Mad Max: Fury Road review

mad max 2By Craig Martin

George Miller, the man who introduced us to the post-apocalyptic world of the Australian waste in 1979’s “Mad Max,” has made his return to the desolate desert with the fourth installment in the series, “Mad Max: Fury Road.” The film stars Tom Hardy as the titular Max, Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa and Nicholas Hoult as the mutated maniac Nux. With a $150 million budget, it not only cost more than the other three “Mad Max” films combined, it cost more that the three combined times 10.

As I sat down to write my review of this film, I wanted to mimic the opening of the film in my writing style. However, I could only do that by dousing the paper in lighter fluid and setting it ablaze while blasting death metal.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is quite simply the most action-filled movie that I have ever seen. Minus four short respites over the entire two hours—which are necessary to simply catch one’s breath—the film starts off at full speed and does not slow down. The plot, characters and world are built by the action. The dialogue only serves as a nice garnish.

“The Bourne”  and “The Fast and the Furious” series, not to mention Michael Bay’s entire filmography, all pale in comparison to the amount of action seen in this film. I don’t believe that I’m overestimating when I say that over 70 percent is an action sequence.

What writer/director George Miller has done was make a great movie on top of all of that action. The characters are engaging and interesting. The art direction and cinematography are Oscar caliber. The direction and pacing are immaculate. Put it all together and Miller has created one of my favorite movies of all time. In fact, I’ll take it a step further: this is the greatest action movie ever made (sorry, “Die Hard”), a statement I don’t take lightly.

I have not seen a movie that was this well-crafted and entertaining since “The Dark Knight.” It was obvious in watching that this is George Miller’s dream come to life. It is a creative breath of fresh air into an industry that has become too cookie-cutter of late. “Fury Road” is a different blockbuster. An immensely free, completely original adult-oriented film which personally reinvigorated my love for cinema. It proved that among all of the highly corporatized nonsense that floods our theaters every year, there are still films that are going to leave you with a high heart rate, sense of wonder and something never seen before.  That’s what “Mad Max: Fury Road” has given me.

5 out of 5 stars.

 

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