Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). Directed by George Miller. Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult.
George Miller essentially remakes the third act of 1981’s The Road Warrior, gloriously using modern technology to turn the post-apocalyptic world inhabited by Max all the way up to 11 while sticking with the franchise mainstays of revenge and redemption as the main themes of his tale.
This isn’t really Max’s story though and he plays more of an incidental role than anything else. Now, given Tom Hardy’s real lack of movie star charisma (like him or loathe him, Mel has it in spades) that turns out to be a very good thing. Really, this is all about Charlize Theron’s Furiosa and her search for a new, better world free of the yoke of tyrannical masculine rule.
Nurturing, growing, thoughtful womanhood is set against brutal “war, gadgets and sex” based male rage, in as full on an adrenaline surge of a chase movie as you will ever see. Bright primary colours pop out of the screen as vehicular mayhem and carnage rages in the arid desert with added flames, electric guitars and automatic firearms.
The utter linearity of the narrative is joyful as Miller ratchets up the tension, throws everything he can dredge up from the insane dungeon of his imagination at the screen and revels in the sheer madness of this gas-guzzling futurity writ large. It is no mean feat to conjure an eye-popping story of vehicular carnage deftly interwoven with a powerful message setting environmentalist thought against fossil fuel usage and female emancipation versus male domination and oppression to such a thrilling effect.