Ever since movie fans got their first glimpse of the reimagined, rusted dystopia of Mad Max: Fury Road at Comic-Con last year, there has been little doubt of the film's visual - or explosive - faithfulness to its three predecessors. Though Tom Hardy is replacing franchise veteran Mel Gibson behind the wheel, the barren, post-apocalyptic world feels the same as it did 30 years ago (just a bit more saturated).
While daunting, the wait between installments may have been worth it, considering the film industry's advancements in CGI technology. With richer colors, though still corroded, and grander effects, Fury Road's previous trailers have more successfully widened the gap between present day and Max's ironically primitive future. The result? A cohesively unsettling world infinitely different from our own. And the final trailer only further cements this divergence, setting up a new partnership for survival in the face of violent, anarchic war.
The final trailer for Mad Max's fourth ride sets the titular loner and Charlize Theron's intriguing new character, Furiosa, on a dangerous quest to cross the desert and escape their demonic enemies. As painted by the various teasers and posters, the film's world of blood and fire is as close to a literal hell on Earth as we can imagine, that would still necessitate cross-country travel.
This final trailer, especially, highlights the disturbing level of giddy, savage psychosis that pollutes many of the less-than-moral characters inhabiting the desert wasteland. At one point, an eerily hypnotic song croons repeatedly in the background, "Save yourself." Considering Max's tragic past - in which he lost both his wife and child - the haunting lyric poses a compelling question: will he risk future loss and form a relationship with Furiosa - or save himself when it comes down to it?
But that's not Max's only dilemma: with a sequel already penned, and Tom Hardy signing on for three more installments, the hero's future survival depends heavily upon Fury Road having more than a few 'lovely days' at the box office. Which, considering this summer's overflow of other franchise additions - including but not even closely limited to Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World - is not a sure thing.
However, with a loyal cult following, a revamped storyline, and an advanced look, Fury Road could put up a respectable fight come May. After all, the world and premise are strengthened by a (tamer) nostalgia not unlike that surrounding the upcoming Star Wars installment (heavy emphasis on 'tamer'). So fans could flock to the theater with a renewed desire to return to Max's mad, mad world.
Will you be among the mad men and women lining up to help Fury Road find success, and a rejuvenated movie franchise along with it? Let us know in the comments.
Mad Max: Fury Road opens in U.S. theaters on May 15, 2015.