They say the world will end not in a bang, but in a whimper. In legendary Australian filmmaker George Miller’s post-Apocalyptic world of Mad Max he says ‘Nah, fuck that mate here’s some bangs and a road massacre and another bang with a tornado explosion and a terrifying car with a few more bangs and water wars – bang bang – cos STRAYA!’.
The fourth instalment in his Mad Max franchise debuted on the internet with – rightly so – a massive bang. A movie that fans were at most hoping wouldn’t be Beyond Thunderdome level bad suddenly jumped to the second spot on 2015’s most anticipated films list (because nothing is knocking Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron off, come on). The trailer is fierce, ferocious and fucking capable of making you lose control of your bowel movements. Here’s what made us recognise that Mad Max is just as relevant 35-years on from its bloody debut:
1. Charlize Theron As The Winter Soldier
Apparently Tom Hardy is in this movie playing the title character or whatever but yeah, no, it’s all about Charlize Theron. There’s her roller derby babe on speed character name: Imperator Furiosa. There’s her ‘Bucky noooo’ mechanical arm that looks ready to destroy the patriarchy and shatter glass ceilings. There’s her buzz cut and fierce demeanour that’s projected with Oscar-winning PHWOAR. There’s the fact that she’s a knight in shining armoured cars, who appears to be saving virginal young women from merciless creeps. Nuff said, really.
2. The Cars That Ate Paris… And France, And Your Soul
Fast And Furious, with your shiny new cars and speed racers, you’re s’cute. Miller just drove over the most successful automotive franchise like a speed bump and showed them how it’s done with the beautiful design and brutality of Fury Road‘s cast of cars. From oil tankers to spiked Chryslers, they manage to simultaneously make vehicles that are both nostalgic and cutting edge. They’re the only thing severe enough to try and tackle the landscape, which after being moved from its original home in Broken Hill, Australia to the deserts of Namibia, Africa ups the ante from desolate chaos to sweeping devastation.
3. Junkie XL
The Dutch multi-instrumentalist, engineer and producer manages to create an entirely new element that brings the Mad Max tale into the future: the sound. After doing such a fine job on Divergent‘s score earlier this year, Junkie XL manages to encapsulate the spine-tingling dread and horror of this universe, while at the same time remaining incredibly stylish.
4. The Bad Guys
From Toecutter to a gang so tough that could ride motorcycles with leather seats under the hot Australian sun in assless leather chaps, the Mad Max trilogy has always benefited from batshit insane crazy villains. Fury Road will be no exception. The original Toecutter himself Hugh Keays-Byrne returns to the franchise as a new baddie – Immortan Joe – and fans of the BDSM and homoerotic tones, rest-assured because Nathan Jones is thrown in there too as (wait for it) Rictus Erectus. The questions remain though: a) why are all movie albinos evil? and b) how do they still exist in the desert?
5. Like A Virgin(s)
Replace the drugged prophetical virgins from 300 with three jaw-dropping models (Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Courtney Eaton) and two indie actresses (Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough) and you have an exciting formula. In their all-white, flowing costumes the five women add a jarring purity to the rough and terrifying landscape – but that doesn’t mean it’s going to end well. Expect grisly ends for the beauties Fragile, Splendid, The Dag, Capable and Toast. Bonus points for 18-year-old Eaton, who was a Perth model with no acting experience when she responded to an open casting call for the film – she positively glows on screen and it’s no wonder she was snapped up for Gods Of Egypt. Also, Victoria’s Secret Aussie babe Abbey Lee in her film debut, bringing more attitude and creep with a head tilt and a hand gesture than Megan Fox was able to do with two Transformers films.
Maria Lewis – follow Maria on Twitter here: @moviemazz or on top-rating film podcast Pod Save Our Screen, available now on iTunes.