This is a mostly spoiler free review. I love Tom Hardy, so my boyfriend feels the need to hate him. How can anyone hate Tom Hardy? Look at him!
Ok, enough of that. Fury Road has quite a simple plot. In a post-apocalyptic world Max (Tom Hardy) and Furiosa (Charlize Theron) team up to escape the wrath of the grotesque Immortan Joe.
Mad Max: Fury Road is a film unlike any other. Well, except for maybe the other Mad Max films (which I have not seen). It manages to be extremely heavy on the action without ever losing the audience’s attention or the focus of its plot. This film is lean and mean in the best sense. There are no confusing subplots and every detail and action feels necessary. The screen play and the direction of this film is outstanding, all thanks to the vision of George Miller. Fury Road is an example of a director totally unleashing his creative talent with no impediments. And it pays off big time. Warner Brothers gave Miller all the money and time he needed and it resulted in one of the best action films ever made. The visuals are stunning, this is the best film I’ve seen in 3D.
I really enjoyed the simplicity of Fury Road. Furiosa has a goal, get the wives away from Immortan Joe, and Max is just kind of along for the ride. The film handles gender politics very skillfully. Miller doesn’t hit you over the head with feminism or really any philosophy. He just lets the world and its characters exist and the audience can infer from there what the movie’s message is. It’s a subtlety that I really appreciated. Furiosa is a great creation of Miller’s that is made even more amazing by Charlize’s performance. Furiosa feels like a real woman, something that Hollywood often has a difficult time representing. Furiosa is tough, capable, but she is also extremely vulnerable and maintains a sense of femininity despite her buzz cut.
The plot is completely owned by Furiosa as are the more emotional aspects of the film. But Tom Hardy still does a great job as the titular character, even if he is more of a supporting character. Tom shines with the physicality of the character (a defining trait for the actor in all his films). He excels in the action sequences. But the most enjoyable aspect is his somewhat surprising comedic abilities. Another reviewer likened Tom to Buster Keaton. And I have to agree. His mannerisms, facial expressions, and grunts were often hilarious. Tom brings some much needed levity to a film that otherwise would have been very heavy and too serious. Tom has a great gift for comedy, it would be great to see him show it off more.
Mad Max: Fury Road has everything I personally want in a film. Key word being ‘personally.’ This will not be a film for everyone, it may be too overwhelming for some and not have enough dialogue. But it completes my checklist. There is gasp inducing action sequences that dominate the film. There is a simple plot with a powerful message of redemption as well as an examination of our society. There is a strong, well rounded, realistic woman. And there is Tom Hardy with his gorgeous face and joyful sense of humor. This film has to be experienced on the big screen and preferably in 3D. Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best, most enjoyable and thoughtful action films I have ever seen 9/10