Action fans will not be disappointed

MoviesBy Esther McCarthy
Immense: Hardy and Theron give excellent performances
Immense: Hardy and Theron give excellent performances

Action junkies get their fix — and a lot more besides — in this Mad Max reboot that builds its pace early on and never lets go.

Veteran Australian film-maker George Miller returns to the film franchise that heralded him as a movie maker to be reckoned with way back in 1979, turning a young Mel Gibson into a megastar along the way. 

Miller proves he still knows how to do action, and this time has cast British talent Tom Hardy as the mysterious Max. 

Hardy equips himself well, but the movie is stolen from under his nose by his leading lady. 

As Furiosa, a woman attempting to rescue others by speeding them across a vast desert, Theron is terrific — tough, fierce, but with real emotional depth too. 

The South African actress makes the very most of that rare thing — a well-written female role — and gives us a sci-fi warrior who feels instantly iconic. Poor Max didn’t stand a chance. 

The movie finds its balance following a batty opening half hour in which every character is so dialled up it’s initially difficult to figure out what’s going on. 

The story is set in a dystopian near future, where what is left of the world following a series of catastrophes is ruled by the evil King Immortan Joe. He’s the self-styled leader who, along with his army of War Boys, captures and tortures any threat  — including former highway patrolman Max. 

When he manages to free himself from the army and make his way across the barren desert territory known as The Wasteland, he meets others who are making their escape. 

Furiosa (Theron) has the firepower and the (spectacular) vehicle and custody of the Five Wives — women who the leader wants to use to breed a twisted new generation in his own likeness. 

With Max’s knowledge of the terrain and Furiosa’s arsenal of weapons, their best hope of getting to safer territory — known as The Green Place of Furiosa’s memory — is to join forces. 

Fury Road doesn’t have a subtle bone in its body and the high-octane elements of every character and situation are initially distracting. Teething problems aside, it builds into a spectacular action movie, with fine lead performances. 

Verdict: 4/5