Reviewed by: David Simpson
the concept of “peak oil”—the hypothetical point in time when the global production of oil reaches its maximum rate, after which constantly reducing production leads to terrible world problems
fighting for the necessities of life
the world’s multitude of dystopian future scenarios
post-apocalyptic movies that revel in displays of depraved evil and ugliness and extreme violence
dealing with loss of one’s wife and child—while trying to survive the actions of really bad people
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer
evil men who treat women as things
Is Feminism the answer?
Charlize Theron … Imperator Furiosa
Tom Hardy … Max Rockatansky
Zoë Kravitz … Toast
Nicholas Hoult … Nux
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley … Splendid
Riley Keough … Capable
Nathan Jones … Rictus Erectus
Megan Gale … Valkyrie
Hugh Keays-Byrne … Immortan Joe
Josh Helman … Slit
Abbey Lee … The Dag
Courtney Eaton … Fragile
Richard Norton … Imperator
See all »
|Director:||George Miller—“Mad Max” (1979)|
Kennedy Miller Productions
Village Roadshow Pictures
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Max Max is back! It’s been 30 years since the last film (the third installment), and a whole 36 years since the first one came out. But director George Miller has resurrected his unique masterpiece, and gives us another Ozploitation extravaganza.
Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) lives in a post-apocalyptic world, where water and greenery are sparse. He is haunted by the deaths of his wife and children, and somehow feels to blame for their demise. The land is run by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), who is kept alive by various disgusting mechanisms and rules with an iron fist. Owning thousands of slave boys, and an army of road warriors, he controls the people by limiting their water.
Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is one of his greatest drivers, but she abandons him to escape the tyranny by escaping with five of his wives, all of whom are living on the hope that there is a “green place” where they can live in abundance. Manning a big-rig war machine, she meets up with Max after a vicious car chase as Joe pursues, and together they strategize how to keep going.
There have been plenty of post-apocalyptic worlds in the last 10 years of cinema. “The Road” and “The Book of Eli” to name a couple. The recurring theme is the bleakness and devastation of the environment. The directors emphasize this by using a sepia tone to dumb down all colors. Director of “Mad Max,” George Miller, went against this trend by making everything as bright as possible. It’s still desolate, as the world has become one big desert, but the vibrancy is there.
And unlike many films of the same genre, the hope that spurs people on, is a theme that is not just dashed against the rocks and beaten down, but is resurrected time and again. This is not a movie to depress you. If anything, it’s a story of the strength and resolution of the common people to stand against those that seek to control them.
Is Max a savior? Is Furiosa a savior? No. They are just people who believe in something, and will break themselves to make it happen. They don’t promise a way out, but they do promise results. Furiosa leads through hope and will power. Max leads through guilt and survival instincts. They challenge each other, and despite Max’s early adamant protests that hope shouldn’t be used, his mind is changed.
There are positives to take from this, although it can quite easily be blown out of the water by the consistent explosions, car chases, music, and death rattle of a world we hope never comes to fruition.
It’s a violent film. Very violent. It’s a violent world that they live in, and people live and die on a daily basis, due to cruelty and deprivation. The majority of deaths occur through vehicle explosions or crashes and, therefore, are gruesome and graphic. It could have been made far worse, don’t for a moment picture “Kill Bill” levels here, but it’s in-your-face violence. People are stabbed, shot, mangled, crushed, dragged, torn apart, blown up and tortured. All manner of weapons are used.
The language is moderate due to the single F-word. Other than that, it’s sparse. There are undercurrents of a sexual nature. Immortan Joe has several wives of all shapes and sizes, but they are treated more like slaves. We see some topless women, and the forms of some of his younger wives throughout the film. In a way, this all fits in with the brutal nature of their existence. It isn’t in place to be gratuitous and provide eye candy. Be aware, too, that there are several frightening images of Max’s family, and of other characters in close ups. These could be too intense for the soft-hearted.
Cinematically, George Miller has done a fantastic job. He has recreated his world for the modern day audience. Having read that the majority of the film was done for real (i.e., not CGI), it heightens admiration for the techical difficulty of the project. The cinematography is superb, the car chases and action sequences so well thought out, the two hours just fly by. This is a true action film, where needless dialog doesn’t exist, and it’s left to the action to tell the story.
Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron have a distant connection. It never becomes cheesy, and you always feel there is mutual respect, rather than any kind of affection. The casting is great, Keays-Byrne is a treat to see cast as the main villain again, since the first Mad Max. Nicholas Hoult plays his role with an enthusiasm that endears him, despite his character.
Overall, it’s put together exceptionally well. It’s an adrenalin-boosting thrill ride that never seems to slow down. When you get a moment of calm, you relish it, as you know it’ll explode again. For the cinematic experience, I would gladly pay twice or even three times to go back to see this in theaters again. On the other hand, keep in mind that although the film is an enormous spectacle, it is filled with disturbing evidence of the depravity of mankind, amidst its hopeful notes and courageous fight against evil.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.