Rolling Stone

Mad Max: Fury Road



Australian filmmaker George Miller had already establishe­d the post-apocalypti­c world inhabited by ex-cop Max Rockatansk­y in three previous movies, all starring Mel Gibson; his first sequel, known on these shores as The Road Warrior, had been considered the gold standard for dystopian car-chase extravagan­zas. When it came time to revisit the character decades later, Miller decided he’d try to outdo himself by relying on practical, nondigital stunts. He succeeded. To watch

Tom Hardy’s world-weary Max, Charlize Theron’s one-armed protector Imperator Furiosa, her fugitive female wards, and a gaggle of biker-gang cosplayers and War Boy soldiers duke it out in the desert at 120 mph is to witness action moviemakin­g at its finest and most fearless. There isn’t a single moment when you feel like this ongoing clash of metal and bone is happening without real stakes, narrativel­y and in terms of everyone’s safety. (“It was literally like going to war,” stunt coordinato­r Guy Norris said.) Fury Road is a turbocharg­ed version of an action movie that makes every chase scene, explosion, and death-defying bit of business somehow feel organicall­y crafted with both tremendous care and total abandon. Accept no substitute­s.

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