And with one flame from an electric guitar, summer movie season was reborn.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is a refreshing shot of adrenaline in every way possible. It is based on a franchise that I have never seen and that doesn’t matter, because it eloquently states a nearly 40 year old backstory in a brief voiceover.
We are transported to a desert landscape that is anything but empty. In the future, Earth is a wasteland. Everybody searches for water and oil. Gangs form, but sides often blur together. The angry Max (Tom Hardy) of the title teams up with Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to bring down the psychotic cult leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne).
This is a future ruled by lack of resources, where eating a two-headed lizard is the best form of nutrition.
For a barren landscape, this world sure is populated by bright, colorful figures who all abide by different codes. Sure, this is called “Mad Max,” but “Fury Road” often feels like it is about everybody else, whether you have a pale face, or a flaming electric guitar. But Hardy, of course, is a born action star. Hell, at this point, he can play anything. He doesn’t even do that much “”acting” here. All it takes is a few grunts, and I am on board.
The real star here may be Charlize Theron. Furiosa is both nurturing and terrifying. She is somebody who would take care of you, but definitely not somebody you would ever want to pick a fight with.
This is director George Miller’s full vision, and it feels like something he’s been saving up to do for a long time. “Fury Road” was in development and production hell for many years, and the wait was definetly worth it. The film is settled on a few big action set pieces that last a long time and do not disappoint in the slightest. I think what I am most impressed with is Miller’s ability to turn every possible object into a weapon, whether that be a crane or a flaming electric guitar. He is like a way cooler MacGyver.
Many people have been pointing out a “lack of plot” in “Fury Road.” “Fury Road” has a plot, it is just much more sparse and simple than most blockbusters nowadays. That is a great thing. There is one, straight-forward villain. The heroes are clear. The goals are small and attainable. Nobody is trying to launch a nuclear missile through a wormhole. This is literally a world without rules. You don’t have to shut off your mind to watch “Fury Road,” but it definitely the simplest summer blockbuster to digest.
With “Fury Road,” it feels like George Miller was able to play in his own personal sandbox. Then, he decided to blow it up, crash a few cars in it, and set it on fire with a flaming electric guitar. Just roll with it, and you’ll have the best time you’ve had at the movies in a very long time.