Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is taking a war rig to Gastown to retrieve gasoline for Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). As Furiosa and her convoy are on their way to Gastown, she signals for a change of plans. The convoy heads east.
When Immortan Joe sees that Furiosa is no longer headed toward Gastown, he realizes that she has stolen his most prized possessions. He and his legion of Warboys take to their heavily armed vehicles to stop Furiosa and retrieve what was stolen.
Nux (Nicholas Hoult), a particularly ambitious Warboy, takes his “blood bag,” Max (Tom Hardy) and heads out to catch Furiosa and her war rig. When Nux and Max catch Furiosa, Max escapes and commandeers the rig. Nux, who is eager to prove himself to Immortan Joe, makes it his mission to bring them down.
It has been 30 years since the last Mad Max film. And, to be honest, it has been ages since I’ve seen Mel Gibson in action as Max. Fury Road is an attempt to bring a new generation into the dystopian future where everyone is at war.
Credit must be given to George Miller for creating an action film helmed by strong female leads. Charlize Theron, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, and Courtney Eaton are all worthy of their place as protagonists. Miller even creates a tribe of women who are capable of surviving in this desolate world.
Visually, the film is magnificent. The vehicles are as intimidating as I remember from the originals. The landscape is vast and barren, yet presented masterfully. The action is constant and intense. The violence is over the top, without getting overly gory. The cinematography is full of fast cuts, long shots, and extreme close-ups. It compliments the tone of the film nicely.
However, there are 2 major issues I have with the film. The first is related to the praise I just gave the film. The world George Miller creates is almost too polished. The original Mad Max films were dirty and gritty. Miller’s version tries to recreate this feeling, but the CGI is too well done to convey it properly.
The second issue is that, at the film’s climax, it seems to lose its place. The action stops completely, which could be a welcome pause in the break-neck action. Unfortunately, however, this break in the action causes the film to lose all of its momentum. When the action starts up again, it feels forced and tacked on. And, suddenly, the film wraps up too quickly and easily.
Overall, Mad Max: Fury Road, is a decent enough film. It is action-packed enough to help kick off the summer blockbuster season. Sadly, though, it pales in comparison to its predecessors, lacking the heart of the original films. Perhaps the biggest let down of the film was the lack of cameos. Seeing Tina Turner among the clan of women would have immediately taken it up a notch. If you are going to see it, I recommend seeing it on the big screen to fully appreciate the grandeur of it all. Skip the 3D, though. It doesn’t add much to the film.