Barton’s Movie Reviews – MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

“Oh what a day, what a lovely day!”

It’s been thirty years since we last saw the Road Warrior, Max Rockatansky, on our screens in the rather suspect Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. It was an unsatisfying end to a trilogy that started so strongly with Mad Max and The Road Warrior.

I have to admit, at first I wasn’t too bothered about the idea of Mad Max: Fury Road. Attempting to revive a franchise after such a long time is always a risky move and I just could not see it working for Mad Max. But then I saw the trailer and all that changed.

Fury Road is definitely deserving of its hype and Max is certainly back, bringing a whole load of crazy with him. When Max (Tom Hardy) is captured by the War Boys, he inadvertently becomes a member of a convoy set about to retrieve Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and the precious cargo she has stolen from Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne).

Furiosa has taken Joe’s Wives, a group of women specially selected for breeding purposes. Furiosa plans to set the Wives free in the land she was raised and when Max is separated from the convoy and catches up with the women, he sets about to help them escape from the clutches of Joe. The problem is that Joe will stop at nothing to get his precious Wives back to the Citadel, leading to the mother of all car chases across the vast desert wastelands.

Veteran director George Miller returns to direct Fury Road and right off the bat he lets the audience know what they are in for. It’s fast, energetic and contains a stunt that is only a mere tease of what is to come later.

From then on in, Fury Road is a non-stop adrenaline rush of an action movie that will leave you breathless. Miller isn’t here to just make another Mad Max movie, Miller is here to show Hollywood just how majestic action movies can be.

Fury Road features chase sequence after chase sequence, which could have become all a bit tedious if it wasn’t for the bold choice to use practical effects and as little CGI as possible.  Of course, the CGI moments do stand out but they only add to the spectacle unfolding before your very eyes.

I cannot praise Miller and his team enough for the choice to use practical effects during the chase sequences. The effort that must have gone into planning them would have been monstrous and I can’t even begin to imagine the mammoth task that faced the crew when it came to shooting them. It’s safe to say that they pulled it off with style and a sense of awe that had me pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t in a dream.

The carnage that ensues really is some of the most insane stuff I have ever seen on a cinema screen and if you want to make the most of it, get down to your nearest IMAX screen and watch it on the biggest and loudest screen possible.

Fury Road makes Fast & Furious 7 look like Driving Miss Daisy.

The stunts and action all look fantastic and they are aided rather brilliantly by some wonderful cinematography from John Seale. HIs camerawork both panning the vast desert wastelands and playing its part in making the chase sequences so heart pounding. 

Just as crazy as the action in Fury Road is the vast array of characters on show. If you are familiar to the Mad Max franchise then you won’t be phased but if you are new to it, it may take a while to get used to what you are seeing. Each character is as bonkers as the next and it just brings a whole new level of crazy to proceedings that make Fury Road the exhilarating ride it is.

The performances in Fury Road actually take a bit of a back seat to the action but they are very good nonetheless. Tom Hardy talks more through actions than words but to say the man has a real screen presence is a bit of an understatement. Nicholas Hoult has come on leaps and bounds as an actor and as the crazed Nux, he really gets to let himself off the chain while Charlize Theron as the fierce Furiosa, proves that not only men get to lead the way in action movies.

Then there is the score from Tom Holkenborg a.k.a. Junkie XL. The sheer pace of the music combined with the percussion beats and electric guitar sounds further add to the pulsating nature of the film while giving the score a sense of character. It’s up there as one of my favourites of 2015 so far.

The word masterpiece is thrown about a lot in the world of film these days but not so much in the action genre. Mad Max: Fury Road is exactly that though; an action masterpiece.

Verdict: ★★★★★

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