Film Review: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015) ★★★★

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In a nuclear devastated wasteland where humanity is broken, a reluctant road warrior, Max (Tom Hardy), helps Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and a group of women to escape from a tyrannical warlord and his War Boys. 


Tom Hardy stars in the title role of Mad Max: Fury Road which sees George Miller’s first Road Warrior movie in three decade but this spectacularly great reboot is surprisingly owned not by Hardy but by Charlize Theron in this refreshing feminist action- packed thriller. George Miller decided, instead, to focus the narrative on the portrayal of the female characters and had Eve Ensler (writer of the Vagina Monologues) consult on set to aid him.
 Set in an apocalyptic future, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) is king - leading War Boys to fight his battles, withholding his mass reserves of water and crops and owning and milking dozens of female breeders to create his legacy. The air is acidic and rots their flesh and so War Boys search the land for donors whose body parts they can replace with their own in a bid for eternal life - enter Max.

Having been captured by the War Boys, Max finds himself prisoner in Immortan Joe's land but is able to free himself when he climbs aboard a war tanker truck, driven by Furiosa and harbouring five of Joe's favourite female breeders - two of which are pregnant and all are eager to escape from their captor who treats them only as objects. Reluctant to help the women but for his own survival, Max aids their escape from the trial of War Boys and monster trucks that are chasing them. Together, the group head for Furiosa's childhood homeland from which she was stolen from, believing there to be crops and greenland in which they can start a new life in this interesting new take on gender roles. 

Whilst we are lead to believe Max to be our protagonist, this spotlight is soon taken by Furiosa in a heavily feminist-centric plot. The women, tired of being used for milking and sexual objectification, take a stand against the War Lord to take charge of their own bodies. Whilst there is not mass amounts of character development, there is a suggestion that these women have suffered which is just enough to carry the narrative amongst the saturation of action and spectacle. Notably, however, Furiosa, though beautiful and played by Charlize Theron - can not be displayed as an entirely beautiful being. Interestingly, she is missing an arm and her head is shaved which presents yet more challenges when looking at the female empowerment within the narrative. It can be argued that this makes her monstrous and emasculates her but I am sure this is not Miller's intention. Nether-the-less, Theron's performance is outstanding and one of the main highlights of the film.

Miller pays homage to his original Road Warriors titles, reprising Hugh Keays-Byrne as a terrifying Immortan Joe - Toe Cutter in the original franchise. He also maintains an 80's mise-en-scene and comic-book horror effects and, in some areas, cheesy over-use of special effects. Being in IMAX, it is clear that some scenes are created purely for spectacle but it can be said to expose direction that has been out of the loop for thirty years. This can also be said for flash-back scenes which seemed out of place in some areas and featured too much heavy CGI. Accents also fade in and out and the sound seemed to be poorly dubbed in some places but it is unclear as to whether this was intentional and in-keeping with the 80s B-movie style or just bad editing. 

Overall, the visual effects are stunning in this sexy, steam-punk, metal head, showcase of pure, unadulterated action. At no point does this film slow down or give you time to breathe before another explosive scene though the narrative itself is predictable. Not for the faint hearted, this is a film that presents some powerful statements about feminism within action films within a bad-ass blockbuster. This does mean, however, that Max takes a side step and leaves a pretty unmemorable imprint on the film as a whole. Mad Max: Fury Road gets a Sophie star rating of 4 out of 5 stars for it's powerful and refreshing take and it's cheesy yet loveable tribute to it's originals. Though clearly not without it's faults, Mad Max is truly breath-taking and certainly one to see but here's hoping they don't drag this one out in to an unnecessary franchise. 

So that's it for my latest review! I actually saw this whilst in Disneyland while we had some downtime and it was so fun to visit a French cinema. I'll be posting my Disneyland holiday posts soon but I'm so excited for the next couple of weeks as I've got some really fun film-related blogging opportunities. I've been approached by both Disney and Virgin to take part in some awesome film events to share with you AND Star Wars Secret Cinema is coming in June. I can't wait to share them with you and I'm so glad I get a chance to share my true passion which is film! So keep tuned for those! I'm so honoured to be working with such awesome companies! 

That's all for now film fans! Have you seen Mad Max yet? What do you think of the feminist issues raised in the film and that are being discussed about it right now? Comments below!

Peace and Love,



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13 comments:

  1. I haven't seen the original or this one yet but I like that it seems to be more then action as I don't really like action. I might give it a go thanks for the review

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    1. Thanks for reading, it's not the film of the year but worth a watch and I think it makes a change from the usual action films out there. Hope you like it, let me know what you think!

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  2. I hope you're having a blast, Sophie! *SPOILERS AHEAD* I thought the Hugh Keays-Byrne character was called Immortal Joe, too. When I went to IMDb, I found out his name was Immortan Joe. I think your review is spot on but I liked it a little less than you did. The action was amazing. I thought it needed more time with the characters. I'll compare it to Mad Max:Beyond Thunderdome, which I thought was a better movie (although many will disagree with me). That movie had well-developed characters like Aunty Entity, who was a strong female presence. There was more time seeing how Bartertown functioned and there was more time seeing how the children lived in the wilderness.
    In the new movie, *SPOILERS* when we finally see the older women, they just pop out of the desert and we have no idea how they've been living. I am glad that the older lady who had the seeds had some time to explain how she had saved them before the women and the men had their climactic battle scenes, though.
    Charlize Theron is the star of this movie and I liked her performance. Tom Hardy is a good actor but *SPOILERS* I didn't like how they rebooted Mad Max into a lizard-eating PTSD sufferer who would drive off and leave women in the desert. I would have preferred a straight out sequel and they kept the basic Mad Max character shown in the original film. I am happy that there is a strong feminine message in this movie, though. Overall, I think it's worth the admission price to see it.
    I'm so happy that you have been invited to future screenings and I look forward to what you'll share with us in the future :)

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    1. Yes this certainly didn't have the character development and the effects and editing were pretty ropey. Tom Hardy played a very little part in it but I gave it 4 stars for the underlying themes which I felt were original and refreshing. As a whole, the film is not great but it's worth a watch I think if not purely for the gender roles in it. Thanks :)

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  3. I like that you look at films so differently I never would have looked at it that way haha you no your stuff! I am not sure if I will like it but might watch it because of your review. Well done on another review

    xxHollyxx

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    1. Ha thanks, I just like to over analyse them! I was a film student so I can't ever just watch a film without picking it to pieces. Thanks for reading it! If you see it id love to know what you made of it! X

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  4. I can't wait to see this! Anything with Tom Hardy and I'm in haha. Hope you're having a lovely time at disneyland!

    www.sophieslittlesecrets.blogspot.com

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    1. Haha yep! He's not really in it that much and he doesn't say a lot he's still there and pretty badass. Thanks hun! xx

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  5. I haven't seen this yet, Thanks for sharing . xx
    http://www.ninasstyleblog.com

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    1. Hope you like it! Let me know what you think of it :) x

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  7. Another brilliant review. This was definitely a feminist film and so interesting what you said about the characters being partly written by the same person who wrote the Vagina Monologues. Your film reviews are brilliant :)

    Ashley Christie x https://imamovienerd.wordpress.com/ x

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