Film review: Mad Max: Fury Road (15)***

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Writer-director George Miller returns to the post-apocalyptic nightmare of Mad Max in this fourth instalment of the action-packed franchise.

Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) rules the Citadel with an iron fist and he intends to mastermind the propagation of mankind in his own cruel image using The Wives: five young women called Splendid (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), Capable (Riley Keough), Toast (Zoe Kravitz), The Dag (Abbey Lee) and Fragile (Courtney Eaton), who are slaves to Immortan Joe’s desires.

An elite Imperator called Furiosa (Charlize Theron) kidnaps these women and flees across the Wasteland.

Immortan Joe and his army give chase in their war rigs, one of which has a figurehead: loner called Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy).

During the ensuing battle, Max breaks free of his chains and agrees to help Furiosa and The Wives evade the clutches of Immortan Joe. Max has knowledge of the Wasteland and can help the fugitives find sanctuary in the deadly shifting sands.

In the process, Max lights a fuse on a bitter and bloody road war between Furiosa and her bloodthirsty pursuers.