Rated R. Running time: Running time: 2 hours.
Our content ratings (1-10): Violence 8; Language 2; Sex/Nudity 2.
Our star rating (1-5): 2.5
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.
George Miller, director of the previous Mad Max films, revisits the post-apocalyptic era, minus Mel Gibson. This time Tom Hardy is Max, not so “mad” as haunted with visions of his dead wife and child. It is a time akin to that described at the opening of the Noah’s Ark story, except that there seems to be no God to bring a flood to a parched Australia, now one vast desert wherein people have become so crazed for water that they might welcome a flood.
The plot is basically one long chase crammed with ultra violent encounters. This is a film appealing to the lower or more primitive part of our brains, one that reminded me that the original meaning of “amusement” was “not to think.” If you are an action fan, just lean forward and enjoy the ride–providing you don’t mind seeing lots of blood spilt by bullets, arrows, and crashes. And don’t even raise the question of how all the bizarre vehicles never seem to run out of gas despite the high speed and long distances they are driven.
At the beginning of the story Mad Max is captured by the pale skinned, mutated War Boys and taken to the Citadel where the war lord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) keeps the masses under his thumb by periodically doling out water for their parched lips. His right hand person (actually she should be called his “left hand” because as a result of some unnamed disaster she has only the stump of her right arm) Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) has been sent to Gas Town to purchase fuel, but instead is seen to veer off in another direction. Also, it is discovered that his Five Wives, kept for breeding, are missing. We learn that Furiosa’s intention is to return with them to the Green Place where she had been raised before being snatched away years before. With Max chained to the front of a vehicle, Joe and the War Boys set out in hot pursuit, there following a running series of gruesome fights.
I really enjoyed the earlier three Mad Max films, some of them giving us glimpses into the post-apocalyptic culture with its myths that helped explain for the victims the meaning of their predicament. There is just a little of this in this film in which the plot is stripped down to action and bloody mayhem. The film is not nihilistic in that a sense of justice prevailing over injustice pervades the work, but in Biblical terms the movie is more Old Testament (think of the bloodiest episodes of Genesis, Judges and Joshua) than New Testament.
No discussion questions for this review.