STARRING: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Hugh Keays-Byrne
Director George Miller’s scorching resurrection of tormented maverick Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson in 1979, Hardy today) roars out of the gate with the beserko force of a nuclear blast. The setting is a parched Earth — Miller shot in Namibia, whose suffocating heat practically seeps through the screen — where ravaged masses carve a ruinous subsistence under the crushing thumb of gross despot Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne).
Joe’s misogynistic MO is to exploit women for their wombs and milk — and Max for his blood. Once a cop, now a haunted, escaped prisoner, Max is forced into what will be a redefining allegiance with on-the-run, renegade den mother Imperator Furiosa (Theron), whose cargo of luscious girls are fleeing biological servitude aboard her junkyard-monster war rig.
The doomsday design is a trip in itself and the breakneck tempo is demented, but there’s far more to Fury Road than its death-or-glory rattle and roll. At the centre of gravity is warrior woman Furiosa, whose retaliatory urge for a better life is as elemental as her asexual physicality. She’s the clear-eyed warp to Max’s tight-knit weft, a steely beacon for a ruined community in a landscape as primal as prehistory.