Mad Max: Fury Road (REVIEW)

written by Jacob Chimilar

The return to the Mad Max universe brings us to a world that has crumbled into a wasteland of blood and dust. Max has but one goal. Survive.

The story begins as Max (Tom Hardy) triumphantly sets off on his journey of survival... and is immediately captured. a group of ghostly white scarred maniacs take his vehicle down and kidnap him. He is brought to a place known as The Citadel where fellow pale skinned survivors live. There he is imprisoned in a cage hanging from the ceiling. They tattoo various facts across his back, most importantly his blood type.

The people who live in the citadel are under the control of a greedy old man named Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne ). He is in control of all the water and mothers of the community, to which he hoards for himself. Most of the towns folk are deformed or malnourished is some way and can barely fend for themselves. Just like the equally ailing Joe himself, who requires a vicious looking oxygen mask that puts Bane to shame. He, like the kings of old, claims the most beautiful women for his wives as property to bare his children. The only "charity" he provides as a gracious leader is when he wishes to toy with his obedient subjects by granting sparse amounts of water from the mountain he resides in. In return for their loyalty, like so many powerful cult leaders,  he “promises the moon”, in this case granting them passage along side him to Valhalla.

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Enter Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) a war tanker driver. She is sent with a team by Joe to go on a gas run in (the oh so cleverly named) Gastown while another goes to bullet town (three guesses what they make there). She hitches up the gas tanker and takes her troops charging off towards Gastown...  For about five minutes. She then changes course completely. One of the crew climbs out of his car and leaps onto Furiosa's asking where they are going. "East" she replies and nothing more.

One of Joe's look outs spots her making a detour and in addition finds out she has smuggled Joe's wives with her. Furious, Joe has a call to arms to hunt her down. One of the drivers, Nux (Nicholas Hoult), grabs Max from his prison, referring to him as a "blood bag". Spread out like a mermaid on a ship and an iron mask over his face, he is chained to the front of their monstrous post apocalyptic death machine. An IV tube is wrapped around the chain draining his blood into the engine acting as a human NO2 fuel injector thrusting ahead at incredible speed.

It is here the chase begins.... And NEVER stops.

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If you enjoy beautifully shot, highly cinematic, kinetic action movies, this movie has all of that by the bucket load. Brash bold color washes over the desert for the most spectacular, non stop, car chase through an orange saturated wasteland.

Where this movie excels is in all the things that make car chases great. Inventiveness, sense of speed, spectacular practical effects and over the top personalities. The craziest of which is a guy who is the modern day equivalent of the flute player in an army. His sole purpose it seems, rather hilariously, is to be the kick ass guitar shredding soundtrack provider.

It was a pleasure to watch such an unabashedly indulgent movie. Full of thrills and expertly crafted action set pieces that are truly eye popping. Tom Hardy has a somewhat small role in this movie despite being the title character. Instead he is playing second fiddle to the commanding Charlize Theron as Furiousa. She is the guardian for the wives/mothers where she leads them to the green place, where everything is much better, like the grass on the other side. Nicholas Hoult has an equally star turn as Nux, One of the towns resident gear heads. He injects a sense of fun to the mix in addition to his fanaticism  over the maniacal king in hopes of reaching Valhalla. It's really a who's who of bad ass characters wholly embraced by the actors who play them.  It all culminates in a cacophony of sight and sound as cars disintegrate, traps are sprung, people leap off poles attached to cars onto other cars and fly over head on dirt bikes. If  you name the stunt, it's in this movie. Best of all is how much of the effects are practical. 20 years from now those chases will look just as good as they do today.

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Fury Road charges ahead with reckless abandon and only stops a handful of times to take a breath before starting right back up again. It takes a simple story of survival and has as ton of fun with it. Now whether or not a sequel or sequels are in order (it looks like there will be given the reception) George Miller, who is over 70, has taken young directors to school with this master class of action set pieces and shown what it takes to make a truly great blockbuster. It is one of the few movies where premium format theatres are worth the extra money. I personally saw it in Ultra AVX in 3D and would have preferred a 2D option since I'm not a fan of the 3D effect. Most times the depth is so minimal its like having to put on sunglasses to watch a movie. All that said, Fury Road is intense, over the top, stylish, and fun, it makes for a great time at the movies allowing you to let loose and cheer for the destruction on display.   

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