After years in development hell, Carmen Paddock reviews Max’s explosive return to the silver screen.
This reboot of the Australian cult post-apocalyptic franchise has become an internet cause célèbre in recent weeks due to the fact that it has enraged so-called ‘Men’s Rights Activists’. Evidently they see the presence of female characters portrayed as equals to their male counterparts as incompatible with action ﬁlms.
This even-handedness, however, is exactly what makes Mad Max: Fury Road stand head and shoulders above the competition; with a combination of compelling storytelling, spectacular eﬀects, impeccable production design, excellent acting and the aforementioned gender equality, it may be the best ﬁlm of the summer.
The titular hero is to Fury Road what Julius Caesar is to Shakespeare’s eponymous tragedy: not the focus of the plot. Through Max Rockatansky’s attempts to elude Immortan Joe’s clutches, he ends up joining forces with Imperator Furiosa, whose own personal quest drives the ﬁlm. Consequently, the ﬁlm is centred around Furiosa and the people (mild spoilers: women) she is trying to help.
Charlize Theron has ferocity and nerves of steel concealing the passion for her cause and those she cares about. She is a magnetic, ﬁerce screen presence who would be more than capable of carrying the ﬁlm without Max’s involvement.
However, the latter’s presence allows both to develop as ‘human’ characters instead of just showcasing their badassery (there is more than enough badassery in this ﬁlm to go around). As Max, Tom Hardy swings between manic and stoic, but somehow the combination works for the obtuse, laconic ﬁghter. The world design, eﬀects, and score combined created an engrossing experience. The eﬀort and meticulous care which went into designing each vehicle, weapon, and costume was extremely thorough and striking. The
pounding score compliments the visceral explosions, and neither are afraid of jarring the audience with screeching chords or gruesome injuries.
While action ﬁlms are rarely celebrated when awards season comes around, Fury Road would not be out of place among the design and production nods. George Miller has yet again proved his directorial talents, proving that people are still raving mad about Max. Go see Mad Max: Fury Road right now. Seriously, you won’t regret it. What are you waiting for?