Ah, 2015, a simpler time. Back when we still thought the apocalypse would look like a desert wasteland and not humanity being oppressed by our inevitable AI overlords. That's the vision of the Mad Max franchise, and sadly, the entire series of movies is leaving Amazon Prime Video this week.
Depending on your thoughts on Mel Gibson, that's not necessarily a great loss, but 2015's Tom Hardy-led instalment Mad Max: Fury Road is the best of the series, and unfortunately leaving too. With 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, I'm not the only one who's going to miss it when it rides off into the sunset on the 21st of October.
There's a long-running joke that the world of Mad Max is just what Australia is like, and if it wasn't for all the danger, I'm tempted to say count me in. This is a movie that never gives you a chance to breathe, it's George Miller's masterpiece (aside from Babe: Pig in the City). A passion project that Miller spent decades languishing over, it rightfully won six of the eight Oscars it was up for.
Those wins include best editing, which Miller's wife Margaret Sixel was responsible for. It's easy to see why too. The whole movie is essentially one long chase sequence with Max (Tom Hardy) and Furiosa (a superb Charlize Theron) on the run from Warlord Immortan Joe, but it's still remarkably coherent and easy to follow.
The best thing about Mad Max is well... it's Mad. One just needs a second of watching Nux or the Doof Warrior, a kind of post-apocalyptic bugler who plays a fire-spewing guitar, to realise just how absurd, and awesome it is. But on top of that, you have some of the best-named characters in movie history. Anyone have anything that can beat the likes of The Organic Mechanic, Toast the Knowing, The Bullet Farmer or Rictus Erectus?
If you're wondering where this removal leaves the Mad Max franchise, then don't worry. There's a Furiosa spin-off movie expected to arrive in 2024. If you need an action movie fix to tide you over till then, why not try one of my favourites on Netflix.