This was the very best of the movies I saw as part of the blockbuster marathon.
The stakes here are clear and are established without tedious explication. The coherent but enigmatic world is a composite of moods and details built up with small touches across the two hours. Archetypes are evoked to great effect. (A high point are the people on stilts in the fog.)
Tom Hardy’s and Charlize Theron’s performances are wonderfully physical. Theron’s Furiosa has a psychology as layered as the film’s world. Easily as good a performance as her work in Snow White.
The story itself is straightforward, unapologetic, and without tricks. Characters’ motivations are clear and compelling. Trapped, a group of people try to escape to a better world, but when they get there, that world is no better than where they left. So they go back with the goal of remaking the world they knew. In the process, they bring the narrative full circle, a satisfying conclusion that here, unlike in so many of the other blockbusters (all of which quote early lines late in the film hoping to create the same effect), feels like storytelling rather than gimmickry .