Avengers: Age of Ultron continues to dominate the U.S. box office, but this weekend a new contender enters: Mad Max: Fury Road. Already the film has earned rave reviews from critics, is sitting with an almost unheard of 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has even garnered praise for its refreshingly feminist approach to the action movie genre.
This fourth film in George Miller’s Mad Max franchise finds its titular hero pulled into a wild escape plan to ferry an evil warlord’s prized breeders (a.k.a. women) across the bleached and brutal desert to safety. For this installment, the monosyllabic Max is played by Tom Hardy, but the role was originated by then unknown Australian actor, Mel Gibson. Gibson went on to star in both of the original Mad Max‘s sequels – The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome – before becoming one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.
Gibson’s starpower has waned somewhat in recent years due to his off-screen behavior, but he remains a Hollywood heavyweight. And when Miller premiered his latest installment in the Mad Max series he wanted the original Max there with him. Speaking with Vanity Fair, Miller shared how Gibson reacted to seeing the franchise he helped create live again on the big screen:
“[Mel] was at the premiere of the movie and I sat next to him. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Mel is someone who, in a sense, cannot lie. And he started chuckling during the movie and I thought, There’s that chuckle I remember! Mel kept chuckling and he started digging me in the ribs. . . . He gave me great perspective because he is a great actor, but in the end he is a really great director.”
It isn’t hard to believe that a film which seems to earn acclaim at every turn has also earned the approval of the franchise’s original Max, but it’s a welcomed seal of approval nonetheless. And while the budget of Fury Road far exceeds anything Miller had for his previous installments, what’s at the heart of the series are its insanely choreographed car chases and impressive stunt work. And that something Gibson surely appreciates, having had to endure the grueling process himself years ago.
The legacy of the Mad Max series has appeared in some of Fury Road‘s marketing, but overall the film doesn’t require all that much familiarity with the previous installments. The bigger takeaway from Fury Road is where does Miller want Max to go next? For the time being, however, Miller just wants a chance to catch his breath, replying with “I’m just not recovered enough to get into it,” when asked about a sequel.
How Mad Mad: Fury Road performs this weekend is likely the larger concern when it comes to securing a sequel, but what about you Screen Rant readers? Will you be checking out Fury Road in theaters? And were a sequel to happen, would something tying it back to first trilogy – like a cameo for Mel Gibson – be something you’d want to see? Drop us a line in the comments below!
Mad Max: Fury Road opens in U.S. theaters on May 15th, 2015. Check back here on that day for Screen Rant’s official review!
Source: Vanity Fair