“It was hard to know who was more crazy, me or everyone else.”
Have you seen any films lately starring 70-year old women as its action heroes? Not counting Red (where the amazing Helen Mirren kicks some ass), the only and greatest choice is Mad Max: Fury Road, which is, hands down, one of the best action movies I have seen in years. And the best thing is that there is so much more to it.
This apocalyptic, mad-driven story is the fourth Mad Max instalment and it’s directed and written by the man behind its three predecessors, George Miller, who has created a superb film that carries a universal and necessary message.
With a hectic pace that doesn’t give you a second to breathe, the scenography and the atmosphere make this movie look like the lovechild of Terry Gilliam and Baz Luhrmann. Full of impressive car chases and action sequences, Fury Road contains very symbolic aspects that could serve as an inspiration nowadays: the fight for survival and the freedom of women and their right to choose what to do with their bodies and their lives, something that, unfortunately, not everybody in this world seems to understand.
The plot of Fury Road kicks off with the titular Max being captured by the tyrant Immortan Joe’s war boys and put to use as the “blood bag” of Nux, a sick war boy. At the same time, Imperator Furiosa –one of the best-written female characters you can find these days – smuggles five girls out of Joe’s citadels, these girls being Joe’s wives, whose only purpose is to breed -and who have the most amazing names I’ve ever heard. One her way to save them from this life in which they are not considered actual human beings, Furiosa meets Max during the first confrontation between them and Joe’s army, and the following two hours of movie are a splendid series of chases, fights and character development. It is a film spent on the run, running to obtain freedom and basic rights.
Needless to say, both Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy stand out as the lead actors, especially Theron –also, because Hardy’s character is more of a tacit person, who only speaks when he needs to and is more prone to actions than words. But one of the things that struck me the most was the score by Junkie XL (yes, that’s his name). The music matches the story and its scenes in such a perfect way that just listening to it makes you be part of the movie, especially in the car chase sequences where we get to see drummers and a guitar player as part of Joe’s army. I would definitely recommend acquiring this score, because its powerful mixture of classic Hollywood and rock gives the film extra points, as it captures the tension and the despair of being on the run.
But above all, Mad Max: Fury Road sends a very clear message that can only be captured by a line repeated a few times throughout the film: “We are not things.” They are not, indeed.
Fun fact: the jacket Hardy wears in the movie is the actual jacket Mel Gibson wore in the original trilogy.