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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Retro Review

Review by Jan Mangion

Beautiful Chaos!

Furiosa is just around the corner and this is the perfect time to revisit George Miller’s Australian Apocalyptic wasteland. I could have gone with either one of the original trilogy but it is a lovely day for the adrenaline-fueled masterpiece that is Mad Max: Fury Road from 2015. 

In a land where gasoline and water are scarce, Max Rockatansky joins forces with Imperator Furiosa on a road battle to the latter’s homeland, as they are pursued by the fearsome Immortan Joe and his army. The two hours that ensue are non-stop mayhem and action cinema at its finest. 

It’s been years since I last watched Fury Road and my latest rewatch confirms just how great and highly enjoyable this film is. George Miller went all out with this one. He ramps up every scene to an eleven and there rarely is a second where it slows down. The pace is relentless with action this frenetic, and so in your face with one unbelievable sequence after another that truly takes your breath away. When you have a blind guitarist riffing out a flamethrowing guitar, whilst suspended at the back of a monster truck, backed by drummer warboys, you know you’re watching something unique. That’s just a glimpse of the type of crazy that Max and Furiosa are up against.

You just have to stand up and applaud the editing and stunt work involved in the countless vehicular, hand-to-hand, or gun combat scenes. It’s so refreshing to see a movie that hardly utilizes any CGI by relying on practical effects to construct these near-impossible scenes. I have yet to see a better depiction of a wasteland on film. The post-apocalyptic landscape has never looked and sounded this glorious thanks to its rich color scheme and its high-magnitude sound. It’s such a shame that I didn’t get the chance to see this in cinemas when it was released because it is made to be watched on the silver screen.

Another key masterstroke the movie has on its sleeve is the ability to progress the story and allow character development with a show rather than tell approach. There is very little exposition which can be found here and the characters despite their vulnerability, don’t have too many pieces of dialogue to deliver but it still finds a way to make both those elements compelling to the core. 

Tom Hardy’s accent may be slightly off-putting but he excels as Max bringing a lot of physicality to the role especially when there’s carnage happening on screen. At times, he also feels like a secondary character in his own movie because it’s Charlize Theron’s Furiosa who takes the lead here. It’s an outstanding performance and a female action hero from top to bottom. She is strong, determined, sympathetic, believable with what her motives are, and most importantly a true badass. 

George Miller puts the pedal on the gas and goes full throttle to deliver a fever dream for action junkies. Mad Max: Fury Road is at the top of the elite action movies that cinema offers. It fully lives up to its name, worth its place in Valhalla filmography!

Final score: ✰✰✰✰✰