Mad Max: Fury Road is without a doubt the most exciting, visually stunning and viscerally intense action film you will see this summer. Such definitive superlatives for a new release so early in the blockbuster season might seem premature or even simplistic hype. Rest assured, this film not only lives up to the hype; it exceeds all expectations as a super-charged, relentless action assault on the senses that will leave you truly breathless, awe-struck and satisfyingly exhausted by the time the closing credits roll.
Director George Miller, who first brought his post-Apocalyptic Mad Max trilogy to the screen over 30 years ago, starring Mel Gibson, returns the character to the screen with Tom Hardy in the lead role. In Fury Road, Max finds himself quickly captured by the freakish inhabitants of a crumbling mountain stronghold where gasoline, water and the power of turbo-charged war vehicles are richly valued and worshiped. Ruling over this desolate kingdom is the hideously ruthless Immortan, Joe.
However, when one of Joe’s trusted top warlords, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) flees the camp in an attempt to free Joe's four young wives from sexual enslavement and abuse; the die is cast for Max, Furiosa and Joe to embark on what is undeniably one of the most riveting, uniquely innovative and explosively extended vehicle chase sequences ever recorded on film.
The sustained and complex stunt crashes and choreography are unlike anything seen on screen in years. Theron and a supporting cast of women actually take center stage as strong, fully capable fighters turning the tables on their former tormentors. Hardy as Max is quite good, but is almost a supporting player amid his formidable female co-stars. Fury Road is also a stunningly beautiful film in it’s cinematography, imaginative set design and bizarre characters.
Mad Max: Fury Road is a ferociously relentless film filled with literally non-stop action, violence and a gritty ugliness that is, paradoxically, uniquely beautiful in it’s spectacle and almost operatic insanity.
Tim Estiloz is a double Emmy Award winning entertainment journalist and member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Boston Online Film Critics Association.
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