Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

14 May

After a surprise premier at this year’s Cannes Film FestivalMad Max: Fury Road is poised to melt audience’s faces off this weekend.  Supposedly picking up things where the 1985 film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome left off, George Miller’s new installment in the franchise sees the titular character (this time played by Tom Hardy) facing off against more carnage, blood, guns, cars, and chaos. Max has just pissed off a local warlord/cult leader named Immortan Joe, and he is out for revenge. His escape through the Australian outback sees him cross paths with Furiosa, a dangerous and unpredictable rogue leader with her own agenda. The two form a makeshift team of sorts, and the pair must to to rely on each other in order to outwit Immortan Joe’s ever growing pursuit.

Essentially, this all boils down to one hell of a chase movie, filled to the brim with hyper-masculinized batshit crazy antics. Miller directs the action sequences flawlessly with a kinetic, constantly-moving energy, which adds a mesmerizing layer of visceral appeal to the whole thing. Fury Road is pure spectacle and looks great – even in 3D, where objects fly in and out of the frame without feeling too gimmicky or distracting. The level and precision of detail that went into this film is almost as crazy as the stunts; various tattoos, weapons, clothing, vehicles, makeup, etc. are all incredibly well-crafted and give the film a unique feel of time and place. Oscar nom for Best Production Design anyone?

Despite the film’s desire to be constantly churning on a violent machismo overdrive, Fury Road feels perplexingly feminist at times. Charlize Theron‘s portrayal of Furiosa easily makes her the coolest character in the film, and her determination to be both wickedly badass but still sensitive when needed overshadows Hardy’s quiet and one-dimensional performance as Max. And then there is a scene where an all-women militia take out a human trafficking gang. Girl power for the win.

Fury Road, like many other films of its genre, suffers a bit from lack of characterization, dialogue, and undervalued performances. The most we ever hear from Max is during the opening voice-over, where he sprawls on giving the necessary exposition to explain that this is a post-apocalyptic film where survival is valued and ethics and law are not. I wish we could have seen more of an explanation for his backstory, or more interactions with him and Furiosa – just something more to show that Max is indeed a person and not some lifeless prop.

Despite it’s few setbacks, Fury Road keeps the narrative tight and compelling, which compliments the unstoppable fluidity of the action. It’s a rich and immersive film, sure to impress those who can stomach it’s brutality, and a rare treat to see something so adrenaline-packed without compromising on story.

Bottom Line: Leaving me feeling like a child at the amusement park, Fury Road no doubt sets the bar high for what a summer action flick can and should aspire to.

 

Rating: 8/10

Film Recipe:  Snowpiercer (2014) + ( The Raid: Redemption x Fast And The Furious ) + Speed (the drug, not the film) 

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One Response to “Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)”

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  1. Suicide Squad (2016) | A Journey Through Cinema - August 3, 2016

    […] obvious Ayer and his cinematographer Roman Vasyanov were going for something dark. Crank up the Mad Max: Fury Road obsession with guns, knives, and makeup and you have a nice visual aesthetic which works well in […]

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