By Nico Beland
Movie Review: A+ (4 stars)
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Director George Miller (Twilight Zone: The Movie, The Witches of Eastwick, Happy Feet) returns to his post apocalyptic Mad Max franchise, with his latest fourth installment of the successful film saga that made Mel Gibson a star, Mad Max: Fury Road, which is also the first Mad Max sequel since 1985’s Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome as well as the first Mad Max movie to not star Mel Gibson.
In place of Gibson, we have rising star, Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Lawless, The Drop) as Max Rockatansky. At first I was a little worried that this movie would fail and end up being really bad because it’s very rare for a sequel, not a reboot, of an iconic movie with a new lead portraying the main character to be good, and films like Batman Forever and Batman & Robin certainly were not helping.
But to my surprise, the reviews came out with a 98% Rotten Tomatoes rating and a 4 star rating by my local newspaper, so my worries suddenly turned into joy and excitement as I sat down with my 3D glasses and gave the film a viewing. And I was completely glued to the screen from start to finish, thrilled and laughing all the way, it’s not just an entertaining popcorn flick, it’s a popcorn flick done spectacularly well, and the film knows it.
It really feels like the film is self aware of how over the top and ridiculous it is, much like the previous Mad Max movies, but the massive car mayhem, stunts, and action sequences pretty much give Fast & Furious a run for its money.
In the distant future, where the world is a desert wasteland and civilization has collapsed we find Max (Hardy), a survivor in Australia, captured by the War Boys, an army led by tyrannical cult leader, King Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) who seizes permanent control of his civilization’s water supply. Joe imprisons Max to be used as a blood bag for War Boy, Nux (Nicholas Hoult-X-Men, Warm Bodies, Jack the Giant Slayer).
Max eventually escapes and runs into a group of women lead by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron-The Cider House Rules, Monster, Prometheus) driving a heavily armored War-Rig to collect gasoline who agree to help Max put an end to the War Boys’ crimes for good and bring the water back to the thirsty and poor citizens.
Overall, Mad Max: Fury Road is certainly one of the craziest action films I’ve ever had the opportunity of seeing in the cinema, this makes The Avengers movies look like the Adam West Batman show. I mean it; the action sequences, stunts, and visuals in this film are over the top and will keep you on the edge of your seat, it feels like Fast & Furious meets G.I. Joe with its style of action, just add some high octane violence and laughably implausible stunts and you have action that makes you wonder if director George Miller is secretly insane, geez and I thought Avengers: Age of Ultron’s action was crazy, this is just psychotic, it really is some of the best action I’ve ever seen in a movie, probably even better than the action from the first Mad Max and The Road Warrior, YES, I just said that, the action and deaths are very well choreographed, creative, and very crazy.
Also the lead cast of characters is great, Tom Hardy makes an amazing Mad Max, Charlize Theron as a badass fighter babe, that works very well, Nicholas Hoult is very amusing as Nux, he’s just hamming it up like mad and it looks like he’s having a great time playing him, the villain is very cliché, even for a Mad Max movie but Hugh Keays Byrne adds so much to the character, thus making him very memorable, and it leads to an over the top and laughable death that I dare not give away, even some of the side characters, the actors they chose do a wonderful job, especially Rosie Huntington-Whiteley from Transformers: Dark of the Moon as one of Furiosa’s Rig women who is also pregnant, she proves she can do some decent acting and she’s developed well, I’m very glad she moved on to doing something great with her acting.
Of course, like everybody in a Mad Max movie, the War Boys are so over the top you just can’t stop laughing at them, you got the muscular big guys, the weapon wielders, the drivers, and plus one of them is a guy chained to a War-Rig with giant amplifiers attached to the vehicle, and has an electric guitar that shoots fire, where do I even start with that?
I hope this leads to more Mad Max movies, if George Miller continues taking this route with the franchise, we could have another trilogy of Mad Max movies that are just as awesome as the original Mel Gibson films, if not better. If you’re a fan of the Mad Max franchise or looking for some massive action this summer, then stop reading this, go to your local theater, watch the movie, and have yourselves “A Lovely Day”.