Big budget studio movies like Mad Max: Fury Road don’t come along very often. I can only think of two others that rose to the same echelon and were made in my lifetime: Raiders of the Lost Ark and Inception. Like those films, Mad Max: Fury Road begins in the midst of action, slows down to let the viewer get acclimated to the world that has been created, and then once it reaches a certain point propels its audience full throttle ahead through amazing set piece after amazing set piece and explodes in a dynamite denouement. All three of these films are masterpieces of pacing and editing.
All of the hyperbole swirling around Mad Max: Fury Road is not hyperbole. Those who have heralded it as the best action movie ever made are saying that because it is. The reviewer who said it will melt your face off was almost right…for the record, it will rip your face off, not melt it. Even if you’ve seen the original Mad Max films, you’ve still never seen anything like this. And if you haven’t seen the previous films, it doesn’t matter one lick.
In a post-apocalyptic hellscape where water and gasoline are the holy grails and people pray to a god called V8 (one is to assume named after the engine and not the drink) while spraying their mouths with chrome before dare-devil-ing to spectacular martyr deaths in defense of their tyrannical warlord Immorten Joe (Hugh Keayes-Byrne), a woman haunted by the distant memories of a “green-land” named Imperator Furiosa (an indomitable Charlize Theron) teams up with a man left for dead and haunted by the ghost of his dead child he failed to save and protect (a perfectly cast Tom Hardy, madly stoic) to transport by oil tanker-turned-war caravan the prized breeders/wives of Immorten Joe to a new-found freedom. Continue reading