Annabel Harvey

Review: Charlize Theron steals the Show in Mad Max Fury Road

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The intelligent and complex post-apocalyptic world, reinvented from director George Miller’s original franchise, alongside stellar performances from leads Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron create what can easily be described as an instant classic.

There is no need to be familiar with the original Mad Max series to enjoy this instalment. However, I would recommend watching all three previous films as the flashback sequences, involving the child, would be greater understood.

The film is set in a future desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities.

We are shown the extent of the lands deprivation by a powerful scene when the terrifying cult leader Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne) briefly releases a vat of water to a desperate and dehydrated crowd.

Max (Hardy) joins forces with Imperator Furiosa (Theron) to rescue the wives of Immortan Joe, whose only purpose is to child bear.

They flee in an armoured tanker truck, aiming to seek refuge in Furiosa’s homeland.

The tension is high as we watch Immortan and his army remain in pursuit.

Tom Hardy gives a fine performance – it takes a great talent to show both the vulnerability and strength of such a damaged character.

Despite having little dialogue, Hardy gives a strong performance which ensures Max’s presence as a leader is maintained throughout.

It is a pleasure to see Max’s character development – his goal changes from ensuring his own survival to that of the whole group. His skepticism of hope is completely turned around thanks to Furiosa.

Ultimately, however, it is Theron who steals the show as the steely but caring Furiosa risks her life time and time again to ensure the safety of the wives.

We see Theron portray a wide range of emotions, from her moments of fear to her moments of bravery. The joy, we see her experience when she reaches her original clan, and her devastation when she realises the group have already passed through the green place which is now barren land.

The wives also manage to avoid the annoying damsel in distress arc by providing help to keep the tanker moving. When Immortan’s army reach the tanker the wives capability for survival is truly shown.

The ending of the the film leads to the possibility of another instalment to the franchise.

The scene where the wives and Theron stand before the crowd and order for the release of the water is done beautifully and is the ultimate image of empowerment.

There is a moment of brilliant chemistry between Hardy and Theron when she spots him in the crowd, gives him a look of appreciation, and then he disappears without any expectation of a reward for saving her life.

Miller has created a devastating yet spectacular post-apocalyptic world, with a beautiful message of hope.

It is quite unique that such an action packed film has managed to see through an interesting plot while also containing such dynamic characters that audiences can care about.

However, Miller’s biggest achievement here is the creation of a feminist film that has heart and intelligence.

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