Mad Max Fury Road

Cert : 15

Runtime: 120 mins

Director: George Miller

Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

Rating: ****

Those old enough to remember, will recall Miller’s earlier Mad Max films starring Mel Gibson, the first of which saw Max Rockatansky trying to survive in a world suffering food and fuel shortages and which ended up with a high intensity 20 minute chase of fire and dead bodies. This recent Mad Max offering takes that chase, puts even more octane into it and runs it for the entire length of the film.

This time Max is played by Tom Hardy, whose first role as notorious criminal Charles Bronson was full of dialogue, in this he says relatively little, but maintains a detached view on the mayhem as his heroic standing builds during the carnage. The plot, if one can describe it as that, sees Max becoming mixed up in a jailbreak from a community ruled by the violent Immortan Joe, who has five wives, each of whom is used as a means of producing healthy heirs.

The wives decide to escape this life of imprisonment in the bowels of a road tanker, driven by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who has masterminded the whole venture. Once Immortan realises what has happened he leads the charge, along with various other groups of oddly dressed locals to recapture his brides, one of whom is very close to giving birth. How they survive on this flight from capture is all the film has to offer as a story line, but it’s delivered at such a frenetic pace that it’s not difficult to get drawn into one action drenched sequence after another.

Fury Road blasts out from the very start and it takes a full thirty minutes before there is anything like a break or lull in the action. Unlike the previous Mad Max films and despite Tom Hardy’s brooding presence, the lead character transpires to be Furiosa, a determined and battle hardened warrior with a metal prosthetic arm.   Her dream to lead herself and the wives into a better place drives the party on in their war machine of a tanker, whilst being pursued and attacked by a variety of dangerously armed and creatively designed vehicles made from spare scrap metal parts.

Indeed this is a world where women have their place despite its violent backdrop, the wives that at first view appear submissive, each find resilience and resolve as the journey unfolds and their lives are put into constant danger.

So, sit back and accept the movie for what it is: the action is furious, inventive and not dumbed down to target a younger audience. Both Hardy and Theron give good performances, the scenery, effects and stunt work are all excellent and although there maybe a slight sense of weariness towards the end with the constant action, it’s well worth the ticket price.

Written by Howard Groves.

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