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Mad Max: Fury Road is almost too good to be real.

The confluence of events that finally led to the creation of this movie is unthinkable. Stuck in development hell for 15 years or so, there was legitimate concern that another Mad Max installment would never see the light of day. The Iraq War and Mel Gibson’s various racist incidents nearly signaled the end.

Somehow, George Miller persevered and his vision eventually came into existence. In this age, it is hard to believe a major movie studio would entrust a director with total creative control—especially after so much pre-production chaos and controversy. Thankfully, George Miller was up to the task and potentially daunting responsibility. The end-result surpassed even the loftiest expectations.

At this point, I’m so late to the game that you’ve probably heard the bountiful praise heaped upon this movie by now. It’s not for lack of interest as I was in the seats the first night to watch Mad Max: Fury Road. And then I went back the next night. In terms of re-watchability, you can’t find a better film.

Doof Warrior

Don’t be skeptical. Leave behind your cynical bullshit and be prepared to have your face melted.

Believe the hype. Immerse yourself in the desolate hellscape and revel in the spectacle.

Summer blockbusters don’t deserve to be in the same category as Mad Max: Fury Road. While some people have mischaracterized it as a nonstop chase sequence, the pacing deliberately stops to inhale the dust while delivering more than enough action. Unlike most movies of this ilk, the action works because you care and feel some investment in the characters. The intensity cannot be manufactured. Utilizing practical effects rather than over-reliance on CGI, the audience is allowed to experience the gravity of situations instead of being hurled around in a whirlwind of flying metal like Michael Bay movies.

With top-notch performances from Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Hugh Keays-Byrne in the supporting cast, there isn’t a weak link anywhere in the chain. The good vs. evil dynamic is only as strong as the villain. Despite a mysterious rise to power, Hugh Keays-Byrne’s run as Immortan Joe is as awesomely badass. While oppressively evil, Immortan Joe’s stranglehold over his domain is tenuous due to his deteriorating physical condition. It has all the makings of an iconic, memorable movie.

Immortan Joe

In short: if you don’t like Mad Max, go fuck yourself.

We don’t need to be friends. It sounds snobby and condescending, but you just don’t get it if you are unable to enjoy this movie. I’m not saying you are an idiot if you don’t like Mad Max: Fury Road. However, you are much more likely to be an idiot if you hate this movie. Surprisingly, this is a rare mass appeal action spectacle that satisfies the senses with ample support from a simple yet interesting story.

Mad Max isn’t flawless, but it doesn’t have to be pristine. This movie embraces and celebrates its warts—quite literally in the case of certain characters. Mad Max: Fury Road is perfectly imperfect.

Tom Hardy

The big swinging balls of George Miller are inescapable. Not only is the titular character turned into a prisoner, but almost all of his face is obscured by a bulky metal mask. While Max is relegated to an object of the plot rather than the driving force, the de facto lead, Charlize Theron—one of Hollywood’s most gorgeous actresses—has her head shaved bald and a mechanical arm replacing her amputated stump.

For the purpose of this story, there’s no reason Mel Gibson couldn’t have returned as Mad Max. As much as I love Tom Hardy, it would have been nice to see people finally forgive and re-embrace Mel Gibson. Mad Max: Fury Road could have launched a new beginning for that lovable old racist kook.

Mel Gibson’s loss is Tom Hardy’s gain. The acting ability of Tom Hardy is unquestioned, but big screen success has eluded him up until this point. Thanks to the overwhelming positive reception of Mad Max: Fury Road, every door in Hollywood should be gaping open in eager anticipation of Tom Hardy. Not only can he carry a small independent film like Locke where he is the only character on-screen, but he also has the charisma to lead a major motion picture. I want and need more Tom Hardy in my life.

Furiosa

The brilliance of George Miller is palpable and abound in this madness. Mad Max: Fury Road is everything you can imagine in a massive, mindless action movie while still managing to bring something new to the table. Likely to be often emulated but never duplicated, Mad Max: Fury Road has already spawned a life of its own and hopefully future installments don’t shit all over this beautiful foundation.

Basically, this movie is the anti-Waterworld.

Bask in its eternal glory—shiny and chrome.

Shiny and Chrome

5 out of 5 stars

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Comments
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