Mad Max – Fury Road

© 2015 Warner Brothers Pictures.

© 2015 Warner Brothers Pictures.

Family at the Movie | By Christopher Hill –

What do you do to reintroduce a film franchise? You give its fans exactly what they want. That is precisely what director George Miller did in reimagining the world of Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road. The clichés pile up with this action-packed, thrilling, nitrous oxide-infused testosterone romp. Maybe the last one will not fill reviewers’ accolades, but it should.

Fans of the series know that in 1979, a small Australian independent film named Mad Max launched the movie career of a then unknown actor named Mel Gibson. The movie spawned two more successful incarnations – Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior in 1981 and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. The latest incarnation stars Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa and Tom Hardy as the angry wanderer Max in search of . . . who knows?

This is not a movie with depth. Lost in the realms of superheroes and monster films is the classic action movie. In Fury Road, there is next to no character development and no funny quips. It is a chase from start to finish. For exactly two hours, it is a non-stop adrenaline rush. Each action sequence is fascinating to behold. The complexity and imagination of each step demonstrates mastery of the genre. Sure, militarily, some of the devices would fail the common sense test, but visually, they are a virtual feast.

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky in an action sequence.

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky in an action sequence.

This movie does not try to pretend to be anything that it is not. It is the definition of an action movie. Everything about it speaks to the film’s authenticity. The music adds another layer and keeps it driving forward. The story itself is linear, with few curves. It is simply a race for survival.

Mad Max: Fury Road is reminiscent of a mixed martial arts fight, not one where a fighter dances on the outside, looking to fit in the perfect shot. No, this is one where both fighters stay in the pocket and pound on each other in a war of attrition. Throughout the film, tension is created through action. For only seven minutes during the entire two hours are there moments of stillness.

Summer movies are often packed with characters long on exposition but short on caring from the audience. This movie is the opposite. There is very little explanation of the “who’s” and “why’s.” It is just an action-packed thrill ride. Intense is an overused word, but here it fits. George Miller does an amazing job of lighting up the stage and telling the viewer next to nothing. The visual treat alone will bring back many more installments. If you are looking for humor or anything romantic, there are other options. If you want action, this may be the best the summer has to offer.

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky.

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Now Showing: In Local Theaters

MPAA Rating: R

Violence: Lots and lots, but surprisingly not as much graphic violence as one would expect. Several times, the restraint was visible.

Language: There is not much talking at all.

Sexuality: Two scenes of partial nudity, but very quick visuals. Nothing lingers.