Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

Cinema: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

MadMaxFRPosterGeorge Miller takes us back to the wasteland of a dystopian future where life is cheap and the only things that matter are water, petrol and bullets. Not a remake but rather another adventure to add to the other Mad Max movies, and now Miller’s very distinct style comes in 3D and IMAX

Imagine a KISS concert in 1979 (populated by shaven zombie-boys and limbless, freaky, midgety bedraggled people), only not on stage but rather bouncing from armoured car to truck to motorbike, and there you have the essence of this film. The action starts immediately and gallops at a fair old pace for 2 hours. All sequences have their own rock soundtrack, literally ; drummers on one truck while a zombie-Ace-Frehley-alike shoots flames out of his chugging metal guitar. Without a doubt it’s bloody bonkers and spectacular, however, there are two major problems. If anything the relentless action gets to be too much, and I felt around the half way mark that Michael Bay had knocked George out and taken the megaphone by force, and the second thing – this is NOT a Mad Max film. He appears, but in all truth Tom Hardy’s Max could have been – anyone. This film belongs to Charlize Theron, in fact, it should have been called ‘Furiosa: Fury Road’.

I don’t think it’s a huge spoiler if you’ve seen the trailer (if not read no further!), to know that Max is captured by Nicholas Hoult’s ‘Nux’, and used as a living blood donor. A few crashes later (and maybe 5 words) he ends up joining forces with Theron’s Furiosa to save Immortan Joe’s (Hugh Keays-Byrne; ‘Toecutter’ from the original movie) wives from basically being impregnated by him.
For me the major problem with the story was there wasn’t enough STORY, yes the action was superb, beautifully filmed and exciting…up to a point, then I wanted a bit more, I wanted to see Furiosa’s story, the wives story, and most of all, Max’s story. WHO were the ghosts that haunted him and why? The film would have been so much better if Miller had cut one action scene and included more back story, made the audience care about these lost people. One incident in the film that should have been at once horrifying and heart-breaking was skipped over.

Theron has given several interviews about the emancipation of women and inequality, and I applaud Miller for centering this story around strong females. Of course Theron shines and literally towers above her fellow actors, and I have a big love for Tom Hardy; he’s more than capable of acting ‘mad’ (Bronson anyone?) but here he’s ….well he just hasn’t got that crazy thing going on that Mel Gibson has (and that’s not me saying only Mel could play Max, I had a genuinely open mind). He is unfortunately quite pointless (except as a blood donor), and the only thing about his character that bears any relation to Max is the name itself. At the point I was about to think ‘Okay the action is too much now, I need a bit more’ it shifted down a gear. If this hadn’t happened I think I would have got bored, but George pulled it back from the brink and although hugely flawed, I DID enjoy the film, especially in IMAX and 3D.

Briefly a word for any locals (North Wales,UK) about the new Cineworld in Broughton. The sheer JOY I felt being a film fan that an IMAX was opening within reach was lovely. I was quite surprised to see how small the cinema building was, but it made it more intimate despite being part of a chain. The screen was HUGE and the seats were COMFY. Win win I’d say!

Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With).