The Mad Max series is speculated to have started the trend for these kinds of movies. But in 1979, and with a very young Mel Gibson starring, the first film in the series garnered more attention overseas than it did domestically. However, that changed when the sequel came in 1981. Many may be asking if Mad Max: Fury Road is a reboot of the series. And in a lot of ways it is. But it’s also a sequel of sorts, however it most definitely stands well on its own, giving enough background on Max’s past without overselling it. What Fury Road does best is that it sticks to the action, which is superb and one of the main reasons to go see the film.

The future is bleak and people have lost everything from their housing to the ability to grow food. In the wasteland of an unknown land (it’s never mentioned in the new film, but the series has always been set in Australia), Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) has cut himself a corner of the world and stripped every one of their dignity. They all only rely on their basic instinct to survive while he chooses when and if to give them water and food. He breeds children through imprisoned wives (Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, and Courtney Eaton) and keeps mutated half-life humans called warboys around to do the dirty work.

One of Immortan Joe’s Imperators, Furiosa (Charlize Theron), sets off on a trip to get what remains of the scarce fuel, but detours and rebels instead, setting off on a journey to get to the Green Place, a place of hope and freedom. On the path to intercept her, prisoner Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) and a warboy Nux (Nicholas Hoult) join her and together they set off across the desert, fighting off Immortan’s men the entire way.

George Miller is back in the director’s chair, and if one thing is clear it’s the fact that the man certainly knows how to bring a series into the 21st century. And unlike many action movies, the film’s cinematography is superb and really sets it apart. The film, which boasts an enormous amount of special effects and unique character makeup, maintains an outstanding color palette. Grays, browns, and metallic colors sweep over the entire film, giving it its own personality even while the setting doesn’t change.

Of course there’s no journey without reason, and Immortan Joe is shown as psychotically cruel and dictatorial (though he essentially has a weird cult-like following), which makes Max and Furiosa’s journey all the more important. There isn’t a lot of heavy-handed dialogue or exposition, the dialogue limited to the important things and Tom Hardy’s summary and voice over in the beginning. Mad Max: Fury Road has a lot of style, gorgeous cinematography, and looks to beat out every action movie this summer.

Release Date: May 15, 2015 | Director: George Miller | Screenwriters: Brendan McCarthy, George Miller, Nick Lathouris | Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton Hugh Keays-Byrne | Genre: Action, Adventure | MPAA Rating: R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images

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About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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