Director: George Miller
The long delayed Fury Road finally hits the UK and so I went to see for myself whether it lives up to the hype. Tom Hardy is suitably taciturn as the titular Max, who we meet chomping on a two-headed lizard, and we are plunged headlong into the action as Max is pursued and captured by the Warboys of the hideously deformed Immortan Jon. Taken back to The Citadel, Max is shorn, tattooed and used as a “Universal Donor”, pumping his blood into Warboys in need of a top up.
Things don’t stay still for long as Charlize Theron’s Furiosa decides to kidnap Immortan Jon’s favourite “wives” in a War Rig tanker and head out across the desert for The Green Place, hotly pursued by all manner of crazies, including Max strapped to the front of a car on a pole as a mobile “blood bag”.
There ensues one almighty car chase across the post-apocalyptic wastes. The look of the film is gorgeous, all metal and diesel and searing red desert and it obviously harks back to the feel of Mad Max 2. This is a good thing. The action set pieces are astonishing, made all the more so when you realise there is minimal CGI and it’s mostly stunt work. Balletic and visceral, the pursuit of the War Rig is relentless. Dialogue is minimal, but Theron and Hardy work well together and the female/feminist strand of the plot is a refreshing change from the leering Michael Bayisms of recent blockbusters.
Given the box office response, a sequel is inevitable, but although a good film, for me it could have lost twenty minutes off the running time and maybe made more of the Furiosa/Max interactions.
It does hark back to a time when not every blockbuster had to have a superhero in it though. It’s grimy and dirty, not shiny and glib.
So it’s very good and well worth your time if you have fond memories of Mel Gibson’s Max, it’s just not quite the five star movie they would have you believe.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
The original Mad Max trilogy.