You should know that I had not seen a single Mad Max film before this one. Shameful I know. I’ve caught glimpses of them over the years during one of the several hundred times my Dad watched them, but that is about it. You should also know that it isn’t absolutely necessary to have seen any of them to fully enjoy this version. Because fully enjoy it I did. I enjoyed it immensely. So much so that I am planning to go back this weekend and watch it in 3D…and probably another time after that. It is that good.
Ok let’s begin. Charlize Theron rules this movie. Appropriately named Furiosa in the film, she wields through the post-apocalyptic world with sheer unadulterated force. When sent out on a seemingly regular errand by villain ruler Immortan Joe, she takes matters into her own hands, using it as an opportunity to escape his clutches and return to her homeland. Much to Immortan Joe’s dismay, she has also smuggled his five young wives from his chambers. So begins the crazed pursuit. Like a wolf protecting her pups, Furiosa is hell-bent on defending her girls, no matter what (or who) is thrown at her.
Max (Tom Hardy) is thrown into the mix when his capture Nux (Nicholas Hoult) sets out on the chase, determined to prove his worth by bringing back Furiosa and the wives himself. Let me tell you, this has got to be Nicholas Hoult’s best performance to date. This is his shining moment. He manages to sway your emotions so much, you’ll feel like one of those swinging rods that thrash about on the spiked cars in the film.
So what about Max, you say? The title character? Well, he is a man of few words. Despite the title, he is really more of a supporting character than a lead. This is not to the fault of Tom Hardy. He is brilliant as the quiet and tormented hero. We are just simply not given much background about him, other than a few nightmarish flashbacks and solemn narrative. I think this plays well to the story though. He is literally dragged along for the ride, much like the viewer is, which allows you to appropriately connect with his character. I gather we will learn much more about him in the next three films he has already signed on for.
Clearly, the badass characters are a highlight of the film. Another highlight is the fact that this film starts and doesn’t stop for two hours. It is action scene after action scene. Chase after chase. There’s hardly any time to rest, as one would assume in a post-apocalyptic world such as this one. Every one is fighting for their survival every minute of every day. The action is violent. The people are disturbing. The world is insane. The women…will kick your ass. There are no damsels in distress. Many are referring to this as a highly “feminist” film. Some people (men) are even angered at the thought.
Well if you can’t enjoy a movie because the female characters are just as tough or tougher than the male characters, then that is just too bad. You’ll hate this one. For the rest of you…make sure to pee before the movie starts, hold on to your popcorn tight, and fasten your seatbelts, because this will be a ride to remember. Badass characters. Badass music. Badass action. Did I mention it is badass? Well it is.
If for nothing else, you have to see this movie for the mobile rock band Immortan Joe brings along with him, equipped with a guitarist and everything. Just genius. Here’s hoping you enjoy it as much as I did. Have a lovely day.