We've all had our hopes dashed by bad remakes and reboots of classic movies...this, my friends, is not one of them. This is genuine, bona fide Mad Max...in fact, it's Mad Max with a triple boost of nitro.
You know how Road Warrior ends with the epic chase between the tanker truck and Humongous' war party? Well, that's this whole friggin' movie. One big chase, with the most insane car crashes and stunts that I've ever seen.
Incredible, bone crunching car crashes aren't the only thing that Fury Road has going for it...there's the whole world of the Road Warrior on display here.
The beautifully desolate wastelands. Endless, lifeless, and out to get everyone. There's some seriously gorgeous cinematography throughout...long, tracking shots of the war parties chasing Furiosa's war wagon through the desert.
The cast of baddies, from the big bad evil guy Immortan Joe to the various tribes of raiders Max and friends clash with along their journey. The war boys and their insane kamikaze/Viking-inspired devotion to Joe. The side characters and freaks that have somehow managed to weasel their way into a position of influence...there's so much richness, so much texture and back story here that makes the world feel real, and lived (or survived) in.
The cars, props, makeup and costumes complete the deal...they're worn out, torn up, weird and pieced together in classic Mad Max fashion. The vehicles are all awesome, each tribe having their own unique look and style--whether covered in spikes, the dirt bikes of the canyon dwellers, to Bullet Farmer's tank-tracked hot rod. Furiosa's bionic arm is the best bit of cybernetics put to film. Immortan Joe's whole costume...weird, scary, insane. The Citadel fortress. There's so much to take in.
Tom Hardy is very good as Mad Max. He (and the movie) portray Max very much as the survivor and reluctant hero...and maybe a bit more 'mad' than we've seen Max in past films. He's great in the physical stuff, action scenes and the acting in general. He steps into Mel Gibson's boots quite well.
If I had any complaints about Hardy as Max, it'd be that his voice was kind of all over the place, and lacked any semblance of an Aussie accent. There was one scene where he almost started to drift into the Bane from Batman territory. No biggie.
Charlize Theron manages to maybe outshine Max in the movie. She's believable as a bad ass war wagon driver and holds her own against the hordes of baddies after them. Furiosa is the driving force of the plot...Max is along for the ride. And it works.
The vast (vast) majority of the movie is done with practical effects, which is rare in this day and age, and it makes those stunts and crashes all the more impressive. There are a few bits of CGI here and there, and I'd probably rather they left most of those out and went straight practical. It's used fairly sparingly, though, and there's a few awesome bits that wouldn't have been possible without it.
I loved this movie, and there's only and handful of movies I can say that about. It's amazing--from blistering action to the rich, ramshackle the world. I walked out of the theater with an ear to ear grin, people--so happy that this movie was so good.
We've been waiting for this one for a long time, and it's better than I'd hoped.
I will go see this again in theaters, and I don't think I've ever done that before.
The movie is registering a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, so you don't need to be a post apoc junkie to love this movie. It adds a whole other level of enjoyment to the mix, though.
If you need an introduction (or re-introduction) to Max, I'd recommend the classic Road Warrior - rent for as low as $3.