The fourth instalment in the franchise is a balls to the wall adrenalin fuelled crash bang of a blockbuster entertainment. Recalling the second film in tone and execution it's essentially a two hour chase, expertly executed and edited to within an inch of its life. It starts fully charged and doesn’t let go. Directed as if he’s taken a hit of speed, mad George Miller (70), delivers a film directors half his age would aspire to shoot. The sound editing alone offers an immersion into a thunderous universe rarely seen in toned down politically correct Hollywood cinema.
If you rejoiced in the excesses of Furious 7 or Avengers: Age of Ultron reset your expectation meter, the Aussie maverick takes it up a notch. Plaudits must also be ascribed to the second unit team led by Guy Norris responsible for the breathtaking stunt work that filters the film, The Road Warrior had a few spectacular set pieces, Fury Road is littered with them. They are simply stunning and awe inspiring, and it's an ambitious step forward and arguably the best film in the series.
The story is slight and familiar, set in a post apocalyptic wasteland, overruled by maniacal despot Immortan Joe played to the hilt by Hugh Keays-Byrne, who was toe-cutter in the original Mad Max. The literally Mad Max Rockatansky (Hardy) has been captured and placed upside down in an iron mask transfusing his blood into the arm of Nux (Hoult). Nux and his cohort of War Boys recall a vampirish, walking dead zombie mob, who are feverishly devoted to their ruler. On this particular day Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) has been charged with driving the rig to collect oil from an outpost across the dry wasteland. However Furiosa has other plans, a green oasis awaits her and the cargo hidden beneath the rig. Immortan Joe and his army head off in hot pursuit and naturally, the masked Max is forced to go along for the ride.
The corpses of the great eccentrics of cinema are littered across the boulevard of broken dreams otherwise known as Hollywood. Not so, George Miller who has been wanting to make this film for thirty years, Mel Gibson amongst other reasons aged out of the part. Tom Hardy the enigmatic hugely talented englishman steps into his shoes seamlessly. But it is Charlize Theron who is given equal billing, not afforded female actors in other franchises playing currently in cinemas. Theron with shaven head, an artificial arm and a fearsome look in her eyes, drives the rig this time around and is the heart of the film.
Cinematographer Dean Semler works wonders with the Namibia landscape and Margaret Sixel (Millers wife) and Jason Ballantine are responsible for the editing.