Warning: Spoilers. Probably.
The lights dim. A guttural, lurching sound effect fills the room.
‘My world is fire and blood,’ Tom Hardy informs us over scenes of the world as we know it coming to an end. From those who’ve already seen the reviews (and the 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes), there’s a murmur of anticipation.
For us, there’s an overwhelming urge of reuniting with an old friend. And we’re not talking about nostalgia for the original 1979 -1985 trilogy.
No – we’re talking about the fact that Max Max: Fury Road came out on Friday and, 48 hours later on Monday evening, we’re set to watch it for the second time.
Here’s what we learned…
01 It might be the weirdest blockbuster you’ve ever seen
Before Fury Road crashed into cinemas, reeking of warm motor oil and smoke, the strangest thing audiences had to deal with was a robot coming alive and causing a bit of trouble for Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson in Age Of Ultron.
Watching Fury Road for the second time, you realise just how ‘out there’ the film is. Unlike Marvel’s stable of polished crowd-pleasers, Fury Road features a man with bullets for teeth and a man with bulbous, blistering feet.
And all of that is glossed over as part of the strange world Max finds himself in. Yet somehow, it works.
02 Forget about Gibson, it’s all about Hardy
Clearly, Tom Hardy isn’t trying to do a Mel Gibson. If anything, his turn as Max Rockatansky is more inspired by Bane than anything else.
But where Batman’s nemesis wheezed his way through 165 minutes, Max is content to mumble his way along. He’s a man of few words, and he knows actions speak louder than pithy one-liners ever could.
The scene when he disappears to deal with a tank from the Bullet Farm is a case in point. We see the explosion through the mist and Max returns to wash the blood from him with Mother’s Milk. ‘It’s not his blood,’ says Charlize Theron’s grim-jawed Furiosa, which is just about the only explanation we get.
03 Yes, Charlize Theron is definitely badass
A lot has been made about Charlize’s turn as trusted-warrior-turned-saviour, and everything you’ve read is right.
Watching the film twice is worth it for Theron’s scenes alone. From the black grease smeared across her face as warpaint to the sequence where she beats Max to the ground, she might just be the toughest woman we’ve ever seen on screen.
04 There’s still so much we want to know
The genius of the film is that it’s essentially one long car chase, without even a hint of Vin Diesel’s shiny head. As the title suggests, it’s a furious road film, without any service station stops, but plenty of (sometimes literal) break-neck pursuit.
And because the film rattles along so quickly, there’s purposefully things we’re left in the dark about. Who were the bent figures on stilts in the blue wasteland? How had the old members of Furiosa’s clan been surviving? And is the situation just as bad at Gas Town and Bullet Farm?
05 We can’t wait for the sequel
Fury Road suffered from an famously troubled production, but director George Miller used all that inbetween time to pen the next outing, titled Mad Max: Wasteland.
There’s no word on whether Tom Hardy or Charlize will be back, but with Fury Road re-igniting our faith in the summer blockbuster, we hope Wasteland rolls into the outback sooner rather than later.
Mad Max: Fury Road is out now