Movie Review: Mad Max
By: Nathaniel Patton
Mad Max (2015)
Director: George Miller
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron
To put it simply, Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth movie about the Road Warrior, is about a group of people that take a road trip across the country. However, putting it like that gives this movie no credit at all. It is an extremely entertaining movie with a solid, smoothly flowing plot line, great action, a little bit of gore, and, at its core, a fantastic group of characters. Oh, I may have forgot to mention that this movie is filled with enough explosions to make Michael Bay’s toes curl. This film just had so many elements that culminate to leave viewers feeling extremely satisfied. Even films with a large amount of great elements still have their highlights, though.
One of the biggest things that stuck out to me was the dialogue, or I should rather say the lack thereof. For somewhere first third of the movie, not much dialogue was present. The characters got off just fine by speaking in grunts and using body language to convey what they want to express. The most impressive part about the lack of communication was how well it worked in the film. It left Max (Tom Hardy) to be a mysterious character with a lot of psychological baggage. It presents us a lead female whose story was a mystery to us that we had to fill in bit by bit. It gives the viewer insight on how little communication is used in this post-apocalyptic world. However, whenever the dialogue was introduced, it was great. It wasn’t huge monologues or anything, but it was genuine and it was enough to show that people aren’t really used to communicating with each other in this dystopian world.
But what is great dialogue without great characters? George Miller puts together a wonderful cast to fill the roles of some great characters. In this adventure, we are given Max. Tom Hardy does a great job of showing the emotional and mental strain on this character while still being a badass. Charlize Theron is not to be easily overshadowed, though. Imperator Furiousa, the leading lady of the film, is just as much of a badass as Max is. She is a woman on a mission for retribution and she is prepared to do anything to get her just desserts. These two lead characters are born leaders, heroes, and ass kickers, but one of the most standout characters is Nicholas Hoult’s character, Nux. He starts off kind of weak and in poor health, but he wants to prove himself to his warlord. As the story progresses, he does anything to try and stop our two leads and to die honorably so he can “ride on the roads of Valhalla forever.” Around halfway through the movie, though, we see his character broken from failing to serve his master. Now questioning all that he had previously done, Nux evolves into an extremely likeable and extremely relatable character that everyone can find himself or herself rooting for.
Although the characters and dialogue was great, it is still an action movie and people go to action movies for, well, action. This movie absolutely delivers in that area extremely well. From some well-choreographed fighting sequences to some absolutely insane car battles, this movie is full of some great action that’ll really get anyone’s blood pumping. The most refreshing thing about these sequences, though, was their lack of computer-generated effects. With all of the fake effects that we are used to, it is extremely refreshing to have a film that was shot in-camera as much as possible. The effects looked great and I completely commend George Miller on his choice to use real explosions and action sequences in the film. It is awesome knowing that although it’s not a real story, there was really a car getting absolutely annihilated in the beautiful backdrop of the Namibian deserts to earn that shot.
To sum things up, I would have to say that this is one of the best overall action movies that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. It was fun but serious, real but totally off the wall, and an action movie but it also contained great dialogue and characters. A fan of action movies will not be able to find a recent movie to top this fantastic film. This was an absolutely wild ride (pun absolutely intended) from start to finish that left me wanting more but left me absolutely satisfied at the same time.