Unless you’ve been hanging out in the middle of a wifi-less desert for the last month or so, you’ll be aware that the entire universe has gone Mad Max crazy. Film fans can’t get enough of Mad Max: Fury Road, and with good reason; it’s an all killer no filler feminist action movie, with stellar performances, hour long car chases AND explosions. Plus it has Nux (Nicholas Hoult), my favourite character – a character to convince anybody that dying historic on the Fury Road is a really fine idea.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s loads of other brilliant characters in this movie, including ultimate badass Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), with her shaved head and her mechanical prosthetic arm and her complete lack of fucks to give. She’s clearly the real star of this film, in spite of the title, and Mad Max himself (Tom Hardy) would probably be the first to agree, judging by the way he dealt with this dumbass question from a journalist.
But even so, Nux is still my fave, and I’ll tell you for why.
Nux has spent his whole life as one of Immortan Joe’s (Hugh Keays-Byrne) War Boys; doomed to an early death and suffering from all manner of diseases due to the toxic post-apocalyptic world he lives in. He’s obsessed with the idea of a glorious death, after which he’ll rock up at the gates of Valhalla to join all his dead War Boy buddies for the great drag race in the sky (or so Immortan Joe would have them believe).
Hoult plays him with a sort of intense innocence and insane enthusiasm which is incredibly infectious. Instead of alienating us, his fervour seems almost endearing, and in an odd way Nux, with his childlike eagerness, is the character that we as viewers can relate to the most readily. He’s also got a good sense of humour – he names his pair of deadly neck tumours Larry and Barry, for example.
Nux goes on the biggest journey of all the characters. From his starting point as a carnage worshipping drone, he eventually allies himself with Max and Furiosa, striking up a bond with Capable (Riley Keough), one of Immortan Joe’s runaway ‘wives’. He proves himself to be far above the role this dystopian society has forced on him – that of cannon-fodder – and becomes instrumental in the film’s climax.
He also gets all the best lines: “Oh what a day! What a lovely day!” he shrieks into a huge sandy whirlwind that has just eaten up several of his War Boy cohorts. In any other movie a character would deliver this line with a healthy dose of sarcasm, but not Nux – he genuinely is having a lovely day.
All of which adds up to him being my absolute fave character in Mad Max: Fury Road. However, I wouldn’t blame anyone for saying that this guy was at the top of their list: