Mad Max: Fury Road, the heralded return of George Miller's twisted, dystopic, adrenaline-fueled, speed driven, wildly colorful vision set in a war torn wasteland, where fractions of humanity fight to the death for the last of Earth's once abundant resources. It's the Hunger Games meets Death Race meets the Wild Wild West and it's freaking awesome.
It's kind of hard to establish what the return of Mad Max: Fury Road is exactly. It's not a sequel, prequel or even a reboot, even though it may be treated as such. George Miller, the films writer/director calls it a "revisiting". With Tom Hardy replacing Mel Gibson as the titular character, Max Rockatansky, the film doesn't necessarily pick up where Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome left off. Instead Fury Road is a modern day re-envisioning using the same character. Sort of the same way the James Bond films constantly re-invents themselves for every decade or so. The major difference and cause for confusion is the re-envisioning is being made by the original visionary, George Miller. Which raises more questions. Why wait 30 years to make a new film? Why not use Mel Gibson as Max 30 years later? So many of these questions can be answered by the production hell this project endured for years.
Originally Fury Road was to be filmed in 2003, with Mel Gibson reprising his role as Max Rockatansky. Unfortunately for George Miller, Mel was at that time consumed by his project, The Passion of the Christ, and wasn't interested in reprising his role at time. George then began to look for other actors to play Max when he ran into yet another problem. Namibia, his planned sight for shooting and the eventual setting for Fury Road was very difficult to film in during that time due to it's geographical positioning to the United States war in Iraq. Because of all this, George put Fury Road on the back burner and decided to pursue other projects while keeping one eye on Mad Max. The project started to receive some attention from George in 2008 and he was considering hiring Heath Ledger for the role of Max before Heath's untimely and sudden death. Production didn't truly ramp up again until 2011.
Regardless of the difficulty Miller had in getting Fury Road to the big screen, there is no doubt it was a triumph. Breathtaking cinematography, unbelievable stunts and well crafted special effects made Fury Road a sight to behold. George hired his wife Margaret Sixel to edit the film and when she asked why was the right person for the job, Miller said to her "if I hired a man to do it than it would look like every other action movie", George's instinct was right, his insistence on using bright colors sets Fury Road apart when being compared to other post-apocalyptic movies.
Gerorge Miller's wife Margaret is hardly the only female who makes an impact on the Fury Road. Charlize Theron plays Imperator Furiosa, a soldier under the tyrannical Immortan Joe. In attempt to free herself from Joe and to make a new life for Joe's "five wives" (or concubines) who Joe uses for breeding, Furiosa flees during a routine trip to pick up supplies and kidnaps "the five wives" in the process. Furiosa is a strong willed, moral and selfless leader who is wily and resorceful. Theron does an amazing job playing Furiosa and some consider her to be the true star of the film as opposed to the title character Max. Furiosa is a positive female action hero and modern movie heroine.
Furiosa may have stole the show in Fury Road but Max Rockatansky, played by Tom Hardy, was no shrinking violet. Tom Hardy seems destined to play this role as the stoic, wheel-man and sharpshooter Max Rockatansky.Tom Hardy says so much with so little dialogue, which is needed for Mad max. Not only that but he has a tough, durable demeanor that's perfect for the desperate, dystopic world.Early in the film, Max crashes his iconic car, the Interceptor, and is captured by the soldiers of Immortan Joe, the War-Boys. Since Max is a very valuable resource, a donor with a negative zero blood type. Humans with blood like that can contribute to any other human, which is needed for Immortan Joe's War-Boys because many of them are half-lifes. Mad Max seems destined to be a blood bag for a war boy amed Nux
Nux desires more than anything to find blessing from Immortan Joe and die honoring Joe on the battlefield, so that he may enter Valhalla. Nux, portrayed by Nicolas Holt, goes to great lengths to capture Furiosa, the Five Wives and his all to important blood bag Max. Even traveling through an extremely violent storm in which he survives.
Even with the non-stop action, beautiful cinematography, excellent portrayal of rich characters, one thing stands above all else. The action scenes in this movie are truly hard to fathom. In this world of constant CGI it's rare to see a movie use practical effects so damn well, even more rare is the feeling of walking out of the cinema and wondering. 'how on earth did they do that'?
Overall, I can't remember being as entertained in theaters as I was with Fury Road. I'm so glad that George Miller already has a sequel in the works and he has a tall order in front of him if he's trying to duplicate the success of Mad Max Fury Road ! As far as the Academy Awards are concerned, I believe Fury Road may not be the favorite to win the Oscar for best picture, but it's certainly the Dark Horse. Just how Mad Max would want it.
Well, That was my review for Mad Max: Fury Road. What do you think?