The first Mad Max movie is pretty bad. I think it’s incoherent, disjointed, and barely gets interesting in the second half. The second one is really good and resembles Fury Road the closest. It has a simple, bare-bones plot used as a thread to hang exciting action sequences on. The third was extremely interesting and fascinating as George Miller finally started showing us more of his world, though overall it was not quite as good as the second. Fury Road is by far the best, however, simply because I feel that this is the movie George Miller always wanted to make and he has now made it at a time when he has honed his craft and is in complete and absolute command of it. It also helps that, in between so many mindless, dumb action movies that have little to say, and other equally dumb action movies that beat you over the head with too much of what they’re trying to say, George Miller goes for social commentary that’s broad, earnest, and subtle and still he manages to somehow not lose focus of the fact that his movie is basically a two-hour long chase scene. Miller never fully explains his world or his characters; he gives you only the amount of information you need and that’s it. He gives you a post-apocalyptic world that’s fascinating and you want to explore it more and hope there’s a sequel that does it. Whereas all of the aforementioned action films end up being mind-numbing experiences, Fury Road bursts with energy until the last frame. It also helps that it has a strong, well-developed female lead that doesn’t fall prey to the “Strong Female Character” archetype/cliché (thanks also in large part to Charlize Theron who is a wonderful actress). The action scenes are terrifically well done and the use of practical effects and stunts is greatly appreciated. I think ultimately it’s definitely a film that superficially can be easily dismissed as just another relentless action film (which it is) but there is something deeper there for those willing to consider it seriously.