I watched all three Mel Gibson Mad Max films way back when I was a teenager when WPIX channel 11 used to view movies every Saturday afternoon, but I was never really a fan of any of them. The premise and atmosphere is a boyhood dream of a futuristic lawless Australia stemming from a nuclear holocaust that destroyed society and left in its wake a fragile human race warring over food, water, and gasoline. Biker gangs roam the wasteland and Mel Gibson’s character, Mad Max, is a highway cop whose family is slaughtered by these thugs and goes on a rampage for revenge. Following with two more sequels, the police force has vanished and Max is a nomad simply trying to survive.
All three are good action films, but aside from the post-apocalyptic setting, I never really cared much for the Max Max franchise because I couldn’t get past the implausibility of oil and gasoline still remaining for scavenging, and I was never into cars that much when I was younger. I didn’t even know the difference between automatic and stick shift until college. I just didn’t think so many vehicles could be usable after the near destruction of the world. In any case, currently Mad Max: Fury Road has a 98% fresh rating on rottentomatoes.com, quite unheard of for a simple action film that’s rated R, and with the exciting trailer, pushed me to give this fourth attempt a try.
Going into this, I already knew that this latest installment was simply a 2-hour chase scene which meant there wasn’t much in the way of depth or substance within the story. It was just going to be eye candy and that’s exactly what it was. The story doesn’t try to complicate itself as it ushers the viewer for a ride and nothing more, and it did it really well with all of its stunts and explosions. I read that the director tried to use as many practical effects as possible and only wanted to use CGI when absolutely necessary which made this spectacle all the more raw and explosive. There were some intense moments that could have been elongated ala Quentin Tarantino style, but the creativity and craziness certainly made up for it. And one really doesn’t need to know much of the prequels because this sequel isn’t a reboot, but a barebones continuation of the first film.
Charlize Theron was really great as she was the main character and Tom Hardy’s Max was more of a sidekick. I actually think the story would have been fine without Mad Max, lol!
In the end, this an explosive movie edged out with a ton of imaginative character, prop and set designs that nearly leads the story as being other worldly. The movie knows what it wants to portray itself as and doesn’t trick or deviate from its intentions, and I think that’s what the reviewers appreciate most in its honesty and confident identity. In any case, I do hope George Miller, the director, will be able to pump out more Mad Max films.
I rate this a 3 out of 5.