Charlize Theron romps around the desert in Mad Max: Fury Road

A review by Brenda Daniels

Charlize Theron at the WonderCon in 2012. Photo: Creative Commons.

Charlize Theron at the WonderCon in 2012. Photo: Creative Commons.

Although not a fan of the 1980s Mad Max movies, I was nevertheless keen to see what a modern-day version of these well-known films was like. My verdict: Mad Max: Fury Road is a fun, wild, fairly pointless romp through the desert, featuring Charlize Theron as the well-rounded heroine, Furiosa.

The film is set in a future in which water is a scarcity and “green places” are a distant memory. Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) controls a fount of water out in the desert and uses it to suppress and control the thousands of people in his remote empire. One tough woman, Furiosa (Charlize Theron), turns rogue and makes off in a huge modified truck in search of a green place. Her cargo: a group of breeders – young, beautiful, innocent-looking women who could produce offspring that would presumably spawn a new and better human race.

Along the way she meets up with Mad Max (Tom Hardy) who falls in with the fleeing group and helps them evade capture. They are pursued by a very weird conglomeration of modified vehicles, and human (both living and dead) enemies. Characters are killed off with wild abandon – even the good ones – and the action is relentless. Even, at times, seemingly pointless. Furiosa is looking for utopia, yes. But this meaningful part of the story is dwarfed by the wild, endless, bloody road trip.

Tom Hardy as Max is a tough, brooding presence who says very little for the duration of the film.  Charlize Theron is very good in her role as the adept, one-armed, feisty Furiosa who has ideals and a heart. I think she holds the film together. The climax of the film is pretty good and Furiosa and Max part with enough unfinished business for the Australian filmmakers to make a sequel.

Mad Max: Fury Road, which was filmed in the Namib Desert, opens at classic and 3D cinemas countrywide in South Africa on Friday 15 May 2015.

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