Mad Max: Fury Road
4.5/5 MUST must see SEE
dir George Miller
scr George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
prd George Miller, Doug Mitchell, PJ Voeten
with Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nathan Jones, Megan Gale, Josh Helman, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton
release US/UK 15.May.15
15/Australia Warner 2h00
Mad Max: Fury Road
Unlikely partnership: Hardy and Theron

hoult huntington-whiteley kravitz
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Mad Max: Fury Road With a new cast, this post-apocalyptic franchise picks up 30 years later for a roaring action romp that gives more bang for your movie buck than any film in recent memory. Not only are the set-pieces thunderously entertaining, but there's an emotional depth that continually catches us off guard. Mainly because filmmaker Miller never lifts his foot from the accelerator.

Consumed with anger, Max (Hardy) is imprisoned in a citadel run by the self-proclaimed god Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne), keeper of oil, water and food. Then one of his imperators, Furiosa (Theron), goes off-mission with her war-rig. The posse is led by Joe's beefy son Rictus (Jones), with inflamed driver Nux (Hoult) strapping Max to his car as a "blood bag" to give him strength. After several clashes, Max and Nux end up on Furiosa's rig, discovering that she has stolen Joe's five young wives and is escaping through the mountains to the green lands beyond.

Even though the film's essentially one extended chase, Miller layers in plenty of character detail, which makes each set-piece both heart-pounding and gasp-inducing, because there's so much at stake. Using seamless effects, Miller directs with a spiralling energy that pushes the stuntwork further and further, filling scenes with both artistry and narrative information that continually adds texture. And the slow draw of breath before the final onslaught provides a serious rush of adrenaline.

It's impressive that the actors are able to inject as much personality into their characters as they do, because no one is very talkative. Much of the detail comes only through their eyes as they interact. Hardy actually spends the first act with his mouth bolted closed, and yet his inner rage is palpable, as is the way he's haunted by his past. Theron also invests a strong emotional undercurrent as a fierce warrior taking charge of her life in an attempt to rescue these not completely helpless sex-slaves and find her way home. And Hoult's character takes the most involving personal journey.

Essentially what Miller has done here is create a James Bond-style franchise in which he (or anyone he passes the baton to) can tell a story set in this parched landscape that has driven everyone literally, yes, mad. But even more, Miller has proven that dystopian action chaos doesn't need to rely on desaturated colours and snarky masculinity. Full-on emotion gives it a much more exhilarating kick.

cert 15 themes, language, violence 11.May.15

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