Mad Max: Fury Road – ★ ★ ★ ½ DVD Review
Would I describe Mad Max Fury Road as “badass”? Probably not. That’s just silly…
The fourth installment of the Mad Max films sees Tom Hardy replacing Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky, and introduces numerous new characters to the post apocalyptic world first seen in 1979. Most of these characters are throwaways, mutants and killers and savages, disposable bad guys who are interchangeable with those of any of the previous Mad Max films, and probably 90% of the other “post apocalyptic” films that are out there. How different is Fury Road‘s Immortan Joe from Road Warrior‘s Lord Humungus really? The film actually focuses more on Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a leader in Immortan Joe’s army who helps four of the Immortan’s beautiful breeding wives escape with the promise of taking them to “the green” where they can live in peace away from the brutal master. Along the way she runs into Mad Max, who reluctantly agrees to help them in their plan. Of course after their escape they have to survive the hardships of the Australian Outback (post apocalyptic style) and avoid the various gangs who chase them, including Immortan Joe’s own “armada”.
You would think in a Mad Max film that Max himself would be the big hero, and have all the plans and action, but really this one was more about Furiosa. I love seeing strong characters, and I love seeing strong female characters, but I don’t know if this was the right film for this one only because of the title: Mad Max: Fury Road. Yes, Max does have a fair bit of screen time, with a lot of fighting, a lot of shooting, a lot of driving, but very little dialogue. Most of the exposition of the story comes from Furiosa, and Max himself at times really just feels like a hitchhiker to the story. It was a bit odd to see the titular character really not be the main character of the film. Maybe if Max had a more prominent role Furiosa could have spun off into her own film after being introduced here?
Very good effects, excellent stunt work, great costumes and “world building”; Fury Road looked better than all the previous Mad Max films, but still looked like a Mad Max film. The action was pretty much constant as the first half of the film was a giant chase, and the second half of the film was a giant race. Hopefully that will satisfy you as a viewer, because there wasn’t really much story to follow or ponder.
Bottom Line: Entertaining, but not “Best Picture” entertaining. The overly simple story will probably prevent Fury Road from winning anything but technical Oscars this year but that could propel Miller to a Best Director award. **** Okay, it didn’t. I typed this before the Oscars but clearly I didn’t finish the review until well afterwards.