Directed by George Miller, US, 2015
The first of our Oscar nominee catch up reviews is clothed in glory on the fury road – shiny and chrome. Okay okay, it’s good, but is it THAT good? I mean, it is a Mad Max movie after all. We know the story, crazy chases through the Australian Outback for no apparent reason.
This time, however, instead of Tina Turner presiding over Thunder Dome, we have Furiosa (Charlize Theron). Furiosa, you see, has fled Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), despot of a rare oasis. This by itself wouldn’t be an issue, except that she’s freed his slave-wives and taken them with her. This angers Immortan Joe.
What happens next is an endless chase, with the forces of Immortan Joe hunting Furiosa and her friends. One of those friends is, you guessed it, Mad Max (Tom Hardy) whom she meets fairly early on in the chase sequence. After briefly trying to kill each other, they team up and try to reach their destination before the insane people behind them catch up to our heroes and murder them.
That’s your basic plot summary, and it certainly makes for an entertaining film. A good amount of ink has been spilled describing Fury Road as feminist, and in many ways it is, since Furiosa and her A-Team of freed women are actually better at this run-kill-run thing than Max is. Max helps out for sure, but he’s kind of a third wheel most of the time, and to be honest, a bit unnecessary.
Is Fury Road a great action movie? Certainly, but it’s not the greatest of all-time (it’s been called that in a few places). It has an outside shot of getting Best Picture though, since the audiences for some of the other favorites might cancel each other out. I suppose we’ll see next month.
You might like Mad Max: Fury Road if: You enjoy well designed mayhem.
You might not like Mad Max if: You’ve ever been lost in the desert, since it might give you nightmares.
(c) 2016 D.G. McCabe