Sequels, remakes, and reboots have been the trend in Hollywood for the last decade since the success of Batman Begins in 2005. With Begins, Chris Nolan and co showed that you can successfully restart a popular character without having to rely upon the established continuity of the previous entries in the series. And audiences have been over-saturated with these re-treads of movies that seem all-too familiar ever since. There you have it. You can blame Batman for how much you hate all of these remakes and reboots in Hollywood. As a Batman fan, that hurt to write.
No matter how much you hate the current state of Hollywood’s remake/reboot machine- you loved Mad Max: Fury Road, and rightfully so. Do you know how I know you loved Fury Road? Because it is less of a movie and more of an absolute white-knuckle punch to the adrenal glands while you play a double-necked flaming guitar during a 2 hour long destruction derby on acid that makes The French Connections car chase seem like Driving Ms. Fucking Daisy. It’s also three decades older than the last entry in the series which means there were masses of audiences who weren’t even alive when Mel Gibson last donned the jacket and boots.
Being old enough to remember when “Welcome to Thunderdome” was relevant is not a prerequisite to travel down the Fury Road; it is able to stand on its own providing enough exposition on Rockatansky’s back-story throughout his journey to keep you up to date. This negates a need to have seen the original trilogy while also giving enough nods to those in the crowd familiar with the Road Warrior’s earlier adventures. While the titular character (who is the only returning character from the previous films) would appear to be the focal point of the narrative, Max (Tom Hardy) is almost completely out-shined and out-gunned by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who is a strong, independent badass who could easily be in her own series. Theron simply crushes it. Nicholas Hoult is stupidly underrated in this film as “Nux,” while Hugh Keays-Byrne stars as the villain Immortan Joe similarly to how he played Toecutter in the 1979 film (the only major returning actor from the previous films).
George Miller’s return to the desolate, gasoline-starved world he created over thirty-five years ago explodes with a passion, fire, and vision that most directors forty years his junior couldn’t touch. Miller deserves all the credit in the world for waiting until the effects technology was sufficient to make the film he WANTED to make rather than settling for the film he COULD make which is a huge reason why Max succeeds where so many sequels fail. Fury Road is a shiny, chromed-out example of how you make a sequel. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait 30 more years to see Valhalla.