Sand, sand and more sand; it’s something that you have to get used to with this particular film and I’m 100% sure its something that must have driven the actors mad (no pun intended). We begin the film briefly introduced to a very hairy Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) who is immediately captured and imprisoned despite his ardent objection. He’s being held by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his band of half live/dead army of warboys. The world as we know it today is long gone and all that’s left is a vast desert and no hope in sight; Joe holds all the cards, water, weapons and most importantly for this film, the women (though of course only the young attractive ones he can breed with). The trouble-maker of the story is Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who attempts to free the wives of Joe played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoë Kravitz, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, and Courtney Eaton, which obviously isn’t such an easy task when the entire clan begins to chase after them. Max only gets involved in the craziness when he’s dragged along by one of the warboys Nux (Nicholas Hoult) as his “blood bag” which actually becomes his name for approximately half of the film. Furiosa, Max, the wives and Nux must attempt to make it across to the desert in search of their safe place before they are caught and meet a most likely gruesome end at the hands of Joe and his lackeys.
Tom Hardy is becoming the actor who can dominate while acting within restraints (literal and metaphorical), as Bane we could only see a third of his face and yet his performance was one of the most memorable of the year, as Max he gives the same while either in a muzzle or being a man of few words (and one slightly awkward thumbs up). Hardy does a great job as the heavy hitting Max, but realistically the key to this film is Theron’s Furiosa, she is not only vital to the plot she’s also a central part in the strength of this film; physically and emotionally. Furiosa gives us a much-needed female character with some fight, though don’t dismiss the wives as precious cargo.
This film has a few surprises to throw at you, its refreshingly not completely predictable as so many releases are today, to go in thinking you know everything that’s going to happen would be a mistake. The cinematography of this film is like none other I’ve seen recently; the filming of excellently well choreographed car crashes and attacks is breath-taking and definitely brings this series firmly into the 21st century. Watching these spectacular crashes and explosions will keep you on the edge of your seat. One particular great addition to look out for is the travelling band that goes along with Joe’s gang; having a guitar player on a bungee cord playing metal riffs to motivate everyone is pure genius. Having carefully chosen music over the top of a scene is a great thing but having the guitar played strapped on top of a monster truck looking like a raving lunatic while several drummers play beneath him is something to behold.
Mad Max may not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you like action and don’t require any heavy dialogue or serious romantic entanglements then its pretty safe to assume that you will have your attention grabbed and not let go with this one.