And it's freakin' awesome, despite the frequent abuses of Jason's Rule of 3-D*
We open with Max, his iconic hair, and his iconic car. He steps on a lizard and eats it. He's gone even more mad than the last time we saw him (30 years ago!) He's a wild animal. Within minutes his car is destroyed, he's captured, and his iconic mane is cut off (and, of course, he is now Tom Hardy instead of Mel Gibson.) Within a few more minutes, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) has stolen/rescued the "wives" (a.k.a sex slaves) of Immortan Joe, the despotic ruler of the Citadel, and the only source of water in the apocalyptic wasteland (don't worry, and don't even try to keep up.) Max is strapped to the front of the lead chase car to supply blood for the driver, a bred-and-trained fighter. And then it's a two hour long batshit crazy chase. A bleak descent into sanity in an insane world. It's literally so frantic that the first time the soundtrack turns to peaceful music is when the chase has entered a fucking electrical dust storm that kills anyone who is outside and not covered up (of course, Max is on the outside of the car and not covered up, but still chained to his driver.) And it gets crazier from there. Just fucking watch it, it's an action film masterpiece. A MASTERPIECE I tell you!
Now for the elephant in the room, the butt-hurt from Men's Rights Activists over how sissified Max is because there are strong human females in this film. First of all, being a rabid animal is not sissified. Max is still bad-ass, and while the women are on the road for their freedom, Max is on the road for his sanity. He is, in some ways, playing second-fiddle in his own movie. But that's fine, it works for the story. As for any feminist agenda, George Miller insists the film doesn't have one, it just happens to have women who are treated as humans. And their journey from sex slaves to freedom doesn't work if they're stolen from one man by another man--that would just be creepy (which I suspect would be fine by the MRAs.) They have their journey, Max has his, and there are parallels. But if you want to read a feminist message into it, a repeated question/rallying cry is "Who killed the world?" And if you want to read between the lines, the answer could be "Men did. (and women will fix it.)" But you can just as easily read "Greed did. (and freedom will fix it.)" Or any of a number of similar readings.
Running Time: 120 minutes
My Total Minutes: 397,041
*Depth into the screen is good. Throwing stuff out of the screen to make the audience jump is gimmicky bullcrap.