I am exhausted. Physically and mentally whipped. Picked up, turned around, shaken, slapped and gut punched. And I loved every minute of it. That is the way MAD MAX: FURY ROAD leaves you after two hours. Here’s the scenario. Mad Max (Tom Hardy, a welcome change from the terminally overacting Mel Gibson) continues to roam the post apocalyptic landscape searching for meaning and trying to escape the tragedies that continue to haunt him. He is captured by a gang of well, I’m not sure what they are. Survivors, who follow a leader named Immortan Joe who wears a breathing mask adorned with skeleton teeth. So yeah, he’s a bad dude. They are scouring the landscape for healthy people to keep them alive. Max is captured and taken to the Citadel, Joe’s, well Citadel. He’s being used for his blood to keep Nicholas Hoult’s character alive. At the same time, Imperator Furiosa is driving a war rig to get fuel. At least that’s what everyone thinks. She is really stealing Joe’s “wives” (just breeding stock) and taking them to freedom. And here is where MAD MAX separates from the usual fare in this genre. Max really isn’t the driving force of this film. It’s Furiosa. Her force and power are what pushes these rebels across the landscape seeking escape. Max is there and he is decidedly Mad, but he is merely along for the ride here, helping Furiosa find what they are both really seeking… redemption. The story is great. The action is greater. This isn’t a CGI-fest. Most of this is actual cars and real actors. As good as the computer stuff can be, nothing is as good as real set pieces. And FURY ROAD is packed with them. Wall to wall. Loud. Furious. Stunning. It sucks you into its world and you feel everything. It’s visually stunning. It looks and feels dry and desperate. George Miller took it to the next level to make his masterpiece. Miller co-wrote the script and directed this and it’s mind blowing. How someone can come up with all of this is unfathomable to me. It’s psycho and wacko and brilliant. It has heart and action, proof the two are not mutually exclusive (I’ll once again throw Michael Bay to the wolves here, since this is his milieu). This movie is pure genius and pure entertainment. Climb on your own war rig and race to a theater. You’d be mad not to see FURY ROAD. — Alan Yudman

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