'Mad Max: Fury Road' trailer is an eye-popping peek at the apocalypse

Watch Tom Hardy channel Mel Gibson in the high-octane trailer for 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

The future looks bleak — but also pretty darn cool — in the latest trailer for "Mad Max: Fury Road," Australian director George Miller's long-in-the-works reboot of the post-apocalyptic franchise he started back in 1979 with Mel Gibson.

Set for release May 15 from Warner Bros., "Fury Road" finds Tom Hardy stepping into Gibson's weathered boots as the antihero Max Rockatansky, a man haunted by his past who gets swept up in a vehicular battle across a desert wasteland. Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Hugh Keays-Byrne costar.

The high-octane trailer, viewable above, doesn't bother elaborating on the plot, instead showcasing 2 1/2 minutes of wall-to-wall action. With its desolate vistas, freaky villains, spike-adorned cars, massive sandstorms and extensive explosions, it's a bit boggling to think this is from the same guy who directed "Babe: Pig in the City" and "Happy Feet."

In an era of pervasive remakes and reboots, "Fury Road" also stands apart as the rare franchise revisit directed by the original filmmaker, rather than someone from a new generation.

Granted, that's no guarantee the film will live up to its predecessors. George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels are universally regarded as inferior to the originals, and Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is perhaps most memorable for inspiring the phrase "nuked the fridge."

With any luck, "Fury Road" will have a smoother ride than its protagonist.

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