Right from the opening scene with a two-headed mutant lizard scuttling through the desert (and watch for exactly what happens to it), you know director George Miller hasn’t lost his touch as he reboots his 1979 original for the 21st century. Miller refers to his 2015 vision as a “reduced, dystopian future” which has turned into “a medieval past” where a desert fortress called the Citadel, run by the evil Immortan Joe, and allies Gas Town and the Bullet Farm, controls everything by limiting the water supply. Immortan runs the Citadel with an iron fist, with the War Boys, the underlings he enslaves.
Max (Tom Hardy) escapes this hellhole into the poisoned wasteland, and meets Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). He is as succinct and leather-clad as Gibson’s 70s Max Rockatansky, despite being newborn when the 1979 original was released.
Hardy plays the lead as tormented by his family’s death, and without Gibbo’s true psychotic glitter in the eye and probably incapable of anything as demented as the original anti-hero, especially anything involving handcuffs.
Actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played Toecutter in the original, now plays the evil warlord Immortan Joe nearly four decades later. He is joined by former fellow actor, Nico Lathouris, who was Grease Rat from the ‘79 original, is now screenwriter and has created two hours of chases, fights and explosions – provoking yelps of joy from a preview audience of professional reviewers.
Theron is even better as desert lone wolf Furiosa, terrifying and beautiful even with a dark buzzcut, a forehead smeared black with axle grease and a mechanical arm created from salvaged materials. Driving the impressive War Rig, she decides to rebel against the evil reign and help Max bring down the Citadel.
British actor Nicholas Hoult plays Nux, the wild eyed War Boy who escapes from the Citadel and joins forces with Furiosa, adding some much-needed humour to a fairly grim future world.
The Namibian desert is the movie’s third main character, all red and gold desolation, peppered with toxic storms and dangerous waterlogged bogs. The other main personas are the blinged-up, bullethole-ridden vehicles driven with kamikaze enthusiasm.
Anyone expecting thought-provoking cinematic Zen in this effective reboot, is going to be disappointed, but anyone expecting an extravaganza of energy is going to have a good time.
Nina Romain is living proof that small children shouldn’t be taken trick-or-treating in Alabama in the 1980s – they tend to end up obsessed with the creepier side of Halloween! Her horror shorts tend to be shot half in the seedier side of Los Angeles and half in the darker side of the UK. She’s spending this Halloween dressed as a creepy clown at various London horror events and planning to eat her own weight in festive treats. You can find her on www.girlfright.com and IMDB.