Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Mad as hell, and going to take this some more

Director: George Miller
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nicholas Hoult

Considering franchises regularly switch directors, it's a marvel that George Miller has handled every entry into the Mad Max. But what's even more astonishing is how, despite it being 30 years since the release of Beyond Thunderdome, it's as if Miller never truly left.

The eponymous Max (Tom Hardy) is captured by the War Boys, an army of pale maniacs ruled by the tyrannical Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) makes a bid for freedom, taking Immortan Joe's Five Wives, with the promise of a life that doesn't include imprisonment and sexual slavery.

Taking over from a role famously played by Mel Gibson, Tom Hardy had a lot to live up to. Luckily, he greatly embodying the titular road warrior, haunted by those he could not save, while trying to survive in a world gone insane. But make no mistake, it's Charlize Theron who will be most remembered here. Playing the role with a steely determination, her character is one that deserves to live on as a cult icon. Special mention to Nicholas Hoult, whose charisma shines through his unrecognisable turn as Nux, a War Boy with an addiction for blood.

It's clear who's the real star of this film, and they're not in front of the cameras. After such a long time, the return of George Miller could have ended up being quite the disappointment. Luckily, it's clear nobody knows this maddening world better, or how to bring it to the big screen. His return to the drivers seat ensures there's no stalling through the proceedings. He puts pedal to the medal, utilizing what's essentially one long chase scene to power forward motion to the plot. There's only slight moments to breathe in-between the carnage, and it's well used on necessary moments.

Instead of choosing to deliver overwrought exposition, explaining the characters and their surroundings are done through simpler tactics. Miller makes sure that audiences have enough of an understanding, through what's shown onscreen and what little is actually said. It's refreshing to see this mentality applied today.

Once more, Miller builds the surrounding world with a lot of panache and imagination. The best example of this is the Doof Warrior, who acts as a warhorn for Immortan Joe's large army. How, you ask? By bouncing on bungee cords, on a moving stage, playing a flame-throwing electric guitar. The madness of it all will stick in your mind, ready for discussion and regular praising.

In fact, there's no aspect of this film that isn't worth praising. The cinematography is gorgeous for the eyes to behold, while the editing adds more of a thrill to fights which already left your pulse pounding. Junkie XL's score pulsates, working extremely well with the impressive stunts that's gone into creating breathtaking vehicular carnage.

To put it simply, Mad Max: Fury Road is an all-round masterpiece. George Miller's steady hand grants viewers with well defined characters set within a wonderfully realised world, all while the stunning action is put onto the screen for your pleasure. The bar has been set high for 2015, summer blockbusters and all.