Charlize Theron & Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road

Lainey Posted by Lainey at May 13, 2015 16:53:30 May 13, 2015 16:53:30

Spoilers ahead…

I screened Mad Max: Fury Road a couple of weeks ago in Toronto with just two other people. I can’t wait to see it again in a full theatre. Some movies you want to enjoy by yourself. Others are best experienced in a collective. Not that I didn’t have a great time, not that I wasn’t totally entertained, but Fury Road is a group experience. Because it’s totally mental. And you kind of want to go crazy with the mob…

As you’ve seen from the trailers, visually the film is astonishing. Sarah kept telling me she was worried about the “desert”-ness of it all and that’s not usually my jam either but the endless sand and tan just highlights the absurdity of everything that much more. Like, I will never understand why they need a tweaked out guitar player and barely tolerable music screeching from the speakers whenever they go on a car chase but if that happened on a freeway in Los Angeles, it wouldn’t be as awesomely ridiculous as it is when it’s happening on top of the bleakness of the Mad Max landscape. And besides, these visuals actually complement the tone of this world: in a depraved existence, everything has to be extra. Even bravery…so that when a boy soldier willingly sacrifices for his dictator, the act itself is not enough, he has to spray toxic silver paint on his mouth before he hurls his body out of the car, ready to be annihilated. This is obvious symbolism. But it doesn’t mean it’s not potent.

As for the story… pretty simple: there’s a gross dude who controls the people. Charlize Theron’s Furiosa defies him. She needs a reluctant Mad Max to help out. Many people have already noted that Charlize is the movie’s soul. And it’s true. She’s the one who has all the dimensions. She’s the one who, literally, spends most of the time driving. She’s the only one you can’t replace. Which is interesting because it took them 30 years to find the new Max in Tom Hardy. And it’s Charlize who comes out of it owning the role –and the movie – so unequivocally that the conversation has become instead about how no one else could have done what she did.

What of Tom Hardy then? He’s Tom Hardy. That is: he’s gorgeous, he doesn’t say much, and he grunts a lot. Um, again. There have been a lot of say-not-much-but-grunt-often performances from Tom Hardy, non? Not that I mind. But this isn’t “Tom Hardy as you’ve never seen him before”. This isn’t, for example, Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler. When he smiles at Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (and that smile is glorious) after she pulls off a huge risk off the truck, it’s not unlike how he smiled at Jessica Chastain whenever she surprised him in Lawless. Which might be why in comparison, Charlize is the one who’s getting everyone’s attention. Because she’s showing us some sides she hasn’t shown us before…

That said, if you’re a Tom Hardy fan… the money shot comes at the very, very end. The last shot. That’s the one you’ll be taking to bed.

Attached - Charlize in Cannes and Tom Hardy arriving at the Nice airport yesterday ahead of the festival. 

Eugenio Blasio/ Neil Warner / TGB/ KCS Presse/ Splash News

Previous Article Next Article