AM At The Movies: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Above: Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron star in Warner Bros.’s 'Mad Max: Fury Road'
Above: Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron star in Warner Bros.’s 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Mad Max: Fury Road
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

Directed by: George Miller
Run Time: 120 minutes

If Mad Max: Fury Road were a professional wrestling match, the audience would have spent the entire 120 minutes chanting “This Is Awesome!” (clap clap clap clap clap) non-stop. Because it is awesome. And vibrant. And grim. And powerful.

Set in a post-apocalyptic desertland where water is scarce and a crazy polygamist madman named Immortan Joe controls just about everything, Mad Max: Fury Road starts off hot and never cools. At the most, it slows down just enough to let you catch your breath before revving back up for another spectacular action sequence.

It’s a visually stunning film filled with vivid colours – oranges and browns and yellows in the desert, crisp blues and purples at night, Immortan Joe and the War Boys varying levels of ghastly, pale white. Watching the action set pieces, all of which involve weaponized, modified vehicles in a chase across the wasteland Miller creates, there are so many elements to focus on that you can’t take in all everything that is going on at once. It’s a movie that will provide you with something new every time you watch it because you’ve missed a dirt bike explosion here or a War Boy getting blown up there.

As a crazy, “on the run from the bad guys” action flick, Mad Max: Fury Road stands up next to the best films of the last several years, but what really takes this fourth offering to feature “Mad” Max Rockatansky to new heights is that woven into the madness is a deep, rich story that touches on some pretty serious issues.

Though this is a Mad Max film, it really centers around Imperator Furiosa (Theron), who drives Immortan Joe’s “War Rig” on supply runs until she goes rogue and smuggles his harem of wives / baby-makers away from their lair, The Citadel, in an effort to bring them to her homeland, the Green Place.

Without saying a great deal – there isn’t a ton of dialogue in this film overall – Theron delivers the kind of steely performance that reminds you she’s one of the best female actors around. She’s hardened and hurting inside all at once, showing strength and survival instincts alongside a desire to repent for whatever she’s done in the past. Only you don’t know what she’s done because her backstory hasn’t been told… yet.

Mad Max: Fury Road is a movie about the monopolization of resources (water, gazz-o-lean) and women breaking free from the shackles of male servitude. It’s a movie that speaks to the power of women, the importance of women and the equality of women, all at a time when those issues are front and center in our world. It might be a Mad Max movie but Furiosa and the five wives she freed from Immortan Joe are the real driving force behind this film.

This is one of the best films of 2015 and one that should not be missed.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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