Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) and Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) look to horizons filled with nothing in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) and Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) look to horizons filled with nothing in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Reel Reviews: It’s a mad, mad world

Mad Max: Fury Road should be seen on the big screen for full effect.

  • May. 24, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Max (Tom Hardy) is a loner in a desert wasteland, trying to eek out an existence while evading cruel gangs of murderous marauders.

Max is captured by the War Boys of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) but it isn’t long before he escapes, although in a weakened state from being forced to give up his blood intravenously to a War Boy named Nux (Nicholas Hoult).

Seeking a better life than can be provided by the warlord Immortan Joe, a trusted warrior named Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) uses her power as driver to escape the community, hoping to return to the place of her birth.

Having the common goal of escaping Immortan Joe’s clutches brings Furiosa and Max together. The two of them will be joined by others on a strange and dangerous road trip that some might call mad.

We say, “You are obligated to go see this movie on the big screen. Go.”

TAYLOR: Mad Max: Fury Road is pretty amazing, despite it being a bit silly. It’s beautiful, (but could have been more so), it’s exciting and fun, yet serious in tone. It has inventive, courageous stunt work, elaborate vehicles, costumes and takes place in a complex future world of desperation and violence. It is even my favourite type of screenplay, that with very few words. Hardy and especially Theron have the opportunity to speak volumes with a sunset’s glint in their eyes.

I have every reason to want to enjoy this film, but its quirkiness irritates me and I am, after all, here to be critical.

HOWE: I’m torn about this movie. It does have things working for it. It’s fantastic to look at: I loved the muted colours of the wasteland occasionally littered with colourful explosions.

The 3D is the best I have since I began reviewing movies. Bits and pieces actually float out of the screen rather than just providing a bit of depth perception. The soundtrack is also pretty amazing. The acting all-around is strong, but it’s Hoult who had the standout role as Nux. He gives a solid performance, probably his best to date.

TAYLOR: I thought he over-did it.

My biggest problem with Fury Road is the decision to speed up the action in certain scenes. The opening scene and the chase sequence that follows it features driving, running and fighting that is so much faster than normal it must have been intentional. I find it comical. It certainly looks odd and therefore, speed becomes a distraction. Other than the decision to cartoonify some of the action (not all, thankfully) and a few missed opportunities to feature more expansive desert scenery, Fury Road is still a great movie and a lot of fun.

I was on the edge of my seat for most of this never ending chase scene. Go see it.

HOWE: Now for the not-so-good: Hardy as Max.  I’m sorry to say that even though he is a fine actor, he is nowhere near as mad as Mel. There’s something in Gibson’s eyes that made this role his and his alone. The original Mad Max was a little more entertaining, a little more fun, a little more comic bookish, with a little more madness. Maybe it’s growing up in the ‘80s that etched the original into my heart so well that it couldn’t be replaced.

–Howe gives Mad Max: Fury Road 3.5 lizard snacks out of 5.

–Taylor gives it 4 flame-thrower guitars out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C.