- Associated Press - Saturday, May 16, 2015

CANNES, France (AP) - “Mad Max: Fury Road” is Tom Hardy’s second film in two years to take place almost entirely on wheels.

In 2013’s “Locke,” Hardy played a construction manager who on a speedy nighttime drive fields a series of calls to confront a painful marital indiscretion. He barely moves from his seat throughout the film.

In “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which hit theaters this weekend after a wave of critical excitement and a glitzy premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Hardy is again on the road. This time, however, the action extravagance of director George Miller’s dystopian sequel makes for a much bumpier ride.

“It’s kind of the physicalized, athletic stunt version of ‘Locke,’” Hardy said, laughing, in a recent interview. “I did all the dialogue in ‘Locke’ and now it’s just the physical dance piece in S&M; clothes.”

While the drama of “Locke” relied entirely on Hardy’s verbal dexterity and subtle movement, “Fury Road” is essentially a nonstop two-hour car chase. In Cannes, Hardy apologized to Miller for “being so myopic” about the project during production, which took place over a lengthy, sometimes trying, shoot in Namibia in southern Africa.

But Hardy - like many who have seen the film - was blown away by the result.

“He chooses a very simple narrative, which is: ‘Drive out to the middle of the desert and drive back. Now how complicated can we make something so simple?’” said Hardy. “It’s head and shoulders above every other action film I’ve seen. When I was on the ground shooting it, I had no idea what was going on whatsoever.”

- AP Film Writer Jake Coyle, twitter: https://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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