Mad Max: Fury Road

Rated 3.0

The first Mad Max movie in 30 years has Tom Hardy stepping in for Mel Gibson as the cop-turned-vigilante-loner roving a post-apocalyptic world. Here our antihero teams up cautiously with a female warrior (Charlize Theron) as the two seek to escape from a savage warlord (Hugh Keays-Byrne), taking the tyrant's five wives with them to freedom. The script by Brendan McCarthy, Nico Lathouris and director George Miller wastes little time on subtlety—or dialogue, for that matter; its few words are often mumbled or bellowed into unintelligibility. But it hardly matters; the movie is one long-running battle scene expertly staged and paced by Miller, with a judicious use of CGI that doesn't insult us with the blatantly impossible. All we really need to know is who the good guys are, and Miller gives us that. J.L.