Movie trailers lie all the time, they show the funniest bits, the most action-y scenes, preludes to the only dramatic moments and then the movies themselves tend to be big let downs. The trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the best trailers ever released, so the jaded movie goer probably wouldn’t have been blamed for wondering if maybe they had seen the best parts of another underwhelming action movie. Happily, though, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the fastest moving, most beautifully shot, imaginative, disturbed, bad-ass pieces of kick-you-in-the-ass film making ever released. IT’S REALLY F-ING GOOD.
Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) is captured right off the bat by a fanatical group known as the War Boys who follow a lunatic tyrant known as Immortan Joe. After a failed escape attempt, Max is set up as a ‘blood bag,’ basically an unwilling donor, for a War Boy called Nux (Nicholas Hoult) who is suffering from some sort of illness. At the same time, Immortan Joe’s wives–he calls them ‘breeders’ at some point–are freed from captivity by one of the leaders of the army Joe has built, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). So begins what has to be one of the most harrowing, non-stop chases in movie history.
The War Boys are called to action to chase down Furiosa’s rig and get back Joe’s wives. Max is strapped to the front of Nux’s rig so that he can continue to give blood. He, of course, is freed at some point and the chase continues in earnest. There are amazing battle scenes all on the move, there are some of the most bizarre movie villains you’ve ever seen, and there is seriously show stopping cinematography as the film barrels along. Max, Furiosa, and the others eventually have to figure out how to survive the onslaught of Joe and his troops and the results are truly spectacular.
The plot aside (which I won’t spoil any more of for you!), there are a couple of factors that really separate Mad Max from other recent action movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron. One is that George Miller doesn’t feel the need to set up an extensive background story, and it’s incredible how refreshing it is not to bog down the story with it. How many times in Avengers did the story feel entrenched because some character was launching into a tirade of exposition trying to explain why they became who they are? Often enough to lend credence to the saying that actions speak louder than words. In Mad Max the audience is dropped into a fully formed world, with fully formed characters who don’t have to explain who they are but rather simply act the way they do and bring the viewer along for the ride. The world surrounding them and the way that it came about is left almost exclusively too the imagination.
Additionally, nothing about the plot or the script feel formulaic at all. Maybe that’s because it feels like driving down the interstate at 150 mph after drinking Red Bull laced with cocaine while giant explosions race you on each side of the road and Arnold Schwarzenegger screams “AAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!” directly into your brain. You don’t get (Villain X) using (Mystical Item Y) to destroy (City/Country/Universe L), who needs be stopped by (Pick Any 5 Characters!). No you get badass ladies on motorcycles shooting sniper rifles at a dude who does nothing but shredding on an effing guitar that shoots out fire on a giant guitar truck, all while rambling on at 200 mph. It’s awesome. It’s well acted, well scripted, and just damn cool.
If you’re looking for action that isn’t cookie cutter, that is something new that you probably haven’t seen, and something that will really make you RAGE you HAVE to go see MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. It has everything you could want in a film, and is so incredibly well done that it’s almost impossible not to enjoy. What a lovely day indeed!