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‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Reviews: Impressive Remake Or Rip-Off?

Tue, May 12, 2015 9:27am EDT by Emily Longeretta 1 Comment
Mad Max Fury Road Reviews
Image Courtesy of Kennedy Miller Productions

In a world of remakes, reboots and sequels, it’s no surprise that yet another has hit the big screen. This time, it’s Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in the reboot of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road.’ So, should you see it?

Replacing Mel Gibson is not an easy task — but if someone’s gotta do it, we’ll take the gorgeous Tom Hardy! It’s been 30 years since the original, but now the new flick, Mad Max: Fury Road has come plummeting into theaters and is actually pretty impressive. Here’s what the critics are saying.

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Reviews


Tom Hardy walks right into it like he’s been playing it all his career. And he does it, like all great action figures, with minimal dialogue and lots of imposing presence. And, in a nice twist for the saga, he is matched every step of the way by a new character, a kick-ass female Furiosa played in balls-out style by Charlize Theron in her best screen turn in a long while. I would say she is born to play this character, who is every bit the equal of the male lead, a real departure for this type of testosterone-driven film.


I’m here to tell you that this coming weekend brings one of those rare examples of when all of this nostalgia and revisiting of some old franchise goes just about as exactly, perfectly right as is humanly possible. It’s called Mad Max: Fury Road, and it’s the ultimate summer blockbuster.


Fury Road frequently subverts such expectations. Not that any Mad Max fan would anticipate (or want) romance for the character, but [George] Miller works hard to keep the viewer off-balance in general. A particular arc involving one of The Wives sets up a storytelling trope, then does a 180-degree turn away from that, then sets up another trope before doing yet another 180. And this is all capped off by one of the secondary villains, Nathan Jones’ perfectly named Rictus Erectus, delivering a moment of genuine pathos as he yells plaintively into the wind. Brilliant.


Mad Max 2.0 comes saddled with a slightly different tragic origin story, referenced in quick, hallucinatory memory blips involving a young girl (Coco Jack Gillies), but we accept Hardy in the role instinctively — aided by the cruel iron mask that obscures much of his face until the movie’s midpoint, but also by the actor’s taciturn charisma. Still, there’s no denying that Miller and his collaborators have subtly conspired to put our hero in the passenger seat of his own reboot, while deftly ceding the spotlight to Theron’s Furiosa, and the characters’ rapport is as physically electrifying as it is emotionally charged. Tellingly, plans are reportedly in the works for a “Fury Road” sequel called “Mad Max: Furiosa,” raising the expectation — perhaps unreasonable, on the strength of Miller’s powerhouse movie — that this duo’s finest hour may yet be ahead of them.

Will you see Mad Max: Fury Road?

— Emily Longeretta