Saturday, 27 June 2015
The fourth instalment to the Mad Max series, a vigorous reboot of the cult franchise, is an irresistible Western car-chase fever dream, adorned with a delicious, persistent slick of grit and stamped with a brimming, big-budget ego. With smooth and captivating confidence, Mad Max: Fury Road is the holy grail of summer blockbusters, of franchise instalments, of fandom parities. Make no mistake, the feature is tightly secured in its action genre, but perhaps it is the determination to emphasise every genre trademark in zealous rapture that wins over the audience. However atypical and oddly original the feature may be, it is nevertheless recognisable - gas is burned, prizes come in the form of beautiful women and the threat of death lingers near, with terror perpetuated by the ruthlessness of a wretched villain. But only the subtlest and darkest comedic relief is offered, absent are the lingering gags and useless, flimsy character traits to memorise and play on. Only a strong narrative powered by an angry cathartic score and engaging, exorbitant warfare engage the audience with aggressive exuberance. It may not be subtle but it is nonetheless a winning, symphonic recollection of derisive elements thrown together with dubious abandon.
In the harsh, post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max, women, fuel and water are valuable commodities, harvested and monopolised by the greedy, grotesque cult leader, Immortan Joe. Setup sequences portray this dystopian realm to harbour only the most primitive, brutal type of living - all sanctity of human life is forgone- sexual slavery of women is rampant, men are mere blood-bags for the road warriors and breast milk is gathered systematically from obese women. One-armed road warrior Furiosa seeks to escape the hellish citadel with Immortan Joe's five wives by traveling through the desert wasteland, in hopes of reaching an oasis, the "Green Place".