Mad Max: Fury Road is a bonkers, action film set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a result of nuclear war. Directed by George Miller, nearly 30 years after Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome, it is the fourth in the Australian’s film franchise.
Tom Hardy takes over the baton from Mel Gibson for the role of Max Rockatansky. For a majority of the film, Hardy wears a face mask and is silent and smoldering. He does have dialogues, but they are few and far between. The protagonist of the film is Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron who is a part of the War Boys and is responsible for getting the Citadel’s gasoline and ammunition requirement from the two aptly named Gas Town and Bullet Farm. I felt that the ‘Bane’ treatment which Hardy received in the film helped with the character George Miller wanted him to play. Even Hardy said that the hardest part of making this movie was the lack of dialogues. Interestingly enough, the villain in Fury Road, Immortan Joe is played by the same actor who played the baddy, The Toecutter, Hugh Keays-Byrne. He is the leader of the War Boys, and they all live in ‘The Citadel’ where they have carved out a living for themselves, if that’s what you can call it.
Set somewhere between ‘The Road Warrior’ and ‘Beyond Thunderdome’, “Fury Road isn’t a sequel or a reboot of the franchise, it is only loosely connected” said director George Miller. Basically, the film is one long chase scene, but my, what a chase scene it is.
Immortan Joe’s War Boys are his own children they are all inbred from his many wives and as a result constantly sick. That’s where Max comes in, captured in the first five minutes of the movie, he is strapped to the front of Nicholas Hoult’s War Boy character’s car and used as a ‘blood bag’. The War Boys are all desperate for Joe’s attention, so they spend most of their lives in his service so that he can ‘witness them and take them to Valhalla’.
Furiosa smuggles out a few of Joe’s wives in the War Rig and while on her regular commute, she takes a sudden detour in the hopes that she can flee and seek refuge in ‘The Green Place’, where she was born. When Joe sees the sudden diversion and that his wives are missing, he and the War Boys go after her. When they catch up, a fire-fight ensues and Max is freed in the process. Together, Max and Furiosa in search of the Green Place and are caught in a giant sand storm. They continue to push on and are able to distance themselves from the War Boys.
They eventually find the place they are looking for, but it isn’t as they expect it. So they turn back and decide to face Joe and the War Boys. Realising that the only true green place is back at the Citadel where there is also plenty of water. Max helps they kill Joe and get back to the Citadel, after which he leaves.
The feminist angle to the movie serves as an interesting platform for the film, considering the title is ‘Mad Max’. Furiosa is undoubtedly the main character. The Apocalypse is generally known as a place where women’s freedom goes to die, it is the same thing in HBO’s Game of Thrones as well. But in this story, Furiosa is looking to escape to ‘the Green Place’, which is an all women colony. The ‘one woman save all’ issue taken up here is fitting to the movie. Max is just along for the ride, for the most part. Even in trailers, he hardly had any part to play and always looked like he was just along for the ride.
Vehicles are a central part of the story, as they have always been. Each character has his own unique vehicle. All the cars used in the film actually work and were actually driven in the film. A unique aspect of this film is that the special effects used were kept at a minimum. George Miller wanted the film to be as realistic as possible, to that effect, all the shots used in the film were actually performed, with stunt teams.
The War Rig, a truck modified to be indestructible and really mean looking is Furiosa’s ride. It occupies most of the screen-space in the film. Making it as important as the actors themselves. The truck has a large trailer attached to it so that it can carry gasoline, on top of which are turrets where the War Boys stand guard. Another vehicle to take notice of is, Immortan Joe’s Giga Horse. This mad thing is not one, but two Cadillac coupe Devilles stacked one on top of the other and then mounted on a giant monster truck chassis. The trademark Mad Max car, the Pursuit Special, the Ford Falcon XB GT makes an appearance in the film, but is destroyed when Max is captured.
The movie is a great success and might be the last true action film that is ever made, with all the CGI being used these days, it is hard to say when another film like this will be made, if ever.