Film Review: An Adrenaline Junkie’s Dream, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ a Badass Bass Haven

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – It’s “the greatest action movie ever made,” so says the television commercials (which means it’s true). And it’s buoyed by other quotables galore including “what a lovely day!,” “from mastermind George Miller,” “pulse pounding,” “heart wrenching” and “teeth grinding”. While these words are actually true, though, the film doesn’t need them to sell it.

Though a cinematic “thrill ride” is often marketing speak – sometimes rightfully earned and oftentimes overhyped – this $150 million film sells itself because it really is exactly that. Gritty, dirty, mad and fun as hell, you can’t get much more of a thrill ride than “Mad Max: Fury Road”. And there’s no other filmmaker for the job than George Miller yet again, who not only proves he’s still got it but reminds us that he’s more than just the “Mad Max” mastermind. He’s also the creator of the post-apocalyptic action genre and this is why – even decades later – other followers just look like wannabes.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Anchored by Max Rockatansky’s line “my world is reduced to a single instinct: survive!” and the initial image of him eating a living lizard because – well, why not? – Tom Hardy’s metal-faced return as Bane (I mean, Mad Max) isn’t even the reason this film succeeds as one of the best and most memorable of 2015 so far.

Nor is it the kickass performance by Charlize Theron as the one-handed Imperator Furiosa – a lone ranger who shows us the unstoppable force of teaming up with the rogue Mad Max. And it’s not even our wonderfully vicious villain Immortan Joe – played by the 68-year-old Hugh Keays-Byrne – who, by the way, played the smaller role of Toecutter way back in George Miller’s “Mad Max” in 1979. Nor is it the delightfully desperate and even touching role by Nicholas Hoult as Nux, who all along desires to die an honorable death and rise above to a place much more like nirvana.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Mad Max: Fury Road”.

The star of this film is the post-apocalyptic, middle-of-nowhere wasteland (filmed in the Namid Desert in Namibia, Australia, etc.) that George Miller brings to life. You’re sucked in from the second the fast-action film starts and given a few minutes of dramatic release to breathe during the film, but for the most part this no-holds-barred, anything-goes world of martial law is relentlessly entertaining.

It’s the dirt, the gasoline, the metal, the weapons, the fire and – as important as the visual eyegasm of this environment – the sound. With the environment as the star of this film more so than any of the crazy characters within it, the sound is an equal co-star. This film’s memorable, bass-heavy, constantly rumbly music comes from Junkie XL (born as Tom Holkenborg), who has composed for “Resident Evil,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Man of Steel” and all three “Madagascar” movies (ha!).

“Mad Max: Fury Road” stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton, Nathan Jones and Josh Helman from writer and director George Miller and writers Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris. The film is rated “R” for intense sequences of violence throughout and for disturbing images. It has a running time of 120 minutes and opened on May 15, 2015.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Mad Max: Fury Road”.

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road
Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky in “Mad Max: Fury Road”.
Image credit: Jasin Boland, Warner Bros. Pictures

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Mad Max: Fury Road”.

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