Mad Max: Fury Road reignited a dead franchise in spectacular fashion. Ever since Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome came out 30 years ago, it seemed like the series was long over with. George Miller stuck mostly with directing family friendly films like Babe: Pig in the City & Happy Feet, Mel Gibson was slowly losing it, and most blockbusters were filled with CGI. So no one was ever expecting to see any sort of continuation. The idea for a fourth film was actually in “development hell” for a long time. George Miller lost the rights, but gained them back. Mel Gibson was definitely out due to age and an unwillingness to return. Real life war got in the way, Happy Feet almost made the movie animated, and several actors were in consideration to play the new Max Rockatansky. Eventually Mad Max: Fury Road did find footing and it began filming in 2011. Not releasing until 2015. Coming as a shock to just about everyone, Mad Max: Fury Road received widespread critical acclaim, several Oscar wins/nominations, and even the label of “greatest action movie ever made…”
Mad Max: Fury Road is either a sequel or a reboot depending on how you look at it. Max Rockatansky is now played by gruff grumbler Tom Hardy. He’s built for action and makes a fine replacement for Mel Gibson, but even though his name is in the title, Max is arguably not the star of the movie. Max continues to roam the Australian wasteland as a man with no name who just wants to escape his past. His and most everyone else’s attire is much more grey and tan. Max gets captured by War Boys (sick young men with white skin) and is imprisoned in the Citadel. A mountainous civilization run by the ruthless Immortan Joe. Who has long blonde hair, white skin, and wears a skull mask that acts as a breathing apparatus. He’s also played by the same actor who played the villain in the original Mad Max. Max is left out of commision most of the time acting as a “blood bag” for a War Boy named Nux. As I said before, the real star of the movie is arguably Imperator Furiosa. The strong willed war captain who turns against Immortan Joe. She has a shaved head, war paint, and a robotic arm. Her general badass appearance and Charlize Theron’s performance helped make her one of the best action heroine’s of the decade. She helps to free Immortan Joe’s five wives from enslavement. In hopes of taking them to a safe haven called the “Green Place.” All wives are played by semi-familiar supermodels (most notably Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in her second and final acting role). They help to bring a surprising amount of female empowerment to the movie. The biggest achievement in Mad Max: Fury Road is definitely its action. The even more impractical vehicles (one with a guitar player) take part in some truly astounding car chases. There’s explosions, sandstorms, and a whole lot jumping from vehicle to vehicle. Even in a time with mostly CGI, Mad Max: Fury Road uses good ol’ fashion stunt work. Earning Mad Max: Fury Road a total of 10 Oscar nominations. Winning the most Oscars in 2015, for Best Costume Design, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Film Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. It was even nominated for Best Picture. A rare feat for an action movie, let alone the fourth installment in a franchise. Mad Max: Fury Road is a furious spectacle of pure road rage.
Preceded by: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome