Robbie K here, bringing you another blockbuster movie review. Today’s focus is on the latest action movie, Mad Max Fury Road. Now if you have seen any of the precursors or the trailer, you can expect some ridiculous things in this movie that might make you go… mad. With that bad pun, let’s get started on Miller’s latest project.
Fury Road lives up to its name, as heated emotions have evolved into total anarchy. Led under the reign of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keayes-Byrne), Post Apocalyptic Earth is a savage wasteland filled with bandits and Warboys (essentially crazy, shirtless warriors) These parties roam the wastelands in modified vehicles, scavenging for slaves, supplies, and whatever else they can find. Mad Max’s world is designed to mirror the hostility and chaos of this series, especially in the punk elements. The cars in particular hold designs that could be found in a psychopathic garage, where GPS and stereos have been replaced with explosive spears, spike linings, and flamethrowers. While nightmarish, Miller’s team has managed to keep the carnage “classy” without crossing over into disturbing for most of the movie. Joe’s army hold some diversity, the characters often identifiable by some disease or more “colorful” quality.
Despite these visuals though, it is the action itself that contains the most fury. Mad Max’s action has taken a step up thanks to technology while still keeping to its roots. Incredibly fast car chases are the theme of this movie, as warriors shoot, blow up, and crush each other in a chaotic demolition derby. Gunplay and combat amidst speeding cars is indeed quite thrilling, and the suspense of wondering who will die adds an exciting edge (like Walking Dead). It is graphic, but Miller keeps the gruesome gore to a “classy” minimum, despite what the trailers might have otherwise suggested. The technology was superb, computer and live filming fantastically edited together to bring fluid battles. Yet the most impressive factor for this reviewer was the camerawork. We’ve seen plenty of action films where the directors try to capture the mood by “shaking” things up a bit. However, these attempts are often an earthquake like mess that distracts and robs you of the detail you so love to see. Fortunately Master George Miller keeps the lens focused and stable to give you as much detail as you can get. Bravo good sir, bravo.
Acting wise the movie is decent, though many of the roles are limited in dialog, but heavy in action. Tom Hardy as Mad Max has the quiet, outcast look, down. He doesn’t say much, more so mumbles, but makes up for this in stunt, grunting as he takes on the seemingly endless army. Nicholas Hoult even impressed me with his role as Nux, a Warboy who goes through quite the ordeal. At first I thought he would be annoying, but Hoult manages to bring quite an emotional spectrum to a well-developed role. My star however is Charlize Theron, who finally got a role that didn’t stink for me. Theron’s hard core, strong woman demeanor takes full throttle in this film, commanