Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road
Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whitley
Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images, 120 minutes, Action/Adventure
Compare to: The Original Mad Max Trilogy (1979- 1985), The Book of Eli (2009)
When George Lucas said that he had a much bigger vision for Star Wars but needed to wait for the technology to catch up, I don’t know whether or not I believe him. But after watching Mad Max: Fury Road, I’ll believe anything writer/director George Miller tells me about his ideas for this movie.
I’d heard this movie described as one long action sequence which isn’t entirely true, but I can’t say I was bored by even a second of it; action or dialogue. While movies with non-stop car chases and explosions can easily get labeled as mindless and not much else, Max is able to strike the perfect balance between what a story demands and what the audience wants. Fast and Furious can suck it!
Far into the wastelands that are the distant future, Max is still scrounging around, surviving. But when a runaway convoy driven by Imperator Furiosa appears, she’s being hunted down by a small army that plans to reclaim what she stole from them. And as usual, Max gets caught in the middle. Bullets, octane, and madness collide.
You really don’t need too much of a description for this one. I went in only knowing what the operatic trailers showed and with my knowledge of the previous films. That was enough to know what I was getting into and a description can’t do the film justice. It seems after thirty years since the original Mad Max debuted (1979 to be exact), Miller has not only kept his touch with his simple yet intriguing character, every idea he’s had in store has come bursting out like splashing paint onto a wall.
They’ve kept the same odd dubbing you can find in the original trilogy. Most of the dialogue sounds exactly like what it is- dubbing. While this was strange to me when I was younger, it felt welcomed now, as if the creators knew what the series should keep and what should be added. And what’s added is a whole lot of wreckage. Like John Wick last October, it’s rare to find myself enjoying a movie this much that I have to hold back in a review to not make it seem like I’m being paid by the film studio to be so positive about it. But then again, look at this site; nobody’s paying me.
It’s a unique thing for the action to feel so…huge. With many movies, the original “BAM!” that the style of the movie presents is done in such a way that they have to keep upping their game throughout to keep you entertained and that often ends in boredom even if you like what you’re seeing. You can’t take it all in during the span of two hours so your brain glazes over and you tell yourself it was better than it was. Did somebody say The Avengers: Age of Ultron? Mad Max however, just shifts into different gears to keep you interested in a minimal story with a world that looks as cool as it is cruel.
Tom Hardy is a good choice for Max as well, as he brings a bit more depth to such a man of few words and has more range in this than many actors display over the course of their entire career. Saying a lot? Sure, but this guy wore a mask for all two and a half hours in The Dark Knight Rises and still acted his brains out. Imagine what he can do with his entire face!
I’m trying to stay away from more car puns (“Buckle up for a thrill ride!”) and just put it out there that if you love action, you need to see this. I try my hardest to give spoiler free reviews so I keep this stuff short and to the point- if you love Mad Max, you won’t be disappointed. Even still it seems that old fans and new get something out of this that feels exciting and worthwhile.
Positives: Amazing visuals, interesting characters, unique design all around, music is well placed, etc. Displays Mad Max trademarks without retreading old ground.
Negatives: Some may not care for the violence or “weirdness” the films are known for.
Side note: I know some of you think I hate everything, so you’re disappointed by what I give an ‘A’ to. Keep in mind this ‘A’ is taking into consideration the kind of movie this is and as such, is as good as it gets. I’m not comparing it to 12 Years a Slave or Saving Private Ryan so calm down.