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Mad Max: Fury Road - Film Review

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by Brian Sherlock (subscribe)
I want to write bloated fiction and travel the world where I wish to write bloated fiction.
Published May 16th 2015

What a mad and lovely day.

Without doubt Mad Max: Fury Road was going to seize my attention. A lover of the original trilogy, I'm one of the many who were like to buy a ticket thinking 'Is this what I really want?' Sure, it was the first time I'd be seeing one of these films at the cinemas (Beyond Thunderdome came out about five years before my birth) but there was plenty going through my mind; why isn't an Aussie in the lead; will it be another sequel or a reboot; why didn't they film in Australia? (No offense to Namibia but we have deserts too). However, after taking every messed-up thing in, any reservations I had were put to rest.

Opting for solitude, Max Rocketansky (Tom Hardy) is escaping a few restless demons before he's captured by the War Boys, a force of skin-heads with a fascination for Valhalla and spraying their mouths in silver. It is a mad world so he isn't surprised. Forced under the rule of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne who isn't the Toecutter returneth; just one theory that was squashed), Max becomes a universal doner to the likes of devout War Boy Nux (Nicholas Hoult) who desires the most over-the-top of deaths.

At the same time, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is going about Joe's bidding to collect fuel in the War Rig but instead makes off with his sacred breeding harem of Splendid (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), Capable (Riley Keough, who can pull off the Aussie accent!), Toast (Zoe Kravitz), the Dag (Abbey Lee) and Cheedo (Courtney Eaton) all for something a little more green. In Joe's eyes this isn't the best thing done and goes in pursuit, his boys coming along in tow. Since it's die crazy or pathetically peaceful, Nux brings his blood pack Max along for the ride.

What follows is everything one will expect from a Mad Max flick and so much more. The titular madness ever present (there's a guy playing a flame-throwing guitar!), we get the big action sequences, a long list of memorable characters and a great plot seeded with the ever present theme of survival (writers were George Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris), but it's all thanks to director Miller who never deviates from his role. Widely known for being strung up in 'developement hell', Fury Road is a clear and present survivor worthy of acknowledgement.

Keeping things critical, the leads hold their own amongst the droves of chaos well. Tom Hardy takes the reigns from Mel Gibson and brings the 'badass justice', showing little remorse but sympathy all at the same time. However, I'm a little questionable about the accent he put on; sometimes it's Australian and other times I'm listening to Bane but without the need for subtitles.

Charlize Theron is brilliant in capturing the 'future Amazon' which we've all seen, thanks to Virginia Hey (the Warrior Woman) and Tina Turner (Aunty Entity) from the previous films. The original trilogy never failed to exhibit strong and capable women (each of Joe's wives brings something to the table) and Theron holds her own. In that voice, there's a present equality amongst gender which I'm on the side of.

One of the most praised elements of this film is the use of colour and minimal effects; Miller was no doubt working to bring his original vision to the contemporary screen and these are the means by which he achieved this. As an artistic type I for one enjoyed the shades gracing each scene; felt like I was on another trip through Middle Earth to be honest. This for one leaves me all the more grateful for the gift of storytelling.

With that said, I'm going to end with a minor negative (and a not-so spoiler also). Sequel or reboot, I did feel it was the time for Miller to step away from Max's traditional formula but sadly it didn't come to fruition. Maybe with the next films in the franchise. I will give Fury Road a deserving 4 out of 5; I didn't leave disappointed and neither will you.

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When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas
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