New ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Synopsis and Early Screening Reactions

Published 12 months ago by , Updated May 12th, 2014 at 8:55 am,

Tom Hardy as Max in Mad Max Fury Road New Mad Max: Fury Road Synopsis and Early Screening Reactions

Fans of George Miller’s Mad Max movies have been waiting a long time for the fourth installment in the series. It’s been almost thirty years since the release of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, which starred a young Mel Gibson as the tough survivalist with a tragic past, and next year Max Rockatansky will return to theaters once again in Mad Max: Fury Road. Gibson himself won’t be in the movie, even for a cameo, but The Dark Knight Rises star Tom Hardy has taken up the mantle and definitely looks the part after being kitted out in grim, post-apocalyptic gear.

Speaking on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road earlier this year, Miller said that early screenings of footage were “testing extremely well,” and Warner Bros. held the first full screening in Burbank this week. Keep in mind that the version of Mad Max: Fury Road that was screened was only a rough cut that was a little over 2 hours long and still had a lot of sound, music and FX work to be done in post-production – not to mention conversion to 3D. There’s still over a year to go until Mad Max: Fury Road arrives in theaters, and a lot could change between now and then.

Caveat in place, the first reactions to this early cut of Mad Max: Fury Road have now made their way online. The most detailed assessment of the preview comes from AFTimes and was written by a self-confessed “HUGE Mad Max fan,” who summed up his impressions with a lot of enthusiasm:

“What is Mad Max Fury Road? It isn’t NOT [sic] the first Mad Max. It isn’t NOT [sic] the MM-Beyond Thunderdome. It is not the movie that 1985 Randy walking out of a movie theater in Plymouth, MA, having been only slightly sated after waiting so long for sequel. This IS the kind of Mad Max II/The Road Warrior on steroids, go-big-or-go-home, bug-nuts crazy, toss-you-in-the-deep-end mythology and put-it-all-out-there-in-case-we-never-make-another-one Mad Max Fury Road.

“This movie feels like thirty years of Miller holding in passion for a world that he built so long ago, exploding on the screen… You want groovy cars? By the car-carrier load! You want auto combat? Parts strewn for miles! You want practical f/x and stunts? I wonder how many on the stunt team died making this madness?!”

That sounds like a very definite fan thumbs-up, and other reactions have been positive as well. Adam Lamar promises that moviegoers are “in for a treat,” and Kevin West says that although it was “weird to not see Gibson as Max… Tom Hardy holds it down just fine,” adding that the movie has “great action sequences and amazing post apocalyptic vehicles and costuming with awesome makeup.”

Mad Max Fury Road vehicles New Mad Max: Fury Road Synopsis and Early Screening Reactions

A post-apocalyptic vehicle from ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

AFTimes also posted a new synopsis for Mad Max: Fury Road, which offers some new details about Charlize Theron’s character, Imperator Furiosa. The rest of the cast includes Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Zoë Kravitz (Divergent) and Josh Helman (Jack Reacher).

“MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is the fourth film of George Miller‘s Road Warrior/Mad Max franchise co-written and directed by Miller. The post-apocalyptic action film is set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and most everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life.

“Within this world of fire and blood exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order… There’s Max (played by TOM HARDY from The Dark Knight Rises), a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos.

“And… Furiosa (played by CHARLIZE THERON from Prometheus), a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.”

It might have the approval of a die-hard fan, but will Mad Max: Fury Road be able to impress the average moviegoer as much as it pleases those who are already in love with the series?


Mad Max: Fury Road will release in U.S. theaters on May 15, 2015.

Source: AFTimes (via The Film Stage)

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  1. so what took this film so long to come out? didn’t it film a while back? what’s taking so long?

    • According to Miller, Warner Bros pushed it to a summer 2015 release date because they were confident in its box office potential. Releasing it in October or November would have meant a smaller crowd, since less people go to the movies during those months.

      • Yep
        That’s why the hunger games and skyfall were huge flops
        People see movies they want to see no matter the time of the year
        Plenty of movies flops in the summer

        • False equivalencies.

          As a huge Mad Max fan, of all the movies, I’m well aware that it’s a small club compared to the broader appeal of Hunger Games and James Bond.

