Max is a man built for survival regardless of the odds.
Taking over the acting reins of the lead character, Max, is Tom Hardy. From the first minute of the film it becomes instantly recognizable that he is a great fit for the part. Mad Max: Fury Road hits the ground running without much build up. As the movie goes there are quick flashbacks and hallucinations which help fill in the backstory. All Max is trying to do is to survive one breath at a time. Unfortunately living in a post-apocalyptic violent world, that’s much easier said than done. Max has become the property of a tyrannical maniac who calls himself Immortan Joe. And by property I mean more like a living, breathing blood bank for Joe’s followers. Quick fun fact: the actor who plays Joe, Hugh Keays-Byrne, was also the main antagonist back in the 1979 original. Back then he played a lovely gent who was known simply as Toecutter.
The plot thickens when Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who is one of Immortan Joe’s loyal subjects leads a fuel envoy to another settlement in order to gather supplies. Unbeknownst to her caravan, Furiosa has plans of her own and they in no way coincide with what Immortan Joe expects of her. At this point Mad Max: Fury Road shifts into high gear and begins to earn the title in which the movie has been given. Everyone is hot on her tail but she ends up with a very unlikely ally in the process, Max. Survival is paramount and that’s something they can see eye to eye on.
Other actors worth mentioning are Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Nathan Jones to name a few. Nicholas Hoult is barely recognizable unless you know he’s in the film but he does a superb job throughout the movie. Of the names mentioned, one is a relatively unknown one. That would be Nathan Jones. Jones is a physically imposing giant among men weighing in at over 360 pounds and stands at 6’ 11” tall and looks every bit of that. The casting, costume design and makeup work in Mad Max: Fury Road are very admirable. If there’s one thing George Miller has proven time and time again, it’s that he knows how to create colorful characters. With names like Rictus Erectus, Toast the Knowing, The People Eater, The Bullet Farmer and The Doof Warrior how could anyone argue that?
The story is probably the weakest aspect but the fact that the movie is fast paced helps offset its shortcomings. It’s much more complex than one might assume at first glance but it isn’t THAT compelling. Let’s be honest though, with this type of movie who is really expecting a top notch plot? Tom Hardy does come dangerously close to channeling his inner-Bane from time to time. By that I mean he’s sometimes hard to understand. Thankfully the good outweighs the bad in that regard. Expectations are exceeded in many facets of this fourth Mad Max film and as long as audiences agree we shouldn’t have to wait another 30 years to see Max again. Mad Max: Fury Road is a dirty (as in dusty) fun good time that feeds all of your senses to the point of contentment. Check it out in theaters now.