'Mad Max: Fury Road' has been in development for so long, that the odd were stacked against its completion, but the fourth entry in director George Miller's "Mad Max" series is finished, and the first official trailer debuted at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con.
On Sunday, July 27, 2014, the trailer was released online, and the first impression may draw mixed reactions from longtime fans of the series. Actor Tom Hardy takes over the role that made Mel Gibson a star, and his grizzled demeanor seems to fit the character perfectly. But the tonality/pacing of the trailer is unusual to say the least.
It kicks off with Max beside his trusty interceptor cruiser and a brief voiceover; "My name is Max; my world is fire and blood." He then takes off riding and things quickly derail into chaos. He's soon captured, shorn and forcibly tattooed by a group of road-raging punks. Then he gets muzzled with a metal mask (Bane reference?) and strapped to the front of a racing car.
We then see shots of Charlize Theron's character and her female compatriots in pursuit of Max's captors. More shots ensue of fiery dust devils, and the type of car chase mayhem that Miller excels in. We also see a brief shot of the main masked villain, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who also played the Toecutter in Miller's first "Mad Max' film).
But there is a slick digital sheen hanging over the proceedings that could be off putting for those longing for the more practical car chase sequences from the original series (although Miller claims digital effects were kept to a minimum). The electronic score by Junkie XL makes this even more jarring.
The film is also interesting in that it isn't quite a sequel or a prequel. Which begs the question; how did Max's interceptor survive being blown up in "The Road Warrior" and is the film an apologia for the panned kiddie-friendly "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome?"
It'll be interesting to see if "Fury Road" will be rated R, or be a more bloodless entry to get a PG-13 rating. We'll just have to wait and see how things turn out when "Fury Road' is released on May 15, 2015.
So take a look at the trailer for yourself, and weigh in with your thoughts (excited? concerned?) in the comments.