        • I’m talking about broader patterns, not outliers. On average for the past 5 years, the total domestic box office take for October was $620 million. By contrast, the total for May was over $1.2 billion – nearly twice as much.

          Movies make more money in summer than they do in the fall. It’s a pretty well-known fact, not to mention an easily provable one.

          • I’m not disagreeing with you that movies tend to make more in the summer, but isn’t it kind of a two way street? Summer movies tend to make bank, but studios also hold off on releasing their big movies until summer, so obviously it’s the bigger movie season. November/December don’t tend to make as much cause thats usually when studios release all their artsy-type movies for the oscar push. Of course these tend to not make much dinero. Huge blockbusters are gonna make loads of money regardless of the month. Both Titanic and Avatar were released in December – maybe James Cameron knows something we don’t…

        • Have to agree with you on that. if a movie is really popular, it will make a lot of money regardless of what month it is

          • A lot yes?
            As much? who knows.

            Had Hunger Games been released in the summer it might have made much more.
            or… much less.

      • We had huge floods in Australia right around the time they were going in to production. After the floods there was a tone of growth and it wasn’t exactly looking like a wasteland so they had to re-scout, before ending up in west Africa.

      • *Laughs* Well, if it still fails they wont be able to blame the picked Release Date for it.. I really REALLY do hope they will bring back Max´s Car that he used in Mad Max 2, even tho it was bought from a Private Person and now resides in a Car Museum.

        • “That’s the last of the V8 Interceptors, would’ve been a shame to blow it up”

        • If you watch the trailer for the new film you’ll see the car and what happens to it.

  2. All I can say is, “Hell Yeah!!!!”

  3. So f*ing pumped!!! Thanks for the article!

  4. While I’m still young, please!

  5. I have been waiting in anticipation for this one. I am hoping it has a solid “R” rating and is a worthy sequel to Road Warrior. I really just want to forget Thunderdome.

    • Forget it? No way! Love Thunderdome! I admit that it dissappointed at first, and took me a long time to warm to it, but I really love it now. Honestly, I think if they’d tried to merely ramp up Road Warrior, the series wouldn’t have gone on to last in our culture the way it has. “Thunderdome” and “two men enter” are part of our dialogue. That movie took a logical progression of that world and still told Max’s story, which is basically the reluctant hero. I like Thunderdome because it took a huge risk and did something different from what the audience wanted. It was original. I liked the kids too. They were cute but savage and they developed their own mythos about the world.

      Just my opinion. Love the Road Warrior of course. Can’t beat that one, but maybe they were wise not to try.

        • Master Blaster and that fight are iconic too. Thunderdome could have pulled back on some cutesy stuff and music, and Max talked too much, but it never went completely overboard either. I don’t know. That movie has really grown on me over the years, to my surprise.

          I’m totally on board for more Road Warrior action. I’ll be happy if this does turn out to be good.

      • I love Thunderdome up until the kids find him, then it’s just okay. That transition completely changed the tone of the film for me.

        • I like the kids and think the music is what actually pushed them over the top in cuteness. Otherwise they are equal parts cute and creepy, and they are convincingly played as rather lost and savage even as they cling to scarce memories. Also, you have to notice that a lot of the kids are way too young, and one of the girl characters described as “about to pop.” So they are obviously familiar with sex and pregnancies. Nice realistic touch that typical Hollywood wouldn’t have risked. I love the scene on the train when they try to play the record.

          I compare the kids to the Ewoks, and the kids are done way better. Also the unmasking of MasterBlaster is a lot better than the Darth Vadar stuff in ROTJ. However, I think the feral kid in Warrior blows all the kids away in Thunderdome. Not a fair fight.

          Anyway, I’m not going to think I can convince anyone, and I understand the opinions. But I encourage people to give this movie another shot sometime.

      • I agree totally!

  6. I like sand and desperation.

  7. “… the world of fire and blood…”

    Will there be dragons?? 0_0

  8. YES! And Mr. Hardy is brilliant!

  9. Wow iam supposed to be exicted about this porous supporting cast whose biggest claim to fame
    is the franchises they starred. Need to see more before i decide.

