RELEASED: 14th May 2015
DIRECTOR: George Miller
CAST: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton, Josh Helman, Nathan Jones and Hugh Keays-Byrne
BOX OFFICE WORLDWIDE: $375.2m
AWARDS: 6 Academy Awards (Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing & Best Production Design) and 4 BAFTA’s (Best Editing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design & Best Makeup and Hair)
An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.
After dipping his toes in family adventure affairs such as Babe and Happy Feet/Happy Feet Two in an thirteen-year period, George Miller returned to the property of which he created and made a name for himself. We return into the world of Mad Max, following once more Max Rockatansky as he is captured by the War Boys, the army of the tyrant Immortan Joe, the lord of the Citadel. While Max is imprisoned and is used as a ‘blood bag’ for one of the War Boys known as Nux, Imperator Furiosa, Joe’s top lieutenant and driver of the war rig, diverts from her routine run from collecting gas and ammunition as she attempts to take Joe’s five wives, selected for breeding, through the ‘Fury Road’ and take them to a sanctuary, her childhood home, known as The Green Place. With a quick narration of the world of the world that once was as well as who Max is, we’re immediately thrown into the action of Max being chased by the War Boys and for the remainder of the films two-hour runtime we go on an adrenaline-fuelled experience that, quite frankly, hasn’t been matched since its release. I mind being initially skeptical of George Miller returning to this world, particularly since there’s a thirty-year gap behind this and the last installment Mad Max: Beyond Thuderdome (1985). The twisted-metal chase sequences and the action-heavy pursuit of seeking paradise, refuge, or being brought back to a fate worse than death, is what drives the story of the film and the way the sequences are constructed is terrific and the stunt-work is absolutely mind-blowing, especially when you consider how the majority of the film is done practically over visual effects. The film is masterfully edited by Margaret Sixel, the film is gorgeously shot by cinematographer John Seale, particularly in how he manages to capture the beauty of the landscape of this hellacious wasteland, and the award-winning costume designs by Jenny Beavan are iconic at this point. The score from Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg) is also fantastic as it elevates the chase sequences in particular, with one personal favourite pieces from the score being ‘Brothers In Arms’ and ‘Chapter Doof’. I absolutely loved George Miller’s portrayal of the War Boys here as well, giving us glimpses into this group of men that have become brainwashed pale zomebies and their own tribal culture that buys into the empty promises of Immortan Joe taking them down the path of Valhalla waiting for them. We see certain traits and rituals of them in battle, from having flamethrowing- electric guitar-playing War Boy known as Doof performing their rallying battle cry, to silver spray-painting their mouths as they prefer to go out ‘chrome’ upon their deaths. Taking over the reins of Max from Mel Gibson, I really enjoy Tom Hardy’s portrayal of the character, going through some server PTSD over the course of the film, his performance is more restraint to growls and grunts in comparison to Gibson, but it fits within this story and Hardy absolutely brings the physicality to the part. Charlize Theron gives a fantastic performance as Imperator Furiosa, whose determination and arc to save these group of women from enslavement to Immortan Joe is what drives the film and, again, Theron also brings the physicality to the role. The heart of the film however, for me, was Nicholas Hoult as Nux, a War Boy that is using Max as his ‘blood bag’, who we see gradually turn from one-dimensional to a fully fleshed-out character. The rest of the ensemble is great too, with Hugh Keays-Byrne has a blast playing the role of Immortan Joe, and Roise Huntington-Whitely, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Riley Keough and Courtney Eaton being well-rounded characters as The Splendid Angharad, Toast The Knowing, The Dag, Capable and Cheedo The Fragile aka the ‘wives’. Mad Max: Fury Road may be George Miller’s masterpiece, but I hope it’s not the last we get from Miller’s tale in this world.
FAVOURITE SCENE: In the war rig when trying to get through a canyon, Max and Furiosa have to fight off a group of biker bandits before Immortan Joe and his forces close in. This whole sequence, to the ‘Brothers In Arms’ score by Junkie XL is absolutely wonderful.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: “I live, I die. I LIVE AGAIN!” – Nux
DID YOU KNOW: Editor Margaret Sixel had roughly 470 hours of footage to edit. Watching it took three months.