George Miller's world of Mad Max returns to the silver screen bigger and better than ever.
The story focuses on Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who rebels against Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) by stealing his five pristine "wives" who are his forced sex slaves. Immortan Joe seeks to have a boy child who is without defects so he may become the next Immortan Joe. As such, Joe uses his army of War Boys to track down Furiosa and get back what was stolen from him.
Mad Max (Tom Hardy) just sort of get thrown into this conflict, and we watch the story unfold from his perspective.
At the start of the film, Max is captured by the War Boys and turned into their property. He tries to escape but is captured and brought back. The next time we see him he is out on the road as the War Boys chase down the rogue Furiosa. Through fate and circumstances, Max escapes in a crash, and uses Furiosa to get away from Immortan Joe and the army that pursues them, in turn helping them do the same.
In the start, nobody trust anybody else, which is only natural in the post apocalypse, especially after everyone has tried to kill each other. But as the film wore on, or drove on (I should say), the characters grew to trust one another and became like a family. It was really interesting to see.
The plot of Mad Max: Fury Road is not so much simplistic as it is minimalist. But the world building is the most amazing, elaborate, richly detailed cinematic experience I've ever seen on film. It's breathtaking to say the least.
What I Liked:
This is the best post-apocalyptic world I've ever seen on film. The mythos is rich, not a single attention to detail was spared, and the characters all have decent character story arcs and ample backstory.
Of the stand out characters you have, of course, Mad Max, who is haunted by the memories of his dead wife and daughter and his deep seeded regret at his failure to protect and save them--which in part drives his need to help Furiosa.
Then there is Furiosa, who seeks redemption for working as the sinister Immortan Joe's right hand Imperator and driver of the War Machine for so long, which is why she decides to free the women -- and show them a better world -- one she hopes still exists at the borders of the desert wasteland.
Finally, perhaps the most interesting character, in my opinion, is that of Nux (played by Nicholas Hoult -- known for his role as Beast in X-Men Days of Future Past). He was one of the War Boys, and drives a supercharges hot-rod in Immortan Joe's road army. He views Immortan Joe as a god, and wants to become and immortal by dying in combat and going to Valhalla, where he will be remembered as an immortal hero.
Nux, of course blunders his attempt to kill Max and stop Furiosa, not once, not twice, but three times. When he realizes he failed his god, he knows that his future will not be one as a hero who joins his fallen brothers in Valhalla, but his life will end in disgrace and he will not be remembered as a hero. After he resigns himself to his failure, one of the wives tells him his destiny was never to stop them but was to help them. She helps him see that doing what is right is more important than simply trying to appease your god.
So even as I watched his adrenaline and nitro filled two hour long car chase, not a single moment seemed dull. I was captivated through the whole film, and the characters were not one dimensional but had interesting back stories and good story arcs that kept me caring about them and their fates.Everything. Nearly everything in this movie pushes the minimalist plot forward. The action drives the tension, the characters simplistic goals drive the plot, and the conflict between them drives the drama.
What I Didn't Like:
Honestly, there wasn't anything about this film that I didn't like. It is, for all intents and purposes, a masterpiece.
George Miller has crafted the prime example of a non-stop action film that uses the action to (literally) drive the plot forward. It will be studied for years to come as the right way to tell a story of this kind. At the same time, there hasn't been a world as elaborately created as this one in any film I've ever seen. It really is an amazing piece of cinematic art.
What Bothered Me:
As I said above, there's nothing that I didn't like about Mad Max: Fury Road. Everything from the vehicle design to the set design to the minimal use of CGI really suited the world and made this movie seem real. Like I said above, I have not been this engrossed in a film in a long, long time. It really drew me in and took me on a ride, and what a lovely day it was!
Final Two Cents:
See this movie!
By day I am an educator and a cultural ambassador. By night I entertain notions of being a literary master. In reality I am just a family man and ordinary guy who works hard and loves writing just about as much as I love my family. Just about.