Review: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is the Best Action-Based Film Since ‘The Matrix’

As much as action movies occupy the regular cine-goers mind-space, the fact remains that most of them are dumbly scripted and rely completely on special effects. So, basically we are saying that most of the action movies today are not made by directors on sets but some hundred special effects specialists on their computers. Ask yourself honestly: when was the last time you watched a seriously good action-based movie (I won’t count Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight as action-based, though, other superhero movies may be categorized as action films) ?

Well, exactly ! The reason you had to stress so hard to think of a name is because even though you might have enjoyed some action films in last few months or years while watching them in a theatre, you as easily forgot about them too. And that’s where you will find ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ a different experience altogether. Yes, the action here too is, at times, mindless, but, more importantly, the film itself is not so. It will make you think as much as it will thrill you with its breathtaking action sequences.

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is an apocalyptic story set in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max (Tom Hardy), a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland. ‘Mad Max’ is ultimately a story of survival — the only instinct left within humans of apocalyptic world.

While I can go on and on about its incredible action sequences set picturesquely in barren landscapes, I will leave that up to you to go and enjoy them first hand, because here I want to talk about the important themes that run through the film. It is dreadful to imagine an apocalyptic world that ‘Mad Max’ shows, where the fight is not for land or money or religion — as it is in the existing world — but it is rather for the search of greenery and the control over water. The message in the film is loud and clear: stop harming the planet; if not, we will have to suffer the consequences.

For ages, men have been regarded as protectors, whereas, women as nurturers. Men went to battlefields — and then later to jobs or businesses — whereas women took care of home. In the past few decades or so, the boundaries have seemingly vanished — though, in underdeveloped communities such a boundary still exists. ‘Mad Max’ presents a view of the world where men have again taken the control and women have regressed into being what they used to be centuries ago. In a way, the film tries to suggest that, an apocalypse like scenario may make men into what they were centuries ago — or may be even worse. On the other hand, women as nurturers, survivors and protectors, which Theron’s character epitomizes, can take much better care of the world. It is an idea that will be difficult for minsogynst to come to terms with. But nevertheless, it is a good food for thought. Can women run the world better, or at least, take the world in a better direction than what men have been doing for past several thousand years ?

Charlize Theron, as Furiosa, kicks ass in every scene of the film. And even though Tom Hardy is great in his role, it is Theron who is the heart and soul of the film. It is her who you care most about. The slenderly tall Theron suits perfectly in a role that required her to do lot of action and stunts. After this role, I expect her to be offered several superhero movies (but no superhero movie will allow her to do much as ‘Mad Max’ does).

The easiest thing to notice in the film is obviously going to be its thrilling action scenes, but don’t forget to appreciate its stunning production design and cinematography. Lot of work seems to have gone behind creating those sets. George Miller, as director, might have created his career best film. His previous Mad Max films were good, but nothing comes close to the greatness of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. It is quite simply the best action-based film since ‘The Matrix’. Book your tickets now.