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Mad Max: Fury Road review

Mad MaxDirector: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy
Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
IMDB says: In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.
Harsh Critic rating: 4.5 Tina Turners

Mad Max: Fury Road should be shit. Mel Gibson has been replaced by the modern Michael Winslow, hard-man Tom Hardy, the guy who made Bane (The Dark Knight Rises) sound like Darren Lockyer on PCP. Rather than an Aussie accent, he’s chosen to give his Max Rockatansky a voice that seems to involve gargling a toad.

Fortunately, he doesn’t say much, but nor does anyone really. Although they sure do shout a lot.

Let’s face it, plot is overrated, and Fury Road proves it. Harsh Critic staff were fortunate enough to interview the film’s production designer, Colin Gibson, who told us that, for many years, the project didn’t even have a script, just a lot of storyboards of awesome action sequences.

Scripts, clearly are for girls’ films. And this is one of the great Guy Flicks of all time. Here is the plot they eventually came up with. Max eats a two-headed lizard, is captured by some tattooed heads, bangs his head and ends up in a big truck driven by a one-armed Charlize Theron and filled with half naked hot women, some of whom are pregnant.

For the rest of the film, this truck heads as fast as it can away from hundreds of pursuing vehicles, many of whom pull alongside Max and the babes, yet none of them ever considers just overtaking the truck and forming a bit of a road block.

After a while, Max stops and there’s about six minutes of talking, and acting, and then they turn around and drive back the way they came, cleverly upping the rate of violent collisions, explosions, stabbings and flying bodies to new and even more fabulous levels.

There is a point, about 20 minutes into the film, where you suddenly find that you’re exhaling, hard, for the first time since the opening credits. The break lasts about a minute, then the visually astonishing, gymnastically impressive stuntathon is back on.

It is no surprise at all to hear that the people who worked on the film who weren’t in the cars, or leaping off them, ran a book on how many “stunties” would die before it was over.

There also a lot of “what the fuck off” moments throughout Fury Road, where you can’t believe the levels of effort director George Miller has gone to to impress you, or weird you out.

When the freaky baldy Weird Boys are on the bonnet of a speeding car, spitting fuel out of their mouths into a blower for more power, and flames, it’s hard not to snortle.

The whole farming, drinking and washing in breast milk thing is just odd, as is the entire persona of the chief antagonist, Immortan Joe, with his Bane meets The Walking Dead face mask and disturbing breeding habits.

While you’re watching this reimagined Mad Max – which really does make the original look like it was made for $1.50, over a weekend – you don’t care that it’s got no plot, you’re too thrilled by the chase, the pace of the action and the sheer wow-ness of the whole thing.

It should be shit, but it’s not. It’s fantastic. We’re giving it four and a half Tina Turners.

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