The Tardy Movie Review is an irregular feature here because the Tardy Moviegoer would sooner eat nails than go to the opening week of a film. If I want the back of my seat to be kicked or listen to idiots chatter for two hours in the dark, I’ll take the Red Eye to New York.
George Miller’s reboot of his “Mad Max” franchise hits the gas with the opening credits and almost never lets you catch your breath.
Essentially a two-hour chase sequence – with perhaps one pause – “Mad Max: Fury Road” is monster trucks meets UFC and everybody’s juicing. Miller raises the bar for all action films forever. My favorite bit is when Furiosa (Charlize Theron) shoots down motorcycles as they vault over her head. And that’s just one example of how bad-ass this film is. Miller tosses out the playbook on what action films are supposed to be and creates something so fresh and alien, it’s as if we’ve been dropped in the blood-soaked sands of another world.
Tom Hardy, one of the best actors working in film today, takes over the role of Max, a man haunted by the deaths of his family and a reluctant hero in this post-apocalyptic world. Simmering and broody, he’s the perfect actor to carry this franchise forward.
For another example of Hardy in a car, check out the polar opposite “Locke,” a drama in which Hardy plays a middle manager whose life implodes over the course of one long night ride. He’s brilliant.
I’m already pumped for the next “Mad Max” installment, whenever that will be. And given that box office, you know there will be one.
I remember when I discovered the first “Mad Max,” when it was playing a triple bill at the Harvard Square Cinema. It was badly dubbed (the American distributor apparently thought audiences wouldn’t be able to understand Aussie accents), and some of the story was clunky, but the action sequences were miles ahead of American cinema. Star Mel Gibson seemed sane back then, too. Good times.
Verdict: The studios would have you believe every film should be seen on the big screen, but “Mad Max: Fury Road” is one of the few to be worthy. Only on the big screen can you experience the full rush of high-octane adrenalin. Worth even putting with the impossible fool who pulls out his cellphone to update his Facebook status.
That’s all for the Tardy Movie Review this time. Come back again when we’ll be chatting about some other movie that has already been spoiled across the Internet.