Mad Max is back and it’s a blast! Thirty years after George Miller originally conceived the first film in what had become a franchise, that same filmmaker manages to reboot the series, and quite magnificently. Please note that this is a reboot, not a remake. I mistakenly thought it to be the latter, expecting, not without some hesitation, a familiar storyline, yet was pleasantly surprised when, some time into the film, I realized Mad Max: Fury Road has a totally new plot.
As with its predecessor installments, Mad Max presents a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world, where savagery supersedes most other human qualities. While the earlier series in which Mel Gibson played the lead rule was focused mostly on necessities such as oil and water, Miller wisely selects to point his brain-child at a different direction. Water and oil are still scarce but Mad Max: Fury Road, which stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Hugh Keays-Byrne, is somewhat fuller in its undertones, and richer in what underlines the unrelenting action and violence.
While the film may have been overanalyzed by some critics with respect to hidden meanings, here is what works so well. There is a delicate yet well-attended balance between the characters of Max (Hardy) and Furiosa (Theron,) both, by the way, as most other cast members, give a notable performance. Thus despite the manly world the film so convincingly portrays, women have their part which is anything but weak. The dystopian landscape was very convincing created, with wonderful art-direction and road machines that are wildly imagined. Miller directs the film with confident hand, and Hardy gives Max a quiet and credible presence, different than Gibson’s yet interconnected. Theron proves again she can let her beauty shine regardless of the form she wears on screen.
In short, Mad Max: Fury Road is a most satisfying film for fans of the series as well as of the genre; a genre that can be defined as the Wild West of the post-apocalyptic future.