George Miller’s comeback to Max Rockatansky is filled with artistic sumptuosness, dazzling poetry of special effects tremendously blended with neverending action and almost deadly precision in caring for details. This lively pageant ignites with every car being blown up, body thrown in the air and picturesque shot of stark desert land, but in all this spectacle – there is little of Max himself.
Max Rockatansky, a former police officer, lives a life of a rover, scavenging through horizons of sand and rocks and struggling to survive in this post-apocalyptic world. As he gets caught and imprisoned as a “blood doner” in a saturnine citadel ruled by Immortan Joe, his luck brings him Furiosa – an imperator of the citadel, who rebels against sinister Joe. Driving through deserted wastelands, Furiosa will unite with Max, even though their ultimate aim is not the same – she wants to find her childhood homeland whilst Max wants his freedom back.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is a visually exhilarating trip, a remarkable feast for one’s eyes. Despite the film’s budget, which enabled the creators to fully take advantage of the gruesome world of previous Mad Max starring Mel Gibson, the “detalism” is imaginatively jaw-dropping. All of the masks, vehicles, faces, colors and shots – everything well-thought, without any sort of mayhem or coincidence. Miller is in his element, oozing a cruel portrayal of the forlorn humanity, depicting the most primal human instincts and decadent brutality with passion and imagination worth praising. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is stunning and it never stops for a minute to be like that in terms of visual attractiveness.
The show is somehow stolen not only by this bewildering cinematography and action, but also by gorgeous role of Charlize Theron as commanding Furiosa. The actress is firm and astonishing as a masculine-type of a woman, fighting side by side with Max and paving her way to the promised homeland. Unfortunately, Tom Hardy’s performance leaves a lot to complain about, left in the shadows behind Theron’s back. There is no point in comparing him with Mel Gibson, whose Max Rockatansky is simply a classic role. Yet, Hardy is not sticking out from the entire concept – his performance is limited mainly due to the script. An amazing performance is also provided by Nicholas Hoult, whose white-skinned, insidious fanatic Nux grasps the attention as well. Finally, the entire exhibition of derailed, warped legions of Joe and Joe himself, constitute an impressively desgined background for main characters.
Unfortunately, Miller’s epic flick is not flawless. The main drawback of “Mad Max: Fury Road” is the plot itself, which seems to be written in an hour, maybe two. Miller is buying out the audience with his visionary plasticity, but no matter how hard he tries, the story lacks a firm spine. Furiosa’s pursue is doomed from the very beginning and since Max’s only reason for existence is a basic need for survival, there is hardly any climax or plot twist. All this incredible tension build up for the whole movie is simply wasted by the lack of interesting story. Even for the whole love for Theron and Hardy I have, Miller did not take full advantage of their talents, even though Theron seems to be a firm Oscar contender this year to me.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is also thrilling thanks to the soundtrack composed by Junkie XL. The tracks are as lively and rapid as the pursuits, brilliantly accompanying the action-filled festival. The main motive is also catchy and used several times, but it’s not worn out after two times – on the contrary, it only backs up the overall perception of the film. There is also the case of how Mad Max in 2015 refers to the ones from 1979 and 1981. Even though the comparisons are quite inevitable, I guess it can be summed up in one sentence: the new “Mad Max” is crafted to satisfy the needs of the up-to-date audience.
Summarizing, I was quite astonished by Miller’s new adaptation of his classic and I surely recommend to watch it in cinema, since the visual aspect is tremendous. Although I cannot say I’m completely blown away, I am certain, that “Mad Max: Fury Road” will be in my top 5 movies of the year. And it is one of those movies, that despite of its drawbacks, gives you hell of a fun while watching – definitely worth coming back to.
P.S. The guitar player is the bomb!
UMP Grade: 44/50
Cinematography: 10, Plot: 6.5, Acting: 9.5, Soundtrack: 9, Quaintness: 9