Synopsis: In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.
Director: George Millar
Starring:Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
Release Date: 14th May 2015
Disclosure: The Reel has not seen the previous Mad Max films (our apologies), however we were lucky to have HA’s Dad along for the screening who has seen all previous films in the franchise on multiple occasions! Thanks Mr SR!
Until the release of The Blair Witch Project (1999), Mad Max (1979) held the record as the highest profit-to-cost ratio of a motion picture. It is one of Australia’s most successful films to date making almost US$100 million worldwide (fun trivia, it was also banned from New Zealand and Sweden at the time of it’s release). Understandably then there’s a lot of pressure on Mad Max: Fury Road to succeed and live up to the popularity of its predecessors. Subsequently, the studio went all out for the opening including a public stunt of shutting down one of Sydney’s most vital road links for a convoy of vehicles and stuntmen from the film, and we also had to wait in line to get into the theatre in the freezing cold for an hour and a half (the line went around the block).
Mad Max: Fury Road is the first film in the franchise in 30 years and the first not to star Mel Gibson. Set in the year 2060 after a series of catastrophic worldwide calamities caused the downfall of civilisation, Max- Tom Hardy– meets Furiosa- Charlize Theron– a woman attempting to cross an immense desert with the Five Wives who are all on the run from the tyrannical fascist leader, King Immortan Joe.
The film stars an expansive line of celebrities, models and actors with the likes of Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee and Megan Gale all starring prominently, but moving past the starry line-up the movie is crazy to the point of no return keeping me on the edge of my seat through most of it. The action sequences are on-point, captivating and insane- and it needed to be as this is what the entire movie encapsulates.
Hardy is the star of this film, however the most amount of words he utters take place in the first minute before we’re thrown into the action, which I enjoyed thoroughly. The only thing lacking in the movie is a more thrilling story arc to match the amazing action. Without giving anything major away- they drive in one direction in the first half of the film, then they drive in another for the second half. There’s no substantial growth or change- but despite this I don’t feel like it takes away from the film, the many fight scenes, crashes, life-and-death battles more than make up for it.
Hardy’s lack of speech is also lifted up by Charlize Theron’s performance- she shines in her role as Furiosa with steely determination, badass fighting and emotional depth and carries the ‘Five Wives’ on her back (Kravitz, Huntington-Whiteley, Keough, Lee, Eaton). The Five Wives are gorgeous and ethereal-like, while some of their acting is sub-par they fit well in the role of sheltered and delicate beauties. Gale is really the only one I would point out as a unsurprising disappointment in the acting department, though her screen time is short. Nicholas Hoult is a stand out as Nux providing a much needed character arc as an unfortunate War Boy.
Overall Fury Road is a dazzling and thrilling action movie that will take you on a really fun ride definitely living up to the hype.
HA’s Dad, Mr SR:
The new Mad Max film “Fury Road” from George Miller is all action from start to finish. Somewhat lacking in story line and plot, Miller nonetheless brings a fast paced film in the tradition of the first three Mad Max films. Tom Hardy provides a strong international lead but the script does not allow for much verbal interplay between the characters and so he does not bring the humour of the Aussie larrikin that Mel Gibson portrayed in the earlier films. However this does fit in with Hardy’s older Max character haunted by the ghosts of his past and surviving alone in the desert. It is the story of Charlize Thereon’s character Furiosa that directs where this film goes and accordingly she dominates a lot of the scenes, playing the role convincingly. Miller’s crew has put together some awesome vehicles that will keep all of the revheads happy, and the crash scenes are spectacular. Altogether this is a film where the furious action allows you to sit back and enjoy the ride and at the end wonder where a couple of hours have gone.
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