Synopsis: Max and Furiosa motor across a post-apocalyptic land with enslaved women they’ve rescued from a warlord whose murderous gang is in pursuit.
In director George Miller’s dazzling action flick, Mad Max: Fury Road, Imperator (Charlize Theron) and Mad Max (Tom Hardy) embark on The Worst Road Trip Ever. It’s set in a barren post-apocalyptic desert-scape that cinematographer John Seale has flooded with atomic orange color. One sequence tumbles us through a sandstorm of biblical proportions. The action is intense, scary and weird, but mercifully short on gore.
Mad Max–who seems neither crazy nor angry– and Charlize Theron have a dearth of lines. After all, they are too busy fighting for their lives to have a decent conversation. Still, even without illuminated backstories, they manage to flesh out their humane characters.
The movie flings us into action posthaste, seeing tough, solitary Max captured by the Warboys, clearly a bunch of ASBOs (ASBOs are recipients of the UK’s anti-social behavior orders for wreaking havoc drinking, harassing & vandalising). Max is brought to the Citadel, an oasis run by Immorten Joe, a really GrossOldGuy. The Warboys worship GrossOldGuy and do his vicious bidding. Max is trussed up, masked —No, don’t cover his bountiful lips!– and made to serve as a “blood bag,” hooked up to a Warboy. Meanwhile, GrossOldGuy gives some garbled speech from on-high to hordes of wretches below who are begging for water. He also has enslaved women whom he *Grossness Alert* attempts to impregnate.
Events unspool allowing Furiosa (sporting a nicely shaved head), Max (his lips will be liberated) and the women to escape and make a mad dash across the desert in a tanker truck to a rumored promised land. GrossOldGuy and the Warboys are in hot pursuit.
Our gang’s road trip is very dangerous what with the pursuing murderers and there aren’t even any proper roads or GPS. And because of the apocalypse there are no motels or even rest stops with local info and toilets. The Worst Road Trip Ever is also sadly lacking in snacks and drinks — no junk food, no energy bevvies. And Max could most certainly use some cookies and juice after”donating” all that blood.
As on any road trip, they encounter characters along the way. Our travelers stumble upon an errant Warboy which is scary at first because the Warboys are all completely warped savages, but upon meeting the gorgeous young women who all look like they are on a fashion shoot in Sedona, he becomes an instant gentleman.
Max, Furiosa, et al are also briefly held up by a tribe of sun-weathered elder women. Without the benefit of sunscreen, they look truly fossilized but prove to be suprisingly capable, especially with their extreme motorcycling skills.
How can the desperate travelers escape GrossOldGuy and his Warboys? Is there refuge anywhere? Road trip it to the theater to find out. And, in honor of Max and Furiosa, have some snacks and drinks when you get there.
Cut to the Chase: Thrills and movie-making skills. (Not a lot of gore, but too intense for little kids.)
Comedy Highlight: The idea that GrossOldGuy could convince the Warboys that he’s immortal. He looks like hell and his plastic six pack abs aren’t fooling anyone