by Casey Dewey
"Mad" Max Rockatansky hasn't braved the Australian wastelands since 1985's Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, but that's about to change in 2015. Sort of.
George Miller, the filmmaker from down under who created the Mad Max trilogy, is back in the director's chair for the fourth film in the series, Mad Max: Fury Road. Not returning, however, is the man who was Max. That's right, actor/rogue of ill repute/anger management candidate Mel Gibson won't be donning Max's dusty leathers or loading his trademark sawn-off, double barrel shotgun. This time around, ass-kicking duty is going to the more-than-capable actor Tom Hardy.
The film finally has a release date. Mad Max: Fury Road is opening on May 15, 2015. That's 20 long years after Thunderdome. The Warner Brothers film has been in various forms of production since 2003, but financial turmoil, the Iraq War, weather disasters, and more recently, additional shooting has kept pushing the film's opening date back. Hell, I even remember a time when it was almost certain that Fury Road would be animated. So, is all this development hell worth it? Is this entry necessary?
Will I be there on opening day? Probably, although I don't have high hopes. From glancing at the lone production still and various behind-the-scenes photos of the latest freaked-out hybrid cars/killing machines, I'm not very impressed. Max looks too clean, the cars look like the parking lot at Burning Man. I'm always weary of once-strong directors returning to the films that made their careers. Just look at Ridley Scott's Prometheus. Bleahhh.