‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ spectacular and relentless
By Bob Bloom
“Mad Max: Fury Road” makes the automotive action in the “Fast and Furious” movies look like those bumper-car rides at an amusement park.
“Fury Road” is a relentless, nonstop and breathless post-apocalyptic thriller, starring Tom Hardy as Max, who wanders the desolate wasteland of his shattered world simply trying to survive.
The movie is the fourth in the series — the first three starred Mel Gibson — who last played Max in 1985’s “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.”
George Miller is behind the camera again, and at 70, brings a spry and lively outlook to this impressive feature, which he also co-wrote.
“Fury Road” moves at a frenetic pace from beginning to end, offering brief respites where the viewers can catch their breath to prepare for the next jaw-dropping sequence.
Hardy shares much screen time with Charlize Theron, who plays Furiosa and is as ferocious as her costar.
Furiosa is smuggling the young wives of her leader, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) to the “green place,” where they can find peace and be more than baby-making machines.
Joe unleashes his entire mobile army to capture and return Furiosa and his property. She is using his war rig to transport the women, while Max is a captive on one of the chase vehicles.
Max escapes and reluctantly unites with Furiosa and her precious cargo.
One of Miller’s better concepts is to have Max take a back seat to Furiosa. He is along for the ride, never offering to lead. He is a facilitator, helping the women by using his muscle and his proficiency with weapons.
“Fury Road” is a movie in which action speaks louder than words. Miller and his production team fill the screen with a wide variety of amazing and impressive stunts, which will have you gaping in disbelief, while holding the dialogue to a minimum.
Men and women jump, swing and catapult from vehicle to vehicle in a frantic orgy of speed and skill. A crack army of stunt people created the vast majority of these daring and dangerous gags in camera without the use of CGI or green screen.
“Fury Road” is a most satisfying movie because Miller and his crew have taken the time to create a world in ruins that an audience can believe in.
He offers you enough tidbits about the people who inhabit this forsaken land so you can use your imagination to understand and accept how they have fallen into their savage and tribal condition.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” features a strong and pounding musical score by Junkie XL that helps propel the film and keeps pace with the action.
A word of caution: The movie was adapted for 3-D after production was completed. I strongly suggest you see it in a standard 2-D format.
“Fury Road” has road rage and mayhem, wit and touches of grace and humanity. It is a film you will want to see again, and one that will stick in your memory for a long time.
Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. His reviews appear at Reel Bob (reelbob.com) and The Film Yap (filmyap.com). He also reviews Blu-rays and DVDs. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom. Other reviews by Bloom can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
4 stars out of 4
(R), intense action violence, disturbing images