Mad Max: Fury Road(2015)
- RatedNC16 /GenreAction, Adventure, Thriller
Like its name suggests, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is absolutely bonkers.
This is from the director who made his name creating the car-chase-crash movie in the original 1979 ‘Mad Max’, and then went on to make films such as ‘Happy Feet Two’ and ‘Babe: Pig in the City’.
All that furious repressed energy and creativity is evident from start to finish in George Miller’s latest opus about Max Rockatansky, the law enforcement officer who turned into a nihilistic nomad.
‘Fury Road’ is two hours of metal-on-metal anarchy, with lots of explosions, crashes and it is peopled with equally crazy characters in leather who look like they’re attending a bondage party on the desert.
‘Fury Road’ is the type of movie where you can imagine the director as a 10-year-old playing backyard demolition derby with his model cars, and maybe lighting them on fire to simulate explosions.
And that was exactly what Miller did, but on a larger and elemental scale.
In an era of green-screened action and effects, Miller chose the practical route, spending every penny of his US$150 million (S$200 million) budget to crash real cars into each other in Namibia and having real daredevils do all the stunt work.
Characters with wild names have wilder ambitions in 'Mad Max: Fury Road' | Photo: Golden Village
The camera-work, storytelling and overall aesthetic (we love the saturated hues) evoke Sergio Leone’s westerns and Kurosawa’s samurai films.
That said, ‘Fury Road’ is definitely worth the 30-year wait.
Miller has breathed new life not just to his own series, but the action genre itself. It is perhaps the best instalment of the franchise just for its sheer ferociousness and insanity.
Taking over the mantle of Max is Tom Hardy, he who was the villain Bane from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and Tommy Conlon of ‘Warrior’.
Just like the original film, the script is stripped down, Hardy says little, but his body language and his motivation, rage and empathy are clearly expressed.
Max is not the main protagonist here. Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa is th eother. She is the one-armed right-hand henchwoman to skull-faced desert despot Immortan Joe, until she goes rogue.
'Fury Road' is a great movie for petrol-heads | Photo: Golden Village
The film’s main chase starts when Furiosa escapes in a "guzzoline" truck with Immortan Joe’s five enslaved wives, intent on finding freedom at a distant oasis.
The scene features a convoy of cars, trucks and motorcycles – there is even a vehicle outfitted with drummers and a crazed guitarist for motivational purposes – and at least five separate factions.
Not only does Furiosa set the plot in motion, she owns the frenetic chase sequence.
Theron is the Ellen Ripley ('Alien') of ‘Fury Road’, the alpha female who possesses a steely resolve to bring salvation to her wards at all costs, and to seek redemption in a world made wrong by men.
For a movie with macho bone-crunching crashes and souped-up vehicles, there is an air of feminism pervading it.
The five wives of Immortan Joe | Photo: Golden Village
The “five wives” on the run are no mere damsels in distress, even if they all have peculiar names such as The Splendid Angharad (played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) or Toast the Knowing (Zoe Kravitz). They have had it with sexual servitude and being Joe’s "breeders", and are blazing a path to freedom.
In this movie, Miller has masterfully cobbled together a well-hewn world where, amid all those ingenious, power-packed road warrior sequences, there is a surprising amount of depth and character.
It’s so crazy, it’s brilliant.
‘Fury Road’ will leave you breathless and anticipating what will come next for Max, since Hardy has reportedly signed on for three more movies.
‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ opens 14 May 2015