Talk of a Mad Max sequel would show up on the internet off and on for as far back as I can remember. First Mel Gibson planned to step back into the role himself in the early aughts, before his various unpleasantnesses. Then everyone from Heath Ledger to Jeremy Renner to Sam Worthington was up for the part before it finally went to Tom Hardy. Hardy’s got a lifetime pass from me for making me love his Scottish Slipknot GI Joe take on Bane even though it couldn’t possibly have been any different from the comics’ roided out luchadore, so even though I hadn’t seen any of the previous films since I was very young, I was very interested in the new Mad Max.
And fuck if it isn’t a goddamned masterpiece, a brutal ballet of stunts, chases, production design, practical effects, ridiculous characters and costumes. This is a feast for the eyes for it’s entire running time.
As for the story, Fury Road doesn’t hit you over the head with what my lovely wife likes to refer to derisively as “world building”, we’re thrown right into the thick of it, and given just enough info to get by. In a near-lifeless desert hellscape, Tom Hardy’s Max is a hard bastard who gets kidnapped by a gang of fuckers that look like Quan Chi from Mortal Kombat, or the bald guy from Dimmu Borgir, whatever you like, anyway, they keep him around and alive because he’s a universal blood donor. These guys are all followers of Immortan Joe, a sort of evil land and water baron played by veteran British thesp Hugh Keays-Byrne, who memorably portrayed The Toecutter in the original 1979 film.
Doc Brown and Skeletor’s awesome baby.
Ol’ Joe is sending his supposedly loyal and trustworthy servant Furiosa (Charlize “somebody please cast me as Samus in a Metroid movie” Theron) on a routine mission for gasoline, but what he doesn’t know is that she’s betrayed him in the interest of rescuing his “wives”, beautiful women he holds against their will in the interest of repeatedly breeding with them. Max gets dragged out of captivity as a mobile blood donor for Immortan worshipper Nux (Nicholas Hoult, young Beast of the recent X-Men films) as he joins the hunt for Furiosa, and fucking mind blowing wackiness ensues as Max breaks free and joins her cause.