Mad Max: Fury Road

Best. Action. Movie. Ever.

Let’s cut, appropriately, to the chase: Best. Action. Movie. Ever. After fooling around for 30 years with comedic witches, curative oils, and talking pigs and penguins, director George Miller finally comes back to his Mad Max saga with this righteous, ballsy barn-burner, and gets it oh so right.

There’s a lot going on here, but there’s discipline—it all makes sense. The feminist theme has Max (Tom Hardy) joining a female rogue warrior facilitating the escape of a villainous warlord’s “breeding harem.” Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa takes her place up there with filmdom’s great action heroines like Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley and Linda Hamilton’s Sara Conner.

Little time is wasted on exposition, but the character definition is efficient and effective. We care about what happens to the protagonists. The daredevil stunts, which are many, varied, and continuous, are old-school and real-physical-world. CGI is used only sparingly. That said, it’s one of a handful of movies that justifies the use of 3-D. And there’s humor.

You gotta love the masked musician on a speeding “float” that accompanies the warlord into battle. His guitar, by the way, is a flame-thrower. You find yourself laughing spontaneously at the sheer audaciousness and showmanship. What a movie! Japanese title: Mad Max: Ikari no Death Road. (120 min)