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Mad Max: Fury Road - Black and Chrome

George Miller

Recently voted the best film of the 21st century by Empire readers and critics, it seems strange to think back to the time before Mad Max: Fury Road was unleashed in cinemas; here was original Mad Max creator George Miller, returning for the first time in 30 years to the franchise that made his name, after taking some unusual directorial detours (both Happy Feet films as well as Babe: Pig in the City) and following a well-reported difficult production of shooting on location in Namibia. It’s safe to say that no-one was prepared for the Best-Picture-nominated result; a truly ambitious, unhinged masterpiece of kinetic film-making which favours practical effects (those stunts!) and still feels miles ahead of anything else in the genre.

"This is action cinema as pure cinema..."

This is a film which immerses you in its deranged, apocalyptic nightmare of a world from the word go, and doesn’t let up for its entire runtime. A minimal story which could easily have become bogged down in unnecessary exposition by a lesser filmmaker is kept as lean as one of its crazed, malnourished supporting cast; Max himself is more or less relegated to a supporting role (played to manic, wide-eyed perfection by Tom Hardy) - a “blood bag”, captured within the first ten minutes by savage wasteland-dwellers. The real star is Charlize Theron’s now-iconic Imperator Furiosa, a complex, lethal character whose own quest for redemption forms the backbone of the film’s narrative. 

Mad Max: Fury Road is a film which begs to be experienced on the big screen, where its cacophony of precision-edited (Margaret Sixel deservedly won an Academy Award for her efforts), chaotic violence feels positively overwhelming and the roaring sounds of engines and screaming lunatics is utterly immersive. This is action cinema as pure cinema, and is, simply put, one of the most essential films of the last 20 years.

Screening as part of our #DCA20 birthday festivities - see any two films in the selection for the price of one when you book together!