Mad Max: Fury Road has had a rough journey getting to this point. Production stalls, weather issues, a long shooting schedule and many reshoots have occurred along the way, but now the very first trailer is available for the public to see for themselves. In this new installment of the Mad Max saga, the titular gruff anti-hero (Tom Hardy) is caught up in a long chase spanning across the desolate desert landscapes. A band of refugees, led by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), are on the run from the vicious warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his gangs looking to recapture them. The paths of these three parties soon intertwine and survival becomes their primary goal in the vehicle clash that ensues.
The footage in this trailer is based on the same scenes recently seen by attendees of the San Diego Comic-Con, and from the looks of it, series visionary George Miller hasn’t lost a step in recreating the post-apocalyptic wasteland he left behind in 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. What’s immediately striking is the gorgeous cinematography from John Seale as the trailer opens on a shot of the downtrodden Max standing by his trusty Interceptor as he surveys the land.
One part of the Mad Max formula I was concerned would be lost over time was the series’ sense of weirdness, but judging by this trailer, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. The grungy production design and wacky costuming that have become staples of these films is left wholly intact. The bigger budget has allowed Miller to go all-out with the visuals, from the modified vehicles-as-weapons to the painful looking crashes that they cause.
The appeal of these movies, apart from Mel Gibson’s iconic performance as Max, has always been their adherence to practical effects for the stunt work. While CGI was certainly used to envision the dust storm sequence shown in this trailer, everything else (as promised by the filmmakers) looks real and dangerous as cars explode into a thousand metal shards and stuntmen perform incredible feats. Some old traditions will always stay fresh.
In that sense, this trailer does a great job of showing that this is truly a Mad Max movie by displaying everything that fans love to see in them. Bringing in Keays-Byrne to play the villain here is certainly a tip of the hat to his (different) villain role as the Toecutter from the very first Mad Max back in 1979, while other elements from The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome are alluded to as well. How Miller will be able to differentiate this revival from previous entries remains to be seen, but there’s a lot of promise shown here that suggests it could succeed in that regard.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD opens in theaters May 15, 2015.