MAD MAX: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is a shock wave of heavy metal madness for a new generation of rock n roll action junkies. This high octane road rage from the director of Happy Feet (2006) will blast you back into your seat with its sheer brutal assault on the senses.

George Miller, Aussie writer and director of the original Mad Max trilogy (1979 – 1985), shifts the franchise into a pulse pounding, Kodo drumming, gear grinding adrenalin rush, and eye-popping spectacle that grabs you by the retinas and drags you under its monster wheels. 

It’s a visceral stunt laden ride through the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max. A hyper relentless race for freedom and survival with the mother of all monster truck chases through dunes of hell. An operatic desert storm with visually arresting vehicles and Cirque du Soleil feats filtered through the hot orange hue of wind swept dust and sand. 

In a vast desert wasteland of warring tribes, the story of a ruthless greedy dictator, Immortan Joe, who controls the water in the desert and keeps it to himself, doling out only just enough for his parched population of devoted cult zombies, runs along the same lines as Gore Verbinski’s road runner animated movie Rango (2011). But that is where the similarities to Rango end.

The archetypal characters require no back story or explanation.  We instantly recognize them and their roles are obvious. One of Immortan Joe’s best drivers, Imperator Furiosa played by Charlize Theron, tasked with transporting a water tanker to a nearby industrial fuel complex, decides to make a run for freedom and breaks from the convoy into the open desert where she believes a green Valhalla exists.

Before you can say ‘What a lovely day’ the entire colony is after her, including various tribal desert dwellers on motorcycles and dune buggies whose territories they are passing through. Max, played by Tom Hardy, who is captured by the cult leader Joe’s freak followers at the start of the film, is strapped to the front of one of their vehicles as they pursue the renegade Furiosa.

Unknown to everyone is the revelation during the ensuing chase that Furiosa is carrying something far more valuable than just water. The stakes have just been raised.

The prickly pleasure of Mad Max comes out of its innovative deviant mix of retro vehicular scrap and flaming lethal weaponry fused together haphazardly into the strangest collection of hostile souped-up war machines not seen driving through desert wasteland since the invasion of Iraq by US troops. Its beauty is in its relentless momentum of outrageous action and enthusiasm for sheer anarchist mayhem.

It’s the kind of movie you don’t need to bring your brain to; just strap yourself in and let the experience blast over your eyes and ears. Think of it as one long glorious epic Sapporo (Japanese beer) commercial fuel injected with The Canonball Run (1981) on steroids.

If you were a fan of the original films this one definitely takes it to the next level of kick-ass action and motor stunts. The thunderous music score by Junkie XL is overwhelming but then that’s the whole point. The entire movie is so turbo charged that there is nothing subtle about it.

This is the kind of extravagant spectacle that’s worth watching on a big IMAX screen in 3D. So go big or go home.


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