In the midst of a time where the typical action film can’t go a scene without extraordinary amounts of CGI, Mad Max: Fury Road delivers the most exciting film of the summer using practical effects.
Directed by George Miller, the film follows Max (Tom Hardy) as he teams up with Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa to steal cargo and escape from villain Immortan Joe. The film plays out as one long chase scene as Max is followed by Immortan Joe and his fleet of maniacal supporters, their conflict growing more explosive by the minute as Max travels through violent sand-storms to darkened swamps.
One of the most striking things about the film is the imagination given to world-building. Almost everything is detailed enough to give the audience an understanding of this post-apocalyptic world. For example, the characters’ names are delightfully bizarre, Toast the Knowing being a personal favourite. It’s these little details which help the film feel distinctively creative compared to what’s expected.
The film places a lot of emphasis on female characters and successfully characterises and empowers them, especially Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. While these elements can be said to elevate an already fantastic film or can even be ignored, some have become curiously agitated by them. They suggest that the men in the film have been stripped of characterisation and agency, which is an argument often given towards depictions of women. I don’t personally regard this as an issue (or necessarily agree with it), as it’s encouraging to see a mainstream action film tackle these issues.
It is unlikely for there to be another film this summer more bursting with creativity and talent, which is a shame considering it was released alongside popular sequel Pitch Perfect 2. This film isn’t necessarily more deserving of your money, but it would be a shame to see it flop in the box office like other great failures of recent years.