Let’s not kid ourselves. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is the best of the other three films in the series. Everything is tight and kind of makes sense. That’s what makes a great Mad Max film. Yes, kind of making sense. When a villain looks the way Immortan Joe does it kind of makes sense.
Fury Road is co-led by Max (Tom Hardy) and Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). Both actors do fantastic jobs in portraying their roles. Hardy channeled Mel Gibson, *cough* and Bane, to a tee while Theron is plain bad ass. It’s refreshing to see male and female leads play off each other so well. There are scenes and shots of these two paired together where the characters are married together almost to perfection.
We get a scene where Max is driving a big rig and holding off enemies with his two pistols, while Furiosa is doing the same with her sniper rifle through the hood of the rig. Then, whenever she needs a reload he’s down below ready to refill the rifle with ammo and handing her another gun to use in the meantime. One of the best moments is when Max is using Furiosa’s rifle to shoot the driver of an oncoming vehicle. He misses twice and is left with one bullet remaining. He reluctantly hands the gun over to Furiosa, who’s kneeling behind him, and she looks down the sights; she lays the neck of the weapon on his right shoulder; takes aim and tells him, “Don’t move” and fires, blinding the driver. Although its only ever seen on the surface, these two have more than a really good understanding of each other.
Believe it or not, another character outshines Max and Furiosa: Nicholas Hoult as Nux. His performance had to embody a physically and mentally sick being. He met that goal ten-fold. His character had more characterization than the heroes. No spoilers here, so go see the film to find out what all this means. Besides Nux, one other character worth mentioning is the aforementioned Joe. Hugh-Keays Byrne returns to the Mad Max series since playing the villain Toecutter in the first Max film. He outdoes himself in this role. It’s pretty much indescribable. Oh, the imagination of writer/director George Miller.
The one negative this film has going for it is in its positive: plot holes that come up short in characterization. Why does Furiosa have an amputated arm? What makes the Wives so special? What’s Joe’s background? More Nux! Blah, blah, blah…
Between action, score and little-to-no use of CGI, Fury Road keeps the viewers on edge and in awe of how masterful everything had to be done in order for such a feat to be accomplished in today’s form of film-making. The reliance on special effects has made us so spoiled that when a film such as this comes along it doesn’t feel out of place. It instead surpasses our amusement because Miller is using old-school techniques that are not only there for entertainment, but for a sense of realism a lot of films lack nowadays. Letter of the day: G for grounded. Take note fledgling and veteran film industry members. What Fury Road does is a damn great thing for the future of film.
For more on “Mad Max: Fury Road,” check out our breakdown of the last trailer right before the film released.