Set in the distant future, Australia and much of the world is now a desolate wasteland where food and water is scarce and thirst and starvation is rife. An ex cop, Max (Tom Hardy), is captured by The War Boys, led by the warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) defies her orders and attempts to use the assignment as an opportunity to rescue Joe's five wives from his tyrannical grasp. The War Boys discover this, send out a task force to intercept her and bring Max along with them.
If a trailer ever did a movie a disservice it is the trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road, it's not that the film was mis-sold but the trailer didn't exactly me enthused to see it. However, what we did get was an electrifying and relentless thrill ride through the post apocalyptic wastelands of Planet Earth. There is no respite (except for the odd few minutes) from the unrelenting and gripping action which mostly consists of spectacularly choreographed action sequences that uses the Cirque du Soleil performers to fantastic effect (apparently 90% of the effects were practical).
George Miller's (who directed the first Mad Max) Mad Max: Fury Road is effectively a two hour car chase so it is important that there is an element of tension underlying the massive action set pieces otherwise it would only be a loud, empty two hour film showcasing stunning action and nothing more. Luckily there is a strong element of tension throughout most of the film but it only arrives once we meet Imperator Furiosa and the five wives she is transporting to safety. It's at this moment that Max has something to fight for and the audience has something worth investing in on an emotional level.
Much has been said of the feminist themes in the film, George Miller even stated that the feminist ideas in the film are strong ones. The feminist aspects of film stem from the fact we have a strong central female character in the shape of Theron's (who is excellent) Furiosa and a central story that sees Furiosa rescuing the five wives of Warlord Immortan Joe from a life of objectification and being treated as a sex slave. In fact the film focuses so much on Furiosa that Max is pushed aside (but never sidelined), however despite this the film loses nothing in not making Max the lone central character (Tom Hardy's performance is suitably rugged in portraying the often mute Road Warrior).
The barrenness landscapes of Nambia make for a suitable setting for post apocalyptic world lacking in crops, water and fuel and the endless landscapes certainly highlight the desperate situation humans would find themselves in if the world was to turn into the wilderness that we see in the reboot of Mad Max franchise. Mad Max: Fury Road is being touted as one the best action movies of the last 10 years, it is a plaudit that it fully deserves.