I’m Mad for Mad Max: Fury Road – A Movie Review

My name is Max. My world is fire. And blood. Once, I was a cop; a road warrior searching for a righteous cause…

For this week’s Movie Monday I am reviewing Mad Max: Fury Road. The basics, it is a post-apocalyptic action thriller that is 120 minutes long. Rated R the film has made over $150,000,000 worldwide since its May 2015 debut. It stars Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa and Tom Hardy as Mad Max. It has had almost across the board positive reviews. I am adding to that list.

I have to admit I was skeptical over the movie. I had watched the originals and enjoyed them, but the recent rash of remake movies that generally do not add anything but over the top special effects made me fatigued and wary of yet another remake. I never went and saw it in the theater, but decided on a whim to pick it up from a local red box. The reviews had always been good and the noise I heard from others online was that this movie was different. It also has the fact that the man behind the original Mad Max films, George Miller, was in charge of and wrote this one as well. After getting home, I made myself some dinner and popped in the movie. It starts with one of those old school intros that explains how the world as we know has come to an end due to wars over resources and then opens up for us to see a desert wasteland with our main man Max and his car. He has a little monologue of his own and eats an unfortunate lizard (hey you can’t waste anything out there) and then the action begins with War Boys chasing and capturing Max. The action doesn’t stop until the end credits. I barely remembered to eat my dinner.

The introduction to the Citadel is fast paced, like the rest of the movie. It is mostly explained through Max’s attempted escape and there you see not only the resources of fresh water and food that the creep-tastic leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Kaeys-Byrne) is keeping from the other citizens, but also the gritty mechanics of the place, War Pups and Boys, slaves and the destitute of all except Joe and his sons, Rictus and Corpus. This is also where the movie shows how Max is indeed mad. He is constantly seeing hallucinations of people he had tried to protect but failed. As he tries to escape the Citadel he also tries to escape them.

After failing to escape he is given to Nux (Nicholas Hoult) as a blood bag. The environment is so bad that transfusions are necessary for survival and people are kidnapped regularly for this purpose to keep the War Boys going. During this, Furiosa was sent on a mission in her large War Rig to trade water for more gas and ammunition. She immediately takes the party on a detour and not yet knowing that she has become a traitor they listen to her and protect her from a roving gang.   It is then revealed she has helped Joe’s five wives escape as he has kidnapped them to make the ‘perfect’ heir.

Once Joe realizes what is going on he stops at nothing to get his wives back, especially The Splendid Angharad who is in the late stages of pregnancy. Nux is called into action along with most other War Boys and he takes Max with him as his blood bag. Inexplicably tying him to the front of the car, Max has a front row seat to the action. After several explosions and crashes most of the War party is stopped when Furiosa loses them in a monstrous sized dust storm. Max and Nux wreck and Max is the first to wake and realizes he is close to Furiosa and goes there, carrying Nux as he is unable to detach himself from the other.

This is where I thought okay, all the good guys are together now. They’re all going to be ‘Joe Sux’ and immediately team up to get the hell away from   him and the Citadel. That is what   good guys do, but that is not exactly what happened. There was zero buddy-buddy going on and a lot more I’ll shoot you if you move too fast. Max only agrees to let them come along after Furiosa refuses to show him how to drive the War Rig. I also noticed the absence (a welcome one) of the main guy staring at the beautiful women and the ensuing camera work to show the viewer. Max didn’t see the women that way and the director also did not. It was refreshing to just focus on the movie.

Max learns to slowly accept Furiosa and the wives as the chase continues. I didn’t type trust because I really don’t think he does until later.   The wives work hard to keep up and do their parts even as   they are not used to such work. As Furiosa aptly puts it, ‘everything out here hurts.’ We soon learn this is very true when a certain character dies.

As they continue on to The Green Place, Nux who had been hiding out on the   War Rig becomes friends with one of the wives and switches sides. Ever since Splendid had asked him, ‘Who killed the world?’ he had been reevaluating everything he had learned at the Citadel. It’s an interesting concept to think of that while the main blame for the wars that had ruined the world was the greedy leaders, there was also blame in the blind following of their soldiers even as the world fell around them. That everyone’s actions had led to it.

The movie takes another unexpected turn when the War Rig comes upon a woman alone and Max smartly tells them that it’s bait. Furiosa gets out though and ends up knowing the woman and the others with her. I won’t spoil it, but what they learn from these women is a big deal and it leads to uncovering part of Furiosa’s past and the reason she’s doing all of this. I think that reason sticks with Max. They go on but Max decides to leave, taking his own path. This is also where Max takes a more active role in the story. I had from this point wondered why it felt like this was Furiosa and the wives’ story and Max was just a bystander who happened to fall into it. This is actually true up until this point where Max changes the game and becomes what his original monologue had wanted, ‘a road warrior looking for a righteous cause’ and goes back to help them.

I won’t get into the ending and all the spoilers. I feel like I’m cheating you a bit after having read this and not getting to read about the climax of the story, but I think you need to see the movie to really get it. The movie is beautifully written, acted and shot. The entirety of it is pretty much one big chase scene and yet you never get tired of it. Fury Road won’t spoon feed the story to you. You have to pick up on clues and put pieces together because it’s too busy blowing stuff up, but it’s worth it once you do. Who knew a movie with so much action could also have so much depth? I highly recommend this and that is the first time I have ever recommended a   remake. I even hope that one day a sequel is made as long as Miller is still in charge of it.

I hope this review has made you want to go see Mad Max: Fury Road or even re-watch   it. If you want a buddy, find me on twitter at @quietlikeastorm where I’m always busy re-watching other movies and TV shows. I would love to see this movie again and again.

~*This is a repost of the original article found on Nerdy and Worthy by the same author. The article had originally been reblogged but due to technical errors that made the person who makes this site pretty insane, the easiest option was to repost.*~

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