Mad Max: Fury Road

The character of Max Rockatansky, otherwise known as Mad Max, first appeared on movie screens in the 1979 film Mad Max. The film dealt with the struggles of Max, a beat cop who was fighting biker gangs in a world that was on the verge of running out of oil. The film starred Mel Gibson; in fact, it was this film that brought Gibson to stardom. The film's budget was $400,000, and it made $100 million worldwide.

As a result of its financial success Mad Max became the first in a series of films with The Road Warrior, probably the best of the films, coming out in 1981, and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome coming out in1985. Thirty years later George Miller, the director of the first series of films, has brought Mad Max: Fury Road to the big screen, an exciting action spectacular which cost $150 million to make and earned $322 million in the first month of its release.

Mad Max Fury Road tells the story of how Max, a man tortured by his violent and unbelievably turbulent past, gives aid to Imperator Furiosa, a fellow road warrior, as she attempts to shepherd the four concubines of an evil warlord called Immortan Joe to a place where they will be free of sexual and physical abuse. 

The film can be seen as a warning about the dangers of hyper-capitalist overconsumption as well as the consequences of clinging too tightly to a patriarchal view of the world. The story is meant to take place in Australia, but was filmed in Namibia and actually took about 15 years to complete.

It was originally meant to star Mel Gibson in the title role, but because George Miller ran into problems with shooting locations and Gibson became interested in The Passion of the Christ, they had to recast the role of Max. Tom Hardy, a skilled actor who has performed in Inception, The Dark Knight Rises and Warrior, was then chosen as Max, and he shines as the film's main character. He barely speaks throughout the entire movie, but gives a very engaging performance nonetheless.

Charlize Theron, originally from South Africa, has previously starred in such films as Prometheus, Monster, Hancock and The Italian Job. She does a great job in the role of the world-weary, battle-hardened Furiosa, a woman of conscience who will stop at nothing to give new and better lives to the women in her care.

The movie is essentially one long car chase in which Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron give remarkably expressive performances in spite of the fact that the script is incredibly thin. They are supported in the film by Nicholas Hoult  (Warm Bodies, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and About a Boy). Hoult is excellent in the role of Nuxx, one of Immortan Joe's foot soldiers and has definitely grown as an actor since his entry into the film industry at age eleven.

It's an excellent movie, definitely a must see. Two thumbs up.