There are movies that are over hyped, everyone says they are too awesome to be call merely awesome and you can’t find a single negative thing said about them. Some people believe that such movies are so over hyped that they leave you going it with expectations the size of a Dubai skyscraper. When it doesn’t live up to those great expectations you are left feeling something far lower than the word “disappointment” can possibly define. Mad Max Fury Road is not that kind of movie. It lives up to ever bit of hype that’s been slathered on it. Fair warning if you have not seen this movie yet; it grabs you by the balls, pulls them off, shoves the back on then pulls them off again. Rinse repeat.
I’ve heard critics say there’s too much action. I’ve heard them say the women in it “had nothing to do.” I’ve heard them say that it was lacking in plot. My answer to them is bullshit. Sure, this is a movie that starts with action, ends with action with mere seconds between and at the end for character development. This means it has too much character development. (Just kidding.) This is a roller coaster ride to the top of the world plunging you straight down. And the story, character and plot is told through the action, which is why this movie stands out as the impressive piece of awesome that everyone keeps saying it was.
We start out with Max on the run from the post-apocalyptic wild bunch on crack. They cause his care to flip over and take him back to their home built in a series of caves. A place run by bastard ex-machina Immortal Joe, played by Hugh Keays-Byrne who also played bastard ex-machina Toecutter in the original Mad Max. Immortal Joe is big but heeds bits and pieces of stuff to keep him together. As his albino personal army called the War Boys are strapping Max up to be used as a blood bag we open to Immortal Joe’s right hand enforcer Imperator Furiosa, played with more blood, guts and virility than a montage of Jason Statham fight scenes by Charlize Theron. Furiosa is taking the War Rig out to Gas Town for a pick-up, but has other plans. When Immortal Joe and the War Boys see Furiosa taking the wrong path, Joe realizes that she’s stolen his greatest treasures – his first wives. Max, meanwhile, is being used to give the War Boy named Nux (played with depth and perfection by Nicholas Hoult) and when Joe and the War Boy take pursuit, Nux comes along strapping Max to his car so he can still be a blood bag on the go. Thus begins a two hour car chase/action adventure that makes every other action movie sit down and take lessons.
Let’s get one thing out the way now. Some men with penis size issues took offense that Furiosa had just as many if not more kick-ass scenes in the movie. Please feel free to tell those guys to go fuck themselves for me. This was not a flaw, rather it was a plus. In every Mad Max, Max is always reacting to the actions around him. He’s always getting something stolen and has to get it back one way or another. If he happens to help who ever is the co-stars along the way, it’s like that and that’s the way it is. Tom Hardy was a perfect Max. He had very little dialog making most of his statements with looks and body language. Yes there are huge feminist overtones in the movie. Yes the women actually had something to do and were just as important to the action as everything else. The problem all these things these men whine about (ironically like male stereotypes of women in distress) is all of these elements worked. This is a society that went to hell and decided to stay there on extended vacation. Everything about civilize society has been perverted and every character and scene reflect this marvelously. You simply have to hand it to George Miller for taking what should have been a little movie with a big budget and turning into the instant classic Mad Max Fury Road most certainly is.
But I cannot end this review without talking about the stunts. I have read all over that a large number of these stunts were performed for real with practical effect and I am absolutely blown away by this. First of all there was not a moment you did not feel the danger for every character in this movie. There’s a scene with an impossible storm that should have fell flat. Neil DeGrass Tyson should have been tweeting how bad the science was on that one. However, it worked. There’s the same number of impossible feat of survival by the main character, and it just works. And every time there is a chase even the calmest man tanked up on sleep medication had to be gripping the arms of their theater chair because they were that visceral.
I do not say lightly that this movie is a 5 out of 5. It has the distinction of actually accomplishing everything the create set out to do. Unless there’s a “director’s cut” which I won’t watch unless my heart doctor is right there next to me to make sure things to start exploding. If you are an action move fan, a Tom Hardy Fan, a Charlize Theron or just a fan on how to do an action movie right, this is the movie you simply need to see.