Mad Max

I’m writing this while my ears are still ringing from the cacophony of Mad Max: Fury Road. The movie can be summed up by many adjectives; loud, frenetic, no-holds-barred, glee with a dash of gruesome. But the most apt word, named after the titular character, would have to be mad.

This movie is loud and it is bold. At first it looks like every other action movie that has come out in the last few years. But it doesn’t take long for it to start to stand apart. There’s no one single moment. Maybe it’s the half lives hooking up human blood banks, maybe it’s the milking farm or just generally deranged inbred sons that hark back to Thunderdome. The mix of polecats and various pointy objects certainly go a long way to make it unique.

It doesn’t matter. This is a film that gets started and never lets up for more than a few moments at a time so you can pause, catch your breath, and get right back into it. The car chases (because, ultimately, that’s what this film is) are long but never boring. The vehicles themselves are perhaps the best characters. Each and every one is unique, always bringing something to the game.

For characters you have a very quiet Max, probably the most bad-ass Charlize Theron yet and a brilliant half life played by Holt. They’re all their own characters. They might not say much (if anything there’s too little dialogue in the movie) but they still manage to get across the bones of a relationship and a plot while they’re at it.

Visually this is probably the most impressive movie since Inception, and that’s definitely because it all feels so real. Everything is burnt and orange, with a layer of rust that makes the chrome stand out. The cars are detailed, but so too are the characters (with a hearty collection of prosthetics and effects). Even at night everything feels alive and grimy and in your face. It’s often the little details as well, the ones that go unremarked upon that are the best. Stilt walkers, milking machines or just the general V8-infused paganism that runs rampant through the war boys.

If I had to pick a favourite moment it would be when we meet Larry and Barry. It’s a tiny moment, and I won’t spoil anything about it, but it’s the fulcrum about which the movie turns from action-for-the-sake-of-action into a desperate race for real people for me. There might not be much in the way of a plot, but then again there’s not much in the way of places for these people to escape to.

It might not be perfect and it definitely won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but Mad Max: Fury Road is definitely a spectacle worth seeing.