Mad Max : Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road


Once in a while, you get those films that will change and shape a genre for future films of that particular genre. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is that movie for action films, and it may be the single greatest action film I have ever seen. The film is the 4th installment in the Max franchise. It takes place in the stark desert landscape of Australia where humanity is broken. Two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max (Tom Hardy), a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland. In tow, are five women they have taken from an egocentric madman (Hugh Keyes-Byrne) he uses as mating brides. It all results in a high octane, exhilarating action packed thrill ride that reignites this nearly forty year old franchise. Judging by my grade, i don’t have to tell you i enjoyed the film. There is so much to this movie that will require multiple viewings, as it’s one of those films that you don’t mind seeing days after you just watched it. I was very pleased with not only Director George Miller’s decision to come back to the franchise that made him, but his refreshing looks of sets and props to make this the greatest Max film yet. As a fan of practical effects, i was pleased to find out that this movie is 90% engaged in them. Miller is a director from a past era, so he knows how to get the most out of the money he spends. It costs a lot to do these effects, but it pays off in spades with multiple heart pounding camera shots, as well as choreographed fight scenes that always kept me on the edge of my seat. For such a bleak setting of the desert, Miller really adds an eye-appealing coloring and shading to his backgrounds that really make them pop. The cinematography is among the very best that i have seen this decade. Miller used the first two years of filming the movie to work on the vehicles in the movie, and something as crazy as that paid off hugely, as the detailing work of these war machines are the most important part to the film. The script writing is psychologically in depth while giving us our most human look into our main protagonist. This is the first film that has really explored Max’s psyche as a result of not only losing his family, but his inability to save thousands of people who screamed his name before they died. Those voices play a bigger role in this film than any other Max movie i have seen to this point, and you appreciate the time in detail that Miller took when writing this script. The performances are out of this world. Hardy continues to be my favorite actor, and his take on Max is something that feels like he is at odds with himself. It feels like there is a side to Max that is OK with the apocalypse, but at the same time, always searching for hope no matter how bleak of a chance. Hardy is believable as the character, but the movie makes him feel like something after “Mad Max 2 : The Road Warrior” with how quiet he is during the first act. This in addition to many other personality traits, leads me to believe that Miller ignored that “Beyond Thunderdome” ever existed, and i am OK with that. Nicolas Hoult played a character with a lot of heart. He’s a villain who just wants to be admired by his boss, but the movie changes everything about him midway through, and i couldn’t help but cheer for his triumph in a sad existence. Make no mistake about it though, this movie belongs to Ms Theron. Charlize was so damn good as Furiosa. It’s nice to see such an ass-kicking female protagonist who doesn’t need love to survive for once. The film has been getting a lot of press for it’s take on feminism, but who cares even if that is the case? I love to see women kicking ass, and Furiosa is the best at it since Ripley donned a machine gun in the original “Alien”. She is every bit as tough as Max, and i wouldn’t even mind seeing a prequel film based on her beginnings. I would be doing a disservice if i didn’t talk about the impressive musical score by Junkie XL. The tracks are very similar in tone, but they are used in such great moments that they only add to the intensity of each chase scene. One of my favorite things about the film involved a flame shooting guitar player for no other reason than just than Miller can. It’s pointless and uses gas that frankly no one in this setting should be wasting, but it’s filled with musical delight that you can hear coming from miles away. The only small problem i had with the film (And i’m hugely nitpicking here) was the sound editing in certain parts. Some of the actors come off as hard to understand in certain scenes, and it’s hard to grasp if that’s on the actors or the sound department for having too many background noises at once. If it’s the latter, i appreciate how real their take on loud places are. Too many of films will shoot a club scene where we can hear our actors perfectly despite loud music playing. Even the 3D was enough for me to recommend it. I still feel like 3D technology has a long way to go before we master the most usage out of it, but “Fury Road” is the most bang for the buck. If you are going to see this film, go all out and easily hand the money over. I doubt you will be disappointed. The movie is great overall, but seeing it on your TV at home just won’t do this one any justice. George Miller has given his hardcore fans of the series an early Summer treat with the explosive juggernaut of the year. Thirty years of waiting didn’t spoil the taste of this carnage candy. It was worth every minute of that span. Oh what a lovely day indeed.


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