    • Naming the most recent movie they’ve starred in (that the general public will have heard of) isn’t a new thing. Lots of movie journalists do it, SR do it too. Sometimes, it really helps people who may have heard the name but couldn’t think where (like over here, people could see the name “Chris Evans” and wouldn’t know what he’s appeared in unless they name one of the recent Marvel films he’s starred in, plus the fact that for the past 25-30 years, we’ve had a prominent radio DJ/TV presenter/production company and multimedia owner also called Chris Evans and that’s who British people immediately think of when you say that name).

    • Dazz, if you’re a Tom Hardy fan, you’ve got to see “Bronson” (2009). I never heard of Tom Hardy back then, and someone turned me on this small English movie. It’s incredible, one of the best movies I’ve seen in the last few years. But be prepared for the level of violence. Hardy is one of the best, little known actors working, and watch, he will “blow up” in the next few years.

      • Yep, saw Bronson when it first released, seen it a few times on TV since.

        It’s a little too “hero worship” compared to what the real Charles Bronson is like but Tom got it spot on. I was disappointed that he never got to wear a false beard like Bronson’s real facial fuzz of the last couple of decades.

    • Hands down the best one out of the trilogy is Road Warrior. It was a more fluid “in your face” movie that was leaps and bounds better than Mad Max. Mad Max was a decent film in it’s own rights. Thunderdome tried to copy Road Warrior in some ways but just never caught on with me. Solid flick but not as good as Road Warrior. IMO Road Warrior is one of those movies that if shown in a theater today would still be a hit at theaters. I like to watch the beginning of Road Warrior with the song “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” by Lamb of God. Turn the song on about 10-15 seconds into the monologue, now that is good stuff. :)

      • I actually saw The Road Warrior for the first time a few years ago and several viewings later, I still can’t really see it as the best of the trilogy. It just felt kind of empty to me in terms of what was going on while the first one had the perfect balance of long, drawn out scenes with beautiful landscape shots and natural conversation and quick bursts of action (that chase that starts when Max’s wife panics and gets into her car outside the garage right up until she and her son die is still more terrifying than a lot of modern horror films in my opinion, the tension is just perfect).

        I wouldn’t put Thunderdome as better than Road Warrior but at the same time, I’d also put those two as equal to each other.

        • I admire your opinion Dazz, but I think you are sorely mistaken on Road Warrior being on equal ground to Thunderdome and less superior than Mad Max. The Road Warrior received critical acclaim as one of the best movies to come out in the 80’s and is highly taunted as the best one of the trilogy. Rotten Tomatoes (yeah I hate ’em but can’t argue this) gave it a 100 rating. The wide panoramic shots of the Australian outback and the costume design also was critically acclaimed. I guess you are in the minority on this one, Dazz.

    • I will admit to being tired while writing, as well as doing impression rather than a detailed review, since the film will have work done on it.

      Anything I can clarify?

      • Nope, nothing to clarify here, boss, your enthusiasm was clear and got me extra excited for it, just took a few attempts to understand what you meant in that first sentence.

  10. Cant wait to see at least a glimpse on screen

  11. Summer 2015? Good god, didn’t they do the filming in early 2013? That’s an insane post-production schedule. Huge Mad Max fan here, can’t wait!!! I remember going to The Road Warrior in the theater with my older brother, knowing nothing about it other than cars/action. It was one of those “holy s***” movie moments that don’t come often.

  12. Thunderdome was alright but it had too much comedy bits in it compared to the first two. Not what I wanted.

  13. I saw the screening in Burbank and disagree with AFTimes reaction. This movie needs A LOT of work and obviously I know I saw rough cut of the movie BUT the story alone wasn’t satisfying. It left me with A LOT of questions unanswered. I really hope they improve the story and character development by the time it’s final cut.

  14. Super-stoked for this flick, more than anything else. I recall reading once that they were making TWO Mad Max movies; is it possible that’s why they went back for re-shoots? To have enough material to split it into two pictures? That would also explain the comments from Julio Garcia-Solares that there are unanswered questions.

    In any event, all the positive buzz has me eagerly anticipating next May (and the opening date is also a good harbinger; that’s a date for a movie the studio’s got a lot of faith in).

    And I agree with the guy who said the first half of “Thunderdome” is on par with anything in the franchise; it’s the second half that gets all Spielberg-ian at his worst. Once the kids show up, it goes seriously downhill.


  15. Who cares about the average movie goer. this movie was made just for me :) :) and all the other max fans!