Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

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Set 45 years after the collapse of civilisation, Mad Max: Fury Road takes place in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken. Resources such as water, food and oil in short supply, and survivors are clinging for dear life at the Citadel – a fortress controlled by the tyrannical Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne).

Hoping to restore order, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) leads a band of rebels on a daring escape through the Wasteland, where they forge an alliance with Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy). Together, they embark on a high-speed race through the desert, pursued relentlessly by the gangs of the apocalypse.

This “revisiting” is handled by George Miller, the director of the original Mad Max trilogy, who stays true to the series. It’s not long before the plot takes a backseat, and the fluid action sequences take the forefront.

For the duration of the two hour running time, the focus is on rapid-fire car-to-car acrobatics, narrow changes of gunfire and metal smashing together at high speed. Cue huge rigs and 18-wheelers pimped out with skulls and other badass accessories, accompanied by a lead guitarist perched on the hood of a truck backed with a stack of amplifiers.

It’s particularly refreshing to see that Mad Max: Fury Road has a sense of solidity – something that many modern films lack. This is predominantly achieved through Guy Norris’ use of real-time special effects and well executed stunt choreography, with computer-generated imagery only being used sparingly. This viewing experience is brilliantly enhanced through the use of 3D, which is definitely worth the extra couple of quid.

Also used in moderation is the dialogue, with the film featuring long stretches where the characters tell the story through a series of glances and winces. The speech isn’t needed, but it does make it difficult for viewers to connect with the characters at an emotional level.