It’s been three decades since “Mad” Max Rockatansky last made a theatrical appearance.  Was this drive on the Fury Road worth the wait?  Let’s find out.

Mad Max: Fury Road stars Tom Hardy in the titular role, and was written and directed by George Miller, who was also the writer and director of the original trilogy of Mad Max films.  It starts with Max being chased and captured by the first of many desert gangs you’ll encounter in the movie.  While he’s being held captive, Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, goes on a supply run for the gang, and from there things quickly swerve into a non-stop stretch of car chases, shootouts, fist fights, flying bodies, and other general vehicular carnage.  What a lovely day, indeed.

The story in this outing is easy enough to follow, as there’s nothing too subversive going on here, and it moves the plot along well enough.  But let’s be honest, you probably aren’t considering seeing this movie for an incredibly deep plot, are you?  You went in for the action, and there’s certainly plenty of it.  And the best part about it?  Most of the effects are real.  It certainly seems like the filmmakers lived up to their word and only used CGI effects when absolutely necessary.  I may be old fashioned, but I find that to be a nice touch.  There’s a genuine weight and gravity to a real car flipping through the desert and kicking up rooster tails in the sand that you just don’t get with a digital image.  It generally just makes the movie “feel” more real, and some of the realistic stunt pieces in this movie are nothing short of spectacular.

On to the acting.  To put it bluntly, Charlize Theron steals this movie.  She’s tough, she’s gritty, and she isn’t afraid of anything.  Her portrayal of Furiosa is not quite in the same league as Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor, or Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, but it’s not very far behind either, and that in itself speaks volumes.  As for Tom Hardy as Max… well… I kinda didn’t buy it.  This is a much more haunted Max than we’ve seen in the previous films.  He has flashbacks, and genuinely frightening hallucinations about the people he’s failed to save, and that’s the part I was OK with, as I felt it gave the character some serious depth.  However, at different points in the movie, he almost seems like he’s two different characters.  For the most part he’s quiet and brooding (which I had come to expect from Mel Gibson’s Max in the original trilogy), but at other times he almost comes off as spastic, similar to some of the antagonists in the movie, which I really didn’t care too much for.  The other actors here perform their parts well, particularly Hugh Keays-Byrne, who pulls off at times a genuinely terrifying Immortan Joe, the film’s primary antagonist.  Fun fact: Keays-Byrne also played the Toecutter, who was the antagonist of the first Mad Max film in 1979.

In the end, this movie is a seriously fun summer action flick, but some of the stylistic elements that I had gotten used to from the franchise’s previous installments, particularly those pertaining to the main character, just weren’t quite there this time.  However, those minor quibbles do not in any way take away from the fact that this movie was incredibly enjoyable to watch with its truly epic action set pieces.  I would highly recommend checking this one out in a theater.

The Verdict for Mad Max: Fury Road:
I can dig it

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
East of West, Volume 3: There Is No Us TPB
Secret Wars: Battleworld #1
Ultimate End (Battleworld Imprint) #1
Wytches #1-#6


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