Film Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

George Miller’s reboot of his post-apocalyptic film series is a force to be reckoned with. Mad Max: Fury Road is exhilarating viewing; and perhaps the best example of how to produce a superlative belated sequel.

In a post-apocalyptic desert, Max lives life as a scavenger. An encounter with the ruling tribe throws Max together with Furiosa, a woman on a mission…

With so many reboots, remakes and belated sequel, Mad Max: Fury Road could have easily been another franchise film lost in the mix. Viewers who experience the ferocity of writer-director George Miller’s latest instalment quickly realise that this does not apply here. Mad Max: Fury Road is a handsome addition to the Mad Max universe.

Revisiting his film franchise after thirty years, George Miller brings plenty of the old and new to Mad Max: Fury Road. Action sequences meet the best of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. This latest instalment is visually evocative of the earlier trilogy, yet is fresh and powerful.

Like the earlier instalment, precedence is given to action over narrative. Nevertheless, the story is effective in giving meaning to the action, and giving the characters a sense of purpose. Miller wisely eschews lengthy moments of reflection which would have slowed momentum. The main characters are given enough backstory to give their mission a purpose, yet the film forgoes melodrama to play to its strengths. Miller creates parity between his two protagonists, offering audiences a strong female character missing from many films of this genre.

Just like the earlier films, Mad Max: Fury Road is aesthetically striking. The film continues in the same industrial-primitive post-apocalyptic vein as its predecessors, but ventures further in its extreme depictions. There are plenty of wonderful touches that intensify this memorable setting. Cinematography is excellent, as is art direction, with a restricted palette being utilised to great effect. Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy offer good performances, whilst Hugh Keays-Byrne returns to the Mad Max fold with a memorable and intimidating portrayal.

Action is Mad Max: Fury Road‘s benefaction, and the film provides a tremendous ride. Miller’s film is almost relentless in its energy, providing viewers with little respite from the tour de force sequences. These are executed with a finesse missing from a lot of recent action movies. More than gratuity, Mad Max: Fury Road offers a pace that is pulls viewers along on the most nerve-wracking of rides.

Mad Max: Fury Road is the blockbuster to beat this year. Two hours of heart-pounding, engrossing, visceral and above all enjoyable entertainment.