[In association with The Grosvenor]
Knowing I was going to be reviewing this film I’ve tried to avoid all the buzz around it, lest I am unable to trust my senses from an eclipse of well-written women on an otherwise uninteresting movie. Everything I knew previously about the Mad Max franchise comes from that Simpsons episode with Mel Gibson, so my only expectation going in was the appearance of at least one shifty-eyed dog. And while there were no canines to sink my teeth into, a lot made up for this oversight.
Tom Hardy plays the titular Max, a lone wolf troubled by what I assume happened in previous franchise installments. Max opens the flick with a voiceover spiel about how he is a lone wolf, and troubled, or something. The expository dialogue here isn’t nearly as effective as the visuals, which introduce the endless desert in which the whole movie is situated and the cruel forces at work.
The plot is simple enough; Charlize Theron is trying to rescue the wives of a vile and disgusting warlord (whose name I did not catch but who is very reminiscent of Wagner from the X Factor) and Max gets caught up in it and must aid Theron, principally by helping pilot a big truck filled with breastmilk while Wagner and his army of white plasticine men are in hot pursuit.
The aesthetic of this movie is what makes it so thrilling. The absurdity of it all remains oddly believable, which is what you want in dystopian stories. Attention to detail is great in this movie, with every car in Wagner’s fleet composed of recognisable scrap, such as a souped-up Beetle with monster truck wheels.
Every character is coated in sand and dust, yet remains distinct. The ensemble is great, which brings me to what I think all the commotion surrounding this film is: it’s not really about Max. While he is instrumental to the plot, it’s really more about Charlize Theron vs Wagner, which is definitely worth checking out. Despite some Zimmeresque scoring which is a personal gripe of mine, I love this film.