‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is paved with explosive insanity

Sorry that I haven’t been able to update but I hope that everyone is doing well. We’re really hitting the road hard with the summer movie season and quite frankly, the best movie of the summer, possibly the year, came racing into theaters this past weekend.

Max (Tom Hardy) is out in the Australian wasteland, the world left a desert after nuclear war. After being captured by the savage War Boys, the army of cult leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Water and gasoline are scarce and become the two main commodities for trade so runs have been made on the “Fury Road”. After Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) betrays Joe by stealing something valuable from him, she teams with the renegade, Max, as they face down the wrath of Joe and his tyrannical army.

I first thought that Avengers: Age of Ultron would be the movie of the summer. Honestly, it still might but Mad Max: Fury Road is tough competition to take that title. This movie has been incredible, surpassing my expectations before it’s release (Rotten Tomatoes’ 98% rating also had something to do with it). I praise this film on its acting by the two main stars, the screenplay, the live-stunts, action sequences and direction. In the screenplay, the theme of the movie has carried over from the previous installments; that theme is survival. Staying alive is Max’s main goal in the world, key for everyone left after the war.  The theme of home, vengeance, and solidarity are sub-plots but unites everything together in this movie. The acting of Hardy, Nux (Nicholas Hoult) and Theron was stellar, truly bringing their power to the roles and embracing their characters in this world. Their determination to survive the wasteland, stop Joe, and search for their a family or home, ties them together and helps the audience care for them.

What really caught my eye was the live-stunts and action sequences. There was very little CGI used in making this film. While most action films now rely on this technology, it is refreshing to watch a film use actual wide-open spaces, using their own designed cars, and stunts was like watching a classic Western brought back to entertain audiences again. In my eyes, Mad Max is more than an action film but can also be seen essentially as a Western on wheels.

George Miller’s direction of the film helped bring this film to life after rising from “developmental hell”, where it languished for years. His idea for the film and writing breathed new life into this franchise, putting it back on tracks and giving the vehicle a Hemi engine to power this new beginning. Two other films are already in the plans for Miller and with Hardy wearing Max’s leather jacket, the action standard will belong to the ‘Mad’ for a while.

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