Holy crap! Have you ever wondered what Michael Bay could do if he really had talent? What if he took his love and maddening explosions and cars and then applied it to a film with a coherent plot. Now let's also assume he stopped being such a pig and hired Eve Ensler, a writer from the Vagina Monologues, to consult on set so as to make the film a secret feminist message where the title character isn't even the real hero. You would have Mad Max: Fury Road and you would sit back and love every second of it.
The Mad Max franchise has gone decades without a film. Usually when a franchise tries to jump start itself like this the end result is fair at best. However this film, in the hands of one of the original directors George Miller, is an actual improvement upon the original series. Haven't seen them? No worries, you don't need them to follow the plot. Honestly the plot is very very thin yet what is there is very well told and contains a message that certain groups are less than happy with. Those groups are Men's Rights Activists and they can suck it anyway so their hate just makes me love this movie even more.
So what we have here is post apocalyptic Australia. Just sand and salt plains as far as the eye can see. The two major resources are fuel and water. Wars are fought for these resources. Large gangs and societies center around controlling them and protect their own stock piles from each other. In the midst of all this we have an ex cop by the name of Max, played by Tom Hardy. He says very little as his actions speak volumes. The film follows him as he gets caught up in the chaos. However, as I said, he is not the hero of this film. Instead we have Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a one armed (now a steam punk machination on a stump) big rig driver. It is her job to drive a war rig from her home ruled by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) to another town to load it with fuel. However she has other plans that don't sit well with Joe and Max gets caught in the middle.
Now Max may be a protagonist but this is by far Furiosa's story and Theron does a magnificent job as this strong willed, independent woman. This is very important as she has to be believable, unlike so many female action movie characters. This is where the MRA crowd take offense. This is her film. Her story. This is Furiosa taking her fate into her own hands. This... is an allegory, people. This testosterone fueled non stop action film is an allegory and it is a perfect one. let me explain, spoiler free of course.
Now the reason most people are going to this film is the action. It's glorious, people. Now I'm not a hater of CG. In fact I love CG. But in a film like this the over abundance of practical effects really goes a long way to making this a thrill ride to remember. This world is also populated by thrill junkies, ready and willing to do the most insane things in the most pointy and angry vehicles you have ever seen. All the while they are wasting that precious fuel like there's no tomorrow as gasoline powered flames shoot out of everything from cars to guitars... but I digress. They scream and yell and only know violence. The first women we see in the film are baby factories hooked up to milking machines in Joe's citadel. Everything in this film, other than the women, represent the male power structure. Men, very violent men that treat women like property, are in control and Furiosa has had enough.
See this film, guys. The message isn't one that hits you over the head. In fact it only hit me the next day as I woke up... with a smile on my face. This film will keep you entertained all the way through. The only slight complaint I have is that the few breaks we get between massive fifteen minute long action scenes seem to move at a snail's pace simply because of the frenetic pacing of everything else. It's not a negative though, simply a side effect of all that awesome. And yeah, I can enjoy the testosterone flying everywhere while enjoying the message at the same time. You are meant to. So do so. Now. RIGHT NOW!
What a film! WHAT A LOVELY FILM!
[easyreview title= "Review of Mad Max: Fury Road" cat1title="Rob's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="5.0" overall= false]