Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road


30 years is a long, long time to wait for a sequel. However, Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth film in George Miller’s Mad Max franchise is worth the wait, possibly drawing in a new generation of fans.


Set in post-apocalyptic Australia, modern society is in ruins and barbaric warlords rule the land. At the helm of all evil, is Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who portrayed the villain, Toecutter, in the original Mad Max), a revered dictator who controls the masses by limiting the scarce supply of water.

Despite the name of the movie, the eponymous Max Rockatansky, aka Mad Max (Tom Hardy), plays a reluctant sidekick to the one-armed, tough but fair rebel, Imperator Furiosa (portrayed by an almost unrecognizable Charlize Theron).


They’re escaping from Immortan Joe and his fanatical army of ‘War Boys’ with Joe’s ‘five wives’; sex slaves chosen for their fertility and beauty (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee and Courtney Eaton) to a mythical ‘Green Place’.

Although it’s the fourth Mad Max film, it fares well as a standalone – no background knowledge is required to get into the plot. The film doesn’t dwell on the past; instead leaving hints of Max’s past in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder-induced hallucinations.


With the stunning Namibian deserts as its backdrop, the film is a visual masterpiece. The CGI is realistic, and the stunt work spectacular. Thanks to the multi-million dollar budget (about 40 times the original), the stylistic direction of the film shines through with a saturated and gritty look of oranges and blues.


The vehicles in the film are definitely the standouts. Outrageous spiked cars, manically constructed drag racers and oversized war rigs hoisting tall poles are the instruments of the Joe’s influence. Most prominently, there’s a war truck with a musician harnessed in the front, blaring out the appropriately fast-paced heavy metal theme (composed brilliantly by Junkie XL) with a fire-shooting guitar.


Nicholas Hoult shines as Nux, the ‘War Boy’ beneficiary of Rockatansky’s unwilling blood donations. Nux’s character underwent the most development, growing from crazy-eyed fanatic who’s willing to die for Joe to an endearing and loyal ally of the escapees.

As brutal and testosterone-charged the film is, it has surprisingly feminist undertones. George Miller even invited Eve Ensler of The Vagina Monologues as a consultant on the movie to ensure that the wives were properly portrayed.


Strong female characters such as Furiosa are a breath of fresh air – especially in the action genre, where women are often objectified or reduced to one-dimensional romantic pursuits. Furiosa is complex; she’s tough and ruthless, but at the same time, hopeful and compassionate. Most importantly, in terms of ability, she’s just as good, if not better, than Max.

While Mad Max: Fury Road may not be the most thought-provoking or substantial film; it sure is one hell of a ride.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton

Director: George Miller

Genre: Action, Adventure

Rating: NC-16

Runtime: 120 minutes

Release date: 14 May 2015