George Miller has pulled off the impossible…
Max wanders the wasteland and is captured by the forces of the Citadel, a mountain society ruled by the god-like Immortan Joe. He is kept in a cage and is being used as a blood bank for Joe’s cancer ridden mutant army. Imperator Furiosa, one of Joe’s generals, rebels against him, steals his “Five Wives”, a harem he keeps for breeding, and makes for Fury Road to return to her homeland, the Green Place. While Joe and his war party chase them down, Max joins up with Furiosa and they drive down Fury Road, with the Warboys hot on their heels. That is the plot. It is beautiful simplicity.
Tom Hardy is the new Max Rockatansky. A man of few words, Hardy conveys a lot with mere looks and body language. His Max is definitely madder than Gibson’s, in a good way. This is the first time the series really shows you that Max is a very damaged man. Taking place before Road Warrior, this is a Max that has not yet discovered his place in the world.
Arguably the star of the film, Charlize Theron OWNS this movie as Furiosa, rebel Imperator to Immortan Joe’s sick society. A match for Max, Furiosa dominates the proceedings. Theron was phenomenal.
Immortan Joe! played by Hugh Keays-Byrne who you may recall from the original film..
Yes, Hugh played The Toecutter, central villain of the first film, and returns as the big bad in this one. This is one f-ed up guy, but you understand Joe’s motivations. Well done, and incredibly well realized onscreen.
Nux, the “War-boy” who turns against Joe and becomes a hero is the “Bruce Spence” character this time out. Well played by Nicholas Hoult who played Hank McCoy, “beast” in the X-Men First Class movies.
Rosie Huntington- Whiteley headlines the escaping Five Wives, the “harem” that Furiosa is trying to save. They all have their character moments and do a good job. Side note: besides the well known Rosie, The black wife is Zoe Kravitz, daughter of Lenny, and the redhead is Riley Keough, Grand-daughter of Elvis Presley!
I would be remiss if I did not at least mention The Doof Warrior, the bugle boy of Immortan Joe’s Army. A heavy metal electric guitar playing bugle boy to boot. Oh…he also shoots flames out of his guitar.
A miracle. Several times through this film I was asking myself: “What am I watching?!” It is as if I had been returned to my youth. There is SO MUCH happening in this film. There is a mythology, a completely realized universe to explore. There are little pockets of civilization with traditions and histories unexplored. Immortan Joe and his brothers represent the things that brought the world to ruin. Joe is Religion/Life, Bullet Farmer is arms manufacturing/Justice, and Gas Town is Oil/greed, its leader wearing a nipple pierced version of a Banker/businessman. As I said, SO MUCH is going on here.
George Miller has made his masterpiece. Another review, i forget where It was, wrote that this is a film that people in the year 2025 and 2035 will list as their favorite movie, ever. I can totally see that.
This one has staying power. It is a living breathing thing of beauty. George Miller did not make another sequel to Mad Max. He gave it a transfusion and somehow, impossibly, TOPPED the originals.
I hope Hardy rides as Max for several more films.