Review of Mad Max: Fury Road
by Abe North
Mad Max: Fury Road is the most action-packed movie I've seen in awhile. With its unabashedly simple storyline, frenzied, chaotic pace, twitchy characters, quirky Aussie humor and heavy metal attitude, it is stylistically faithful to the first three movies, at least as I recall them. The editing and photography during the action scenes are really good, which has been a staple of George Miller's Mad Max movies since the beginning. Tom Hardy does the role justice and filled Mel Gibson's dusty, black leather boots just fine. Charlize Theron is awesome, as usual, and she is quite believable when she kicks a dude's ass, unlike some other female, cinematic action heroes you might see on a movie screen this summer. None of the actors in this movie embarrass themselves; although, since everybody only has a handful of lines, if that, I guess it would be nearly impossible to embarrass yourself as an actor in this movie. "Just read the lines and let the stunt guys do their thing," which they do quite well.
As with the other Mad Max movies, there is also a neat-looking, over-the-top villain who, along with his cronies, poses a legitimate threat. I don't know if he's Lord Humungus cool, but he's pretty cool.
I think many movies of this kind, as well as other kinds of fantasy/sci-fi movies, don't always have a cool, memorable villain, so it's nice to see Immortan Joe chew some scenery and wreak some havoc here.
If you were going to criticize the film, you could point out the story can be described in less than a complete sentence and character development is non-existent. Perhaps Max could have gone through a different apotheosis than "broken cynic saves people and rediscovers himself" again. A little re-booty in that way. But the movies were pretty much the same way, so I can't really criticize the movie for being itself. I only add that because the reviews I've seen for this movie have been ridiculously kind with the praise. Another movie would have been ripped to shreds for its thinness of plot and lunk-headed dialogue. But that's why I don't listen to critics. They are, among many awful things, inconsistent. However, I would agree with anyone that says this is a good movie. if you like the Mad Max movies, or maybe even if you don't, and you just want to watch mindless, virtually non-stop action for two hours, I would recommend this movie.
Abe North is a guest writer for GGR. He resides in Florida and pretends it's the post-apocalyptic wastelands of Mad Max's Australia. Yes, he wears a hockey mask, steals gasoline and is always shirtless, too.