Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Directed by: George Miller
Cert: 15A Running Time: 120 mins
Release date: 14th May 2015
It’s been thirty years since George’s Miller’s dystopian tales of warrior Max Rockatansky hit our screens and returning to that world is a welcome jolt of cinematic anarchy. Miller’s vision hasn’t dimmed over the decades and he supplies copious amounts of onscreen derangement in stunning images that excite and ignite the senses.
Haunted by the past and those he’s lost, Tom Hardy’s Max proves he’s every bit as capable as Mel Gibson in the role and he brings his own visceral energy to the part but as the story unfolds he starts to fade into the background, making way for the true lead of the film, Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. Her character forms the beating heart of the film and Max is literally a passenger along for the ride.
A warrior in her own right Furiosa frees the baby-making young ‘Wives’ of tyrannical Citadel leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) who gives chase with his band of freaks and war boys in their suped-up guzzlers to retrieve them. Max having escaped from their captivity as a living blood bag for war boy minion Nux (Hoult), teams up with Furiosa as they escape into the desert in the huge battle ready tanker truck, the war rig.
Immortan Joe believes women are useful for procreation and milk only and keeps the two in good supply. It’s a wonder he let Furiosa out in the first place. When free the girls cast off their chastity belts with bolt cutters, and being the supermodels they are, go half naked into the desert.
In one scene Max disappears off to combat the enemy and the camera stays with Furiosa, showing us only Max’s bloodied return. Should he not be front and centre? Or at least equal? Isn’t this called Mad Max? He also bows to her superior firing skills at one point and you begin to feel a bit sorry for him as she’s better than him at practically everything. Even Hoult’s war boy is no match for the women as he goes from suicide mission craziness to little boy lost.
Together they form a sort of dysfunctional family with Max and Furiosa the parents on a hell of a road trip. Pursued by Joe and his neighbouring allies, they are hunted from all directions. There is very little ease up in the pace and the action is heart-thumpingly non-stop. The chase vehicles are a feast for the eyes of petrol heads everywhere. Cars, trucks and even tanks are all mashed up and spit out into steam punk killing machines of steel and spike. They bring the necessary thunder complete with stilt like poles that enable them to jump from vehicle to vehicle and one complete with massive speakers as a backdrop to a crazed heavy metal guitarist. Where else would you see it?
Enjoy it for the outlandish spectacle it is and for Fierce Furiosa. Max may want to get his own storyline next time around.