‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ sees the resurrection of a series last seen thirty years ago. Time and tastes have changed although the stylised action and wondrous cinematography is still evident in the series’ fourth outing. Minus Mel Gibson in the lead and a vague re-boot rather than continuation, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ re-introduces the character for a new generation As before the thin story is a mere conduit for George Miller’s direction to go into over-drive with his character’s mad escapades still drawing awe.
Mourning the loss of his wife and child, Max (Tom Hardy) listlessly walks amidst a post-apocalyptic landscape. Seeking to restore order in a savage world, his mission is aided by rebel leader Furiosa (Charlize Theron) eager to return home. Together they fight a hoard of mis-begotten miscreants determined to claim the land as their own.
In spite of a somewhat mis-leading title, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ delivers as an all-out action extravaganza. Miller clearly enjoys creating new ways in which his characters defy death with each stunt more awesome than the last. Coupled with spectacular cinematography embracing the richness of the film’s surrounds, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ effectively stands out. Lovingly displaying every explosive sequence in broad comic-book tones, Miller successfully maintains the series’ roots in sci-fi/action territory.
Whilst an engaging romp overall, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ falters in its use of characters. Although clearly defined, too much focus is given to Theron’s role. As Furiosa, her character almost over-shadows Max making the movie feel like a spin-off from the franchise rather than a true Mad Max film. Hardy does his best to put his mark on a famous role, even if it often seems like an extended cameo in his own movie. Everyone has fun performing the high velocity skirmishes ensuring ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is a consistently enjoyable experience.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone if ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ marks another run of sequels. Hopefully it will build on the success mostly established with this instalment. Next time further focus on the main protagonist should work wonders in re-storing an Australian cinematic icon.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.