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Mad Max: Fury Road (3D)

Tom Hardy plays Max, who at the beginning of the film is seen running from, and is ultimately captured by, slaves of a rather despicable warlord, Immortan Joe, who controls the population through regulating the limited water supply and provides promises of salvation. Charlize Theron plays Furiosa, who appears to be on a mission for the warlord in the most unusual big rig towing a large fuel tank but suddenly veers East with, it turns out, women who are wives of the warlord. The film is about the chase that ensues as Max and Futurio meet up and flee from the warlord. This is one wild, crazy, and exhilarating movie. The director, who made the previous Mad Max movies over 30 years ago now, seems to have watched the Fast and Furious movies and wondered how to make a movie even more badass than those; and by god he does it – many times over. For two hours, the action rarely stops – the array of vehicles and what they can do is mindboggling, and the suspense maintains all the way until the end. It is a strikingly beautiful movie, even with all of the violence and speed and the collection of very odd (and sometimes rather funny) characters. The cinematography is stunning and captures the strangeness, beauty and horror of this post-apocalyptic world; I love the combination of close-in shots as well as those far above the desert that showed the chase scenes. And the music – wow; the warlord’s battle caravan is led by a crazy guy, suspended by ropes, playing metal guitar that is pumped through huge speakers; this is interspersed with classical music, and together creates one of the most interesting sound experiences I think I have ever heard in a movie. And, underneath all of this, is a really warm and human story; Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, both amazing actors, turn in exceptional performances, which I think may be the best of their careers. Huge thumbs up from me for an intense film that turns into kind of a feminist manifesto and for what probably will be one of the years craziest and most satisfying total movie experiences. I cannot wait for the next in the series (and I truly hope there is one). (2015, 5 stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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