The The post apocalypse of Hollywood car movies – The unreal excess of-over the top CGI graphics (Fast 7 I am looking at you here) with unreal physics defying cars chases with characters surviving the biggest impacts that would destroy mere mortals with only a slight headache– Mad Max: Fury Road 30 years in the waiting arrives with huge slice of realism coupled with explosive action and invested characters.
A full 30 years has passed since we last saw Mad Max in a feature length film. Mad Max the Road Warrior (Ford Falconless) Beyond Thunderdome, 1985 was the year that Back to the future was released and the NES unleashed on the world and I was 8 years old and my girlfriend was 12 years from being born.
In the last 30 years there have been many rumours and confirms of a new chapter to the mad Max universe, as early as 2001 this film was supposed to have been in production. However due to Mel Gibson getting himself into a whole world of trouble and the chosen filming locations becoming a war-zone George Miller and his team were never quiet able to make it happen. Even this film was shot way back in 2012 and has been in post production until recent months. For some time I though it may never happen but as a fan of the Mad Max universe I am so overjoyed that it finally did as its indeed a massively brutal ride that is featuring in depth story telling and simply majestic action sequences that have you baiting for more.
In respect of Max we know little of the back story and what drives a man to simply wonder the deadly Australian outback alone refusing to seek any allegiances or simply leave any marks that he ever existed aside from when called upon to defend him self against marauding road gangs baying for his gasoline.
The hero himself was Mel Gibson, whom made his breakthrough in Mad Max from the first picture with haunted, tragic past to become the desert wandering drifter without allegiance in the later two sequels. The universe has moved on and Gibson has been replaced by Tom Hardy in what has now become role with no time attachment.
Due to never mentioning a year or time period and only refer to as before or after the war Max Rockatansky is considered to be ageless, his life continues unabated in the new world of murderous road gangs and terrifying warlords that arose from the ashes of the sparingly mentioned and never seen global war that ended the civilized humanity that we all know.
You may well attempt to make sense of where Fury Road falls within the Mad Max timeline, he still possesses his Ford Falcon in this chapter so is it a reboot a prequel or a new standalone chapter of Max’s lonely road based existence, there are no specifics in this film aside from some disturbing flashbacks which Max suffers from throughout which we later confirm are from his daughter.. Upon first seeing Max at the start of this new chapter it appears that we are around the Road Warrior part of the timeline, still his only passion is for his Ford Falcon V8 with its supercharger atop its bonnet. The hero car here clearly showing the signs of many many years living in the wastelands of the outback.
Before the you can even take in the opening sequence the chase begins with little delay, this is a mere filler for the larger road pursuit that takes up the most part of Fury Roads story. The immediate result and minutes after the opening credits roll is Max being taken captive in the Citadel, the mountain headquarters of the ghastly Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who also played the main villain in the very first Mad Max film back in 1979).
Immortan Joe is the terribly scarred leader of a white-skinned sun avoiding gang of “War Boys,” and it’s here that the world painted by Fury Road’s horror and beauty is masterfully shown to us. Immortan Joe’s world is where the steering wheel replaces the cross as a symbol to be worshipped , referreing to the first threes films when the precious, precious Juice (gasoline) is the lifeblood of all road gangs. The War Boys literally pledge their lives, and sacrificial deaths, to their scarred leader. “I live, I die! I live again!” they scream as they crazily spray-paint their mouths chrome in their anticipated final moments before their many and inevitable deaths.
Nicholas Hoult, of X Men of X-Men and the excellent Warm Bodies fame, is one of the dedicated followers of Joe. Going by the name of Nux he shows us that he has no knowledge of the pre-global event world by not even knowing what a tree is.
He is also completely batshit crazy by referring to the captured Max as his personal bloodbank including attaching Max to the front of his car so his much need blood transfusion can continue even in pursuit of Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa.
Furiosa on the other hand as Max’s polar opposite is a top level warlord of Immortan Joe’s, also clearly the main focal point of the film. Max’s one to one equal in all aspects of their skillsets of a tortured past and the deadly ability to survive in this post apocalyptic world, the (never explained) one-armed Furiosa stands at the forefront of a vast number of imposing female characters that also includes “The Wives” a quintet of young model like beauties including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Zoë Kravitz noless along with a desert living gun-toting, dirt-bike riding grandmothers who I have to say were pretty dam cool of course.
It is Imperator Furiosa’s self given mission to secret The Wives away from their master, Immortan Joe, something which this freak gang leader is clearly not going to be very happy about. Once Joe is aware that Furiosa’s hit the road the Fury Road! with his personal Harem, the film’s main dynamic begins. Furiosa pilots the end of the world surviving ‘War Rig’ with a mythical unseen“green” land as their aim, however Joe’s fleet of makeshift frankly crazy welded together vehicles are in super hot deadly pursuit with Max getting a front row seat to the action.
The oddest thing about this film is that Max is mostly a passenger in his own picture, barely speaking throughout, when he does it’s in a low growl that’s barely audible. My guess is here that as Max is likely to not have spoken to anyone in his barren existence as I am certain that anyone is this world who strikes up a conversation is either trying to kill our hero and will therefore die trying. This new Max a is far quieter more subdued version that clearly shows the effect a solitary survival existence can have on a man.
Overall the actions sequences are beautifully shot, the sand storm sequence is a particular stand out for me which has to be watched to be believed.
The action and stunt work in this film are top rated throughout with various 180 U turns performed during the story to keep the viewer interested while delivering brutal realistic action to keep the viewer engaged and enthused.
You believe Max is a good man trying to survive in a terrible world gone Mad.
The world created by Mad Max Fury Road is a stunning one, a brutal one that is relentless and unforgiving. This film 14 years in the making with a total wait of 30 years since the last chapter has been totally worth the wait. Go and see this monster action film that is simply majestic in it’s delivery of a wonderful piece of storytelling and action.
I mean its the only film with a twin neck guitar that doubles as a flame thrower, whats not to like.