Mad Max is marketed as the hero of the movie, but he really isn't the main guy. He is literally just along for the ride. This story is post Thunder Dome (I believe) and he really isn't in the mood to save people. Tom Hardy doesn't really speak much in the movie and I like that about him. The silent hero is a bit of throwback to those 70s action movies where the main guy isn't too keen to get involved. But, he turns out become a hero.
Hardy fills in the role that Gibson used to play nicely. Again, the role doesn't require him to speak that much, but Gibson was the same way. I can't choose who was better in the role of Mad Max, but I can say Hardy is good. I like Hardy better as a person though.
Charlize Theron is the main hero in the movie and the one that has a character arc. Theron is simply great as the woman that decides to become a hero after working for these cult members for so long. She has had enough and embarks on this strange rescue mission. Theron has never been more kickass. While I heard Theron and Hardy didn't get along on set, they're chemistry is very good. She is the reason to watch this movie. This is how you write a female action hero.
Feminist controversy: I don't know where all this came from and I just stayed out of this discussion/shouting match. For one, I didn't give a shit either way. However, feminists and MRAs took sides on what the message was behind this movie. I couldn't really care, it was a kickass chase movie to me. And, the overall moral of the has more to do with people letting go of their pain and rebuilding their lives. Sorry, MRA and SJWs, let it go. That's why we keep seeing the flashbacks to his famil dying. Now, the movie has very anti-cult stance. Clearly, this group of bad guys are part of this cult that has a masked leader that everyone treats as a god.
The movie is actually a direct sequel to the other movie, and it is not a remake. And, I have to commend Miller for recasting the lead role instead of remaking/rebooting the series. Heck, he could have had Mel Gibson as the Max character and pushed the timeline ahead like 20 years. It would have worked with an older Mad Max, but Gibson is too toxic and would have hurt the movie. Plus, Gibson is a prick. Recasting and keeping the universe is a better choice/ I like this movie exist in the same universe as Road Warrior and Thunder Dome.
With good characters and kickass action scenes, Mad Max: Fury Road is an extremely fun movie. The acting and editing are also good and make it stand out from Thunder Dome. And, even the ending is surprisingly upbeat for a Mad Max movie. Mad Max: Fury Road is a crazy sequel with some great action scenes and tightly edited chases. This is a fun action movie.