johnlink ranks MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015)

Like everyone else, heard a ton of good things about this movie. It also was one of the rare summer blockbuster films to receive a respectable level of Oscar love. This is one I was excited for, especially considering the sorts of different types of praise being heaped upon it.


I watched MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015) on 1.19.16. It was my first viewing of the film.

Max (Tom Hardy) is a loner in a post-apocalyptic world. He is quickly captured by a band of albino-like survivors and transported to the Citadel where he is held as a prisoner to be a blood bag for a needy warrior, Nux (Nicholas Hoult). Meanwhile, the female warrior Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), is quietly planning an off-site rebellion by running off with the wives of the Citadel’s power-hungry leader Immortan Joe (MAD MAX veteran Hugh Keays-Byrne).

All of this leads, as one might expect, to Max reluctantly teaming up with Furiosa and the girls to outrun Joe and his crazy band of villains. This movie plays out as a long, two-hour, car chase with guns, blades, explosions, and all kinds of wonderful post-apocalyptic destruction.

What is amazing, then, is just how SMART it is. First of all, Writer/Director George Miller is back rebooting his old series. In many ways, this is the full throttle MAD MAX movie he always wanted to make. His love for the originals also means that he does things with practical effects whenever possible, making this one of the best 21st century examples of action being better when it isn’t CGI in every single shot.


More smartly, and this is something the movie has been widely praised for, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is a movie about women. While Max is certainly important and central, Furiosa and the wives get more screen time, and more gravity. Further, late in the second act we are introduced to a band of older women, making this perhaps the greatest example – in the history of cinema – of women in their seventies being action heroes in a way that is not ironic or silly.

Indeed, it is nearly miraculous that Miller makes something enjoyable about this sometimes cynical, often dark, and frequently brutal movie. The action is great, sure, but we are given a whole murderer’s row of characters to like on the good guy side, including a very unexpected one. All of this serves to make MAD MAX: FURY ROAD one of the smartest action movies of the 21st century without pulling back any of the intense adventure.



The bonus point is for the score, including one of the best examples of diegetic music in a non-musical: the electric guitarist who plays through all of the car chases.


FINAL SCORE: 8 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on January 20, 2016.

3 Responses to “johnlink ranks MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015)”

  1. It’s a very fun movie. There’s no way of getting past that. However, there were certain pieces of the puzzle I didn’t think quite worked out and were passed-by because, well, the movie kicks ass. Nice review John.

  2. Great review! I loved the movie myself. I want to watch it again soon. Your scoring system is pretty interesting. I look forward to reading more of your stuff! Check out mine if you get the chance. Keep up the great work!

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