Stuck in development turmoil for years, Mad Max: Fury Road – the fourth in the franchise – returns us to George Miller’s one-of-a-kind post-apocalyptic badlands for a full-throttle, action-packed whirlwind of elite madness. Haunted by his past and left wandering the harsh desert alone, Max (Tom Hardy) is unwittingly swept up in a desperate attempt to flee the tyrannical clutches of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) lead by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). After a short and sweet set up, Mad Max: Fury Road explodes into life as a heady clash of wits, supped up vehicles and explosives across a desolated landscape. The script is streamlined – basic, even – in favour of out-and-out action, each scene as breathtaking as the last – a feat made even more impressive by the use of practical effects over CG. But the reason behind Furiosa’s escape with her fellow fugitives ensures that there’s pockets of emotional and meaning laced throughout. Hardy assumes the role of Max from Mel Gibson, quickly proving himself a natural fit for the terse loner, while Theron, never one to be outshone, is his equal every step of the way. Mad Max: Fury Road rises above its turbulent existence like a stubborn mule to become an adrenaline-fuelled blockbuster on some serious acid.