30 years in the making. Numerous production halts including bad weather ruining the film's setting and landscape, it looked like Fury Road was never going to be made, until now. 2015 has arrived, and in it the golden package that is the beautiful, spectacular, absolutely barmy and outrageously entertaining Mad Max Fury Road, an action masterpiece so overwhelmingly explosive and jaw dropping your face will feel like its been melted, or that you've been awakened in Valhalla alongside the war boys.
Max Rockatansky roams the wasteland alone, haunted by his dark past. Attacked by scavengers, he is taken to a citadel ruled by the Immortan Joe, a tyrannical overlord in control of an aquifer and the people. When his five wives, his healthy breeding stock, are taken by rogue Imperator Furiosa, Joe and his army of War Boys set out on the Fury Road, starting a war on wheels to reclaim his treasures. This is a chase movie through and through, yet it's filled with a surprising amount of emotional heft, superbly developed characters and the finest looking action sequences ever put to screen. George Miller is the man of action, I got the nerd tears like never before and your inner child will come out.
My expectations were sky high, they've more than been met which is a perfect treat. Even as the opening Warner Brothers logo appears the sound of a throaty engine ignites, purring and roaring, then, Max begins to speak. "My name is Max. My world is fire and blood. Once, I was a cop, a road warrior searching for a righteous cause. Undeniably the finest, grittiest and most exciting narration to open a film ever thanks to Tom Hardy's unique voice talents. The first shot of the film opens on a gorgeous wide shot of the ruined Earth, the calm before the storm. Max suddenly flips and leaps into his V8 Interceptor, drives off into the distance, shortly followed by marauders who take his car out and kidnap him.
Fury Road is visceral and bold, you are thrown into the deep end immediately. When your mouth is agape throughout the majority of a film you know it's good. Junkie XL's soundtrack is like having a napalm bomb go off in your face, forced to take the full pelt of gigantic cinematic horns, eye-watering strings and war drums. A moment of pure greatness in the soundtrack is Brothers In Arms, an epic culmination of a fight that's almost over, once this section of the score ends you feel like you've emotionally released, it's that powerful. There is no other movie like this, meaning this has to be the hardest review I've written due to the sheer amount of insanity that takes place here and wanting to mention every nook and cranny placed into this amazing world. The explosions are without a doubt some of the best on-screen, nothing gets the heart beating faster than seeing Max pole vault from car to car whilst a fuel tanker goes up in flames behind him. The stunts are the awe-inspiring, there needs to be an Oscar category for the the stunt men and women.
Tom Hardy is Max, he is the road warrior. His line delivery is so gritty and delightfully croaky. He starts off like a wild animal escaping from captivity, as Slit describes him, "a raging ferrel with a muzzle on it". Max then gradually retains mild normality but his eyes are always filled with a hint of craziness. Hardy's mannerisms, quips and neat little movements all add up, leading to one of the best performances of 2015.
The minute Charlize Theron appeared, it hit me once again why she remains one of my all time favourite actresses. Head shaven, one arm, the other operating a mechanic arm with her face smeared in oil, she looks the part and means business. Theron displays conviction, desperation, anxiety, care and dedication throughout, every single line she has is totally bad-ass, best of all "You wanna get through this? Pick up what you can and run!". Best performance from an actress this year so far, it will be tough to beat, as will the film. Then, bring on the coolest looking, scariest sounding antagonist ever: Immortan Joe. Hugh Keays-Byrne gives a terrifically terrifying performance, a screen dominating character with authority amplified by those who worship him. His voice is so epic and eerie, especially when he battle cries as he desperately chases to get his wives back. All the make-up, costume design and vehicle designs are awards worthy, they add commentary on how the people in this world live and in their condition in this dying world.
Nicholas Hoult is unrecognisable as Nux, a dying war-boy who is given a chance to prove himself by feeding Max's blood into his system on his way to the gates of Valhalla. His performance alone is the mad in the title, and easily boasts the best line this year "Oh what a day! What a lovely day!" as he rides into a tornado sandstorm. There's outstanding support from Nathan Jones, Josh Helman and Angus Sampson as Immortan Joe's followers, each offering brute force, balls-to-the-wall behaviour and epic acts of violence. Then there's the Fives Wives, brilliantly acted by all. British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley again proves herself a fine actress, line delivery perfect with raw emotion and providing one of the most shocking scenes in the film. Australian models Abbey Lee and Courtney Eaton are tremendous, coating their scenes with innocence and vulnerability, as well as Riley Keough who certainly lives up to her characters name of Capable. Zoe Kravitz is a total bad-ass and the lone wolf in her pack, I cannot fault these actress they all did a fine job. It's great to see Megan Gale make an appearance as Valkyrie, Furiosa's contact whose appearance reveals a dramatic twist that completely turns the tide for ALL these characters.
Amongst all the action, surprisingly, one of my favourite scenes of the movie sees The Dag talk about her baby with one of the Keeper of The Seeds, who replies with talk about killing and planting seeds. This scene is the beating heart in what is a blood pumping adventure, and accompanied by one of the finest pieces of Junkie XL's soundtrack, you'd be pretty foolish to say this film has no heart or character.
Mad Max Fury Road is breathless entertainment, more and more viewings will only heighten my admiration for this masterpiece. It is perfect, which is a big statement to make but no film is going to reach the heights of raw insanity here, nor the carnage and beautiful camera-work filled with many crash zooms. In 3D, Fury Road comes to life with a heightened sense of depth and hard hitting pop out effects that knock you dead on. The critical acclaim and buzz is worthy. 2015 is at its high point.