Max: Fury Road is an awesome summer popcorn movie full of I-can’t-believe-they-did-that stunts, excellent comic-book style world building, and just enough of a plot to hold the whole thing together.
In the Mad Max world, the title character always kind of wanders in and out of the stories. Kinda like the wandering traveler in all those old-west movies. He’s not the law. He’s not the bad guy. He’s mostly a survivor. And mostly what he does is all about staying alive. Fury Road stays true to this theme. In Fury Road, Max (Tom Hardy) is literally abducted into the story and as part of trying to escape, he crosses paths with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). She is also trying for an escape from the society that has abducted Max, but for her own reasons. So the two become, not lovers, not friends, but simply temporary allies in a daring escape from the bad guys. At some level, the story of Mad Max: Fury road is Furiosa’s story. Mad Max, is just trying to survive, trying to get the hell out of there and move on.
In addition to the awesome effects, it’s notable how comic-book-ish this movie is. There is only a very minimal amount of dialog. The character building is done through subtle glances, gestures, and action. And it’s awesome. There is not much in the way of evolution in either Max or Furiosa. They are both hell bent on their own agendas and their consistency drives the movie. But it’s really nice to see many of the secondary characters evolve and change. Some for the better. Some for worse. And their evolution is shown through action and expression, not through dialog.
I’m not going to say that Mad Max: Fury Road is any great story. But there is enough of a story to hang the spectacle on and that’s what makes it an awesome summer popcorn movie.