Mad Max (2015) dir. George Miller
Have you ever watched, listened, or witnessed something that is so incredible, so awesome (in the traditional sense of the word), and so insane that no amount of wordplay could ever hope to capture its brilliance?
That’s essentially how I feel about Mad Max Fury Road, the fourth film in George Miller’s Australian dystopian action film series. All of the elements from previous Mad Max films are there: the endless desert, the psychotic gangs that rule the wasteland, tricked-out cars that shouldn’t function, and the titular character’s single-minded quest to survive at all costs while still trying to do the right thing. One of the main differences here, however, is that it seems as though George Miller and co. now have all the money they could ever ask for to fully realize Miller’s insane vision, and holy shit did they succeed in that endeavor.
To put it briefly, the entire film is nearly one long sustained “car” chase that only rarely takes a few moments to breathe (or, as is most often the case, to dump water on an overtaxed engine). There is no piddling around to set up the universe of the film other than quick news snippets as Miller brings us into the world. Within 30 seconds, we’ve got all that we need to situate us into the action, and then film puts the pedal to the metal. If you’ve seen any of the trailers to this film, you’ll more than likely have noticed the giant sandstorm/fire tornado that engulfs what seems to be the entire desert. Whereas most films would use such a bombastic set piece for their climax, the sandstorm here occurs within the first 20 minutes of the film, and it is far from being the most impressive action scene in the film.
Despite reveling in the cacophonous action that takes a majority of the screen time, Mad Max Fury Road still manages to develop its two main characters Max (Tom Hardy) and Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and their relationship, which evolves so effortlessly and natural throughout the film. I seriously cannot recommend enough that you see this film in theaters on the biggest screen possible, and I am honestly not sure if there is/will be any other action film this year to compete with it. Fast & Furious needs to take some notes because Mad Max Fury Road just rewrote the book on how to do vehicular action.