The arrival of any new DVD at HeroPress Towers is cause for much excitement, but it's been many years since I've been quite as hyped to see a film as I was for Mad Max: Fury Road.
And, boy, did this deliver.
With a running time of just shy of two hours, Mad Max: Fury Road is essentially one-long chase sequence from the get-go.
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, disturbed loner Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) is captured by marauders loyal to the warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), who controls the area's water supply.
Around the same time, Joe's lieutenant, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), is supposedly going on a supply run.
However, she goes rogue instead, having liberated Joe's captive wives, determined to get the women to the safety of 'The Green Place'.
Max, as the prisoner of one of Joe's 'warboys', Nux (Nicholas Hoult), gets swept up in the pursuit of Furiosa and her precious cargo.
And so begins the non-stop action.
For the most part, the Mad Max movies have been known for their car chases and Fury Road turns this up to 11, with its never-ending convoys of tricked-out cars, petrol tankers, trikes and motorbikes.
This is an immersive, visceral experience, accented by director George Miller's reliance on practical effects and death-defying stunts. If you take a breath during the action beats you're clearly not paying attention.
Don't expect layered character arcs or deep emotional sub-plots, Fury Road is all about grinding metal, the smell of fire and gasoline, gun shots, explosions, and high-speed crashes.
Tom Hardy - once in the frame to play Hawk in an early iteration of Hawk The Hunter, trivia fans - is a worthy successor to Mel Gibson in the role of Max, his gravelly, almost Bane-like, voice (but more understandable) reminding us that Max has spent many years alone, with only the ghosts of his past to talk to.
Miller sets up an interesting narrative dynamic, with the movie's titular star being a passive participant in the excitement for the first 20 minutes or so.
But while Furiosa initiates the main plot, Max soon becomes her agent of change, without whom she would not be able to reach her goal.
There are stylistic and thematic nods to all three of the original Mad Max films here (I'm not entirely sure where this fits in the chronology, not that it matters), but it works perfectly well as a stand-alone piece for those who haven't seen the earlier trilogy.
For a bit more background on the world of Mad Max (which is dream fodder for wargaming and RPGing), check out these three short, faux history featurettes: