarantee that positive word-of-mouth is going to keep the film on a collision course with blockbuster status. It literally doesn’t let up for longer than maybe 10 minutes during the entire running time. Once Max and Furiosa hit the road, there’s no slowing down as they’re chased by several “War” parties through the perilous and vibrantly shimmering and bright deserts of the post-apocalyptic wastelands.
Mad Max (Tom Hardy) is determined to wander the post-apocalyptic wasteland alone. He reluctantly joins Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a fugitive imperator, and her band who are all trying to escape a savage warlord.
The most amazing part about “Mad Max: Fury Road” is the fact that most of what you see on the screen was practical effects and real stunts. Director George Miller used CGI as sparingly as he could. He used it to enhance the environments our heroes and their pursuers barrel through. Obviously the desert storm wasn’t real either, but still looks amazing.
Director George Miller using Hugh Keays-Byrne as the villain Immortan Joe in in “Mad Max: Fury Road” brings the entire franchise full-circle. He played the lead bad guy Toecutter in the original 1979 “Mad Max” and turns in just as kooky of a performance here with three-quarters of his body and face concealed by some sort of armor and mask. Keays-Byrne once again proves that if you’re looking for someone to play crazy-but-driven, he’s your guy.
Tom Hardy steps into the role of Mad Max immortalized by Mel Gibson in the three original movies. He proves that is more than adequate to step into those big boots and carry the franchise to a whole new level and audience.
Although we’re not told exactly when “Fury Road” takes place in the grand scheme of the series’ continuity, it really could transpire after the events in “Beyond Thunderdome.” Hardy is almost 10 years older than Gibson was the last time he took on the role in 1985. He has a long scraggly beard and huge head of hair that Max could’ve easily grown out in his time after leaving the children at the end of the last movie.
The movie is rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images. There’s also some brief nudity found in “Mad Max: Fury Road.” One scene shows the profile of a nude lady, but she can be seen and is not shadowed. Another scene shows a group of women breast-feeding with covers fixed on most of their nipples. Trust me, there’s nothing sexual about it at all.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” lives up to all the hype you’ve heard. It’s a non-stop barrage of action, explosions, emotion, and gritty colorful characters that hearkens back to “The Road Warrior” and a less politically correct decade. It’s amazing how George Miller commands such strong performances out of his cast for what many high-brow viewers would consider disposable violent entertainment. I can’t recommend this enough to people who enjoy full-speed ahead adrenaline-fueled entertainment.