'Mad Max: Fury Road' Photos - Let's Over-Analyze The Trailer

Just hours after I called Mad Max: Fury Road my most anticipated film of 2015 (other staff members, such as Germain, have a different film in their top ranks) the new trailer dropped, and melted the face off the internet. This trailer is total visual overload, with very little indication of the story to come. In fact, from what we know of Fury Road, that isn't even a misrepresentation of the film. Like The Road Warrior, this is said to be primarily an action-heavy chase film, without much dialogue at all.

Still, there are some significant clues to take out of this new trailer. Below we've got dozens of Mad Max Fury Road photos from the new footage, and a lot of info about what's to come in the film. Let's over-analyze the trailer after the break.

The trailer opens with a dark screen and a voiceover intoning "my world is fire and blood," followed by a succession of news reports outlining some of the basic problems facing the world itself: water wars, and combat over gasoline. So: pretty much the same state things were in during the past Mad Max films.

The first real image we see is of a long desert road, an oil derrick visible on the right and, maybe off in the distance, an actual oil refinery. Or some sort of civilized outpost, at least.


The "we are killing for gasoline" news report is heard over footage of these guys, who appear to be the prime antagonistic force in the film. They've got a totem that we'll see again, and their white-painted faces and bodies are seriously off-putting.


The attention-getting details in this shot are clearly the signal flares exploding in the foreground, but way down on the ground we see a huge host of vehicles that appears to be chasing one lone front-runner. We'll see this sort of chase throughout the trailer. That probably isn't Max in the front vehicle, but Furiosa. Who's she?


"Here they come again," we hear, as a group of vehicles moves through frame. These are the same white-painted guys seen above, and it looks like they're just starting to move out. Does this shot take place before the chase seen above? Probably.


As that "here they come again" line finishes we push in on a nice closeup of Tom Hardy as Max. But is that his voice we hear? Possibly not; other Mad Max films have been narrated by characters other than Max, who is typically a relatively quiet participant.


There's a bit of action, and then this shot of the chief villain, Immortan Joe, played by Hugh Keays-Byrne. That's the same actor who played the Toecutter in the original Mad Max, but his two roles have nothing to do with one another. He's got a huge group of angry dudes with him, a couple of which are holding up the same steering wheel totem seen in the blue-hued shot above.


The line "everybody's gone out of their mind" is accompanied by this warrior, who roars and shakes a couple spears before leaping into action. But what's on the tip of those spears?


Yeah, those are explosives; this guy is a suicide bomber. So these fanatics are truly crazy. The guy in the facemask strapped to the front of the hot rod in the foreground — the leftmost car — is Max. So this is well into the action.


The small explosion from the suicide bomber is made to look huge by a deft cut with this much larger explosion that seems to engulf a whole tanker. That tanker, by the way, will probably remind fans of The Road Warrior, though this one appears to be filled with the correct cargo.

Oh, and what's that vehicle on the right? Some sort of truck, with drums in the back? We'll see that again soon.


Our second full shot of Max is barely a real shot of the guy at all. It's a good reminder that, in these films, the "hero" is not a hero in any traditional action movie sense, and an indicator that little has changed for Fury Road.


One of the cooler shots in the trailer is a simple pan across a whole bunch of moving vehicles as they race through the dust towards a gigantic storm.


I love this creepy shot, of a heated brand that bears an iconic version of the same steering wheel totem we've already seen big and small throughout this trailer. It will show up again in a few different contexts, to reinforce that the bad guys are everywhere.


As all this has been going on we've heard the voice of Charlize Theron, saying "Out here everything hurts. You want to get through this? Do as I say. Now pick up what you can and run." But she's probably not talking to Max. She's almost certainly talking to the women that she is stealing away from Immortan Joe, a couple of whom are seen behind her here.


As she finishes speaking the music hits a crest and Max, face still bound in a mask, finally pulls himself out of the dust. Is this Max after he escapes being bound on the front of that car, as seen above? Probably.


And then the action really kicks into high gear.


And then we see the totem again, just to drive the point home that it is the sign of the bad guys.


Furiosa drops to the ground in anguish, or anger, or... something. What's the source of her emotion? Has she discovered the women held by Joe? Has she lost them again? Or is this a sneaky shot from the end of the film?


Now this is interesting. We meet Nicholas Hoult, playing one of Joe's cohort, and one who seems to be slightly less psychotic, or at least differently psychotic from the rest. And clinging to the back of his car... yep, that's Max, still in his face mask. We'll see what could be a reverse of this shot at the end of the trailer.


Then one of the cooler quick cuts in the trailer, giving us a good look at that truck full of drummers — and it appears to be in the process of being lowered from some height, possibly by crane? In the background we see what appears to be the home of Immortan Joe's crazy force.


This guy means business. Who is he? Probably Nathan Jones, playing a guy with the friendly name Rictus Erectus.


Un-masked Max, beats the crap out of someone.


Another good shot of the hot rod with masked Max bound in front like the only hood ornament likely to be named "sexiest hood ornament alive" by People Magazine.


The car in the foreground is spitting flame, so it gets a lot of attention here, but on the right we see the truck 'o drummers again. And there are details here not as easily seen before. Namely, there's a lot more strapped to this thing than we've seen so far.


Furiosa and Immortan Joe appear to race towards one another. Furiosa isn't alone here; not only are a couple of the women with her, but Nicholas Hoult is there, too. Does he help Furiosa free the women?


Then there's a flurry of action.


Who's this guy? He's new. Or is he? This looks a bit like Hugh Keays-Byrne under some different makeup — could this be a flashback to Immortan Joe in the past?


We see a close-up of a horrific chastity belt, as a pair of bolt cutters snaps the lock holding it in place. Clearly this is one of the women who is later in the care of Furiosa — is that Theron wielding the bolt cutters?


These guys really take that totem symbol to heart.


See what I mean? There are a few people visible just above the waterfall there, in a booth worthy of a Roman gladiator arena.


A close-up of someone who appears to be Hoult, showing that he's not nearly as crazy as the rest of his kind.


A great shot of Theron taking aim.


One of the few good shots of a woman other than Furiosa, but the context for this one is unclear. There's no chastity belt, at least.


Here's that mystery guy again, now with eyes bound.


A near escape, which begins a montage of intense action.


Hey there, Furiosa has a surprise. We haven't seen a proper shot of that bionic arm in the trailer until now. So she's got a crazier history than we had imagined.


Now there's a great sequence featuring someone — Max, apparently — raised on a pole, passing through frame. But what's on the left, there? Yep, it's the truck with the drums in the back, now revealed to have a stage with giant speaker stacks facing forward. Even better, there's a guy on stage playing guitar!


And here's the part where Max takes control of the guitar, WHICH IS ALSO A FLAMETHROWER, to fight one of Immortan Joe's guys. Just stare at this GIF for a while.


We get quick shots of the primary cast — Hardy, Theron, and Hoult.


And then it's money shot all the way. This is the money shot, the new textbook example of how to go way over the top.


Throughout this sequence, Max is clinging to the back of car, presumably the same one driven by Hoult we saw earlier in the trailer. The camera pushes in on him just to show us a little scale.


Finally, Furiosa asks Max his name, and he replies in that way that is characteristic of the guy: with silence.



So what did we miss, and what did we get wrong? Let us know below.

Mad Max: Fury Road opens on May 15, 2015.