A concoction of pure adrenaline fuelled on the finest gasoline, Mad Max: Fury Road is a blisteringly brilliant action spectacle - and just about the best film so far this year. Returning to the franchise that made him famous thirty years after the last instalment, George Miller attacks Fury Road with an assured confidence and better than ever action set-pieces. A surprising feat, really, considering the director's spent the intervening years making movies like Happy Feet and Babe: Pig in the City.

But Miller slips back into the chaotic world of Mad Max like he's never been away, with a prime directive to differentiate this new instalment from the generic and dreary post-apocalyptic flicks that are oh so popular these days. As a result there's no drab or muted colour scheme to be found here; the world of Fury Road is vibrant and in your face, perfect paralleling the equally daring and pulsating ultra-violence that makes up the bulk of the film. Miller asserts that just because a movie is set post-apocalypse, that doesn't mean it can't still be fun. Consequently, gone is an aesthetic that looks as if it's been left out in the rain and in comes a gorgeous and colourful depiction of a hellish end of the world landscape.

Though for a film whose narrative calls for most of the earth to be covered in the same orange-coloured sand, Mad Max could have easily become a bit monotonous if the director hadn't constantly shaken things up in an imaginative way. Thankfully, Miller inserts a plethora of ingenious creative twists to completely change the landscape of his film in a way that keeps things fresh while also adhering to the rules of the story. Be it epic electrical sandstorms that can appear at a moment's notice or even just the way the sparse backdrop gains a sense of alien melancholia at night, Fury Road manages to create a bunch of memorable and interesting locations in a world that's essentially been reduced to nothing other than one big desert.

Thankfully the wacky energy that fuels the creation of these locations finds its way into the imaginative character designs too, which, if you've ever seen The Road Warrior, are just about as comfortably silly as you can imagine. However, although the designs are inherently fun and kind of comical, it's a testament to Miller's strength as a filmmaker that he can still create characters who can be completely terrifying while wearing the most ridiculous and over the top costumes. From Max's iconic outfit to Immortan Joe's mutated Skeletor get-up, Fury Road never lulls in creative character designs that serve to add immeasurable amounts of flavour to an already incredibly detailed world.

But the best part of all this cinematic attention to detail is that Miller infers a great deal of Mad Max's story through simple visuals. The War Boys, for instance - the cannon fodder who chase Max and Furiosa through the entire film - have their own unique and informative ghostly design. Home to a great deal of visual affectations, small details subtly placed in the characters' costume express important clues about the War Boys' post-apocalyptic culture that you simply wouldn't be privy to if you were only paying attention to the dialogue. Throughout most of the film, actually, Miller confidently relies on the images to tell the story over any indulgent dialogues between characters, and as a result creates a mesmerising and flowing film that communicates so much using so little.

Of course, you probably won't even notice many of these little details on your first go around because Mad Max will be too busy punching you in the face for you to even care about "narrative" or "characters". In an absolutely brilliant decision, the good majority of Miller's action was all accomplished in-camera without the help of any computer generated imagery. Knowing this going in you'll no doubt be trying to point out which stunts you think were done on a computer - but believe me, you'll always get it wrong. Leaving the cinema myself I was sure - adamant, even - that I had figured out a stunt that couldn't have possibly been accomplished on-set. It was a set-piece that involved a convoy speeding across the desert while War Boys were swaying back and forth on poles attached to the cars tens of feet above them. It's a ridiculous, awe-inspiring image that completely captures everything that's so great about Fury Road - and best of all, it was all done for real.

The film, then, between all the hype and gushing praise that's swept the internet since its release, really deserves every single accolade it gets. With its dedication to practical filmmaking and creating a genuinely interesting and energetic mise-en-scene, George Miller's return to the genre that made him famous proves to be a prime example of just what modern action films can accomplish. Never one to shy away from the goofier parts of post-apocalyptia, Fury Road is at times harrowing, but more often than not, just complete, through and through fun. Light on dialogue but heavy on visuals, Mad Max: Fury Road is a vivacious cinematic roller-coaster that grabs you by the throat from the first frame and refuses to let you go until the very last.