mad max: fury road

film review

“If you can’t fix what’s broken, then you go insane.”

The Desolate barren wastelands surrounding an insensibly evil combination, one part tyrannical worship and  one part feral anarchy. Visceral atmosphere and horrific desert-life project the terror of a very troubling apocalyptic future in which steering wheels and fuel are worshipped spiritually. Reaching nirvana and high levels of discipline is achieving 'chrome.'  

Much like how an engine sparks a combination of fire, oxygen and fuel,  Mad Max: Fury Road is a ferocious combustion of opposing elemental ingredients which makes for a thrill ride of epic proportions. Director George Miller ups the ante from the Australian originals starring Mel Gibson in the titular role. 

 

Immaculate method acting is on full display. Tom Hardy inhabits a tortured character, drawing no doubt from personal experiences to create a new version of the Australian nomad previously depicted by Mel Gibson.  His sheer insanity was palpable, a man who has experienced trauma and a violent past born out of the nightmares of most.

 

Sarah Connor & Ellen Ripley for the new generation

Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa headlined a particularly strong band of female characters. Not since characters like Alien heroine Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor from James Cameron’s first two Terminator films has a female character been as assertively badass and emotionally tried as Furiosa. Equipped with a makeshift bionic arm only visually adds to what we are taught of her character. Furiousa represented excellent balance in how the screenplay commented on all facets of the female experience; strong, beautiful, graceful yet with a capacity for defense and relentless pursuit of a better existence.

Despite the excellent cast all around from the major protagonists, a chilling modern villain impacts the silver screen in demonstrative fashion. Hugh Keays-Byrne delivers a grandiose performance of a tyrannical leader with dense pockets of demigod worship. It is in this establishment that Immortan Joe will make your skin crawl, the moment he offers a cascade of fresh water to the barren wastelands of the Citadel and its malnourished populace.

The maternal half of nature in regards to mankind is paid the utmost respect in its themes regarding women: birth, motherhood, purity and an inherent grace living amongst the ravenous barbarians that roam The Citadel and Fury Road. Not only were these actresses (Zoe Kravitz,, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee and Courtney Eaton) stunningly beautiful, their metaphorical presence added much nuance to the film. The empowerment of women is a particularly strong theme and the former muses of Immorten Joe initially represent the contrast that exists in autocratic environments like the Egyptians and Romans and the subsequent feminism that emerges in the plot.