Mad Max: Fury Road (Review)

A brutal, visual masterpiece

by Kristina Aiad-Toss

After a remarkable trilogy and a thirty-year hiatus, George Miller has brought forth a new addition to the chain of Australian revenge-thrillers titled Mad Max: Fury Road. With a budget $150 million, this is the most expensive Mad Max ever made and every dollar spent is apparent, with the imaginative and action-packed stellar product clearly visible. Functioning as both a reboot and a sequel, the film tells the story of Max (Tom Hardy), a troubled, former cop-turned-vigilante, who teams up with Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a female warrior, to escape dangerous foes and restore order in an apocalyptic future world.

Following three decades of preparation, George Miller has been perfecting his revolutionary post-apocalyptic form, with every vehicle, character, and set-piece being ingeniously and elaborately created. The film unfolds in brilliant fashion — not revealing too many details to audience and allowing them to see a system in action and learn from it. From the very beginning, the engines are already revving, producing furious the themes of vengeance and redemption that persist throughout the movie.

Mad Max: Fury Road
Directed by
George Miller
Cast
Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
Release Date
15 May 2015
Kristina's Grade: A


Along the roller-coaster ride of a film, the audience is captured in the post-apocalyptic world, as they witness sheer moments of brutal grittiness and intoxicating drama, and are immersed in Max’s dangerous yet thrilling world. Miller held none of his unhinged creativity back, synthesizing a film that begins on the verge of insanity and only becomes crazier from that point forward, from the exceptional landscapes to the flamethrower guitar. The countless action scenes, however, do not encompass the whole film, because Miller employs dramatic twists, turns and heart touching scenes. The enigmatic style persisting in the film keeps the perfectly orchestrated momentum and suspense constantly growing. The tone of the movie, coated with vividly dark, imparts a visually-appealing drowning experience. With this mood, every unfolding spectacle is visually amplified; turning commonly used burning combustions, metal blasts, and endless pursuits, from mere technical marvels into a hair-raising escapade.

Ultimately, Miller has molded a unique world where darkness is an escape from the stream of clichés dominating movies today. While the film is packed with action, it's never at the expense of a human story. Boasting previous performances like The Dark Knight Rises and Lawless, Tom Hardy once again gives an excellent and memorable portrayal of Max. With sparse dialogue, Hardy shapes a Mad Max that is familiar but unarguably unique, balancing menace, brutality, comedy, pain and empathy in one character. Although a new actor fills the role of Max, the character Hardy creates preserves the legacy of Miller’s previous Mad Max franchise. Although Max’s name appears in the film’s title, Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa is the main protagonist. In her role, Theron gives a shining illustration of Furiousa, perfectly portraying her dynamic character arc. Creating a strong and cogent partnership through looks and gestures rather than dialogue, Theron and Hardy work wonderfully together, especially during the actions scenes. The supporting cast, most notably Nicholas Hoult as Nux, all give excellent performances. Overall, Mad Max: Fury Road is not only a “must-see” action film or a strictly visual spectacle, but demonstrates that movies in this genre can be more than simply fights, machine guns, and violence, and can actually bring a lasting and powerful message.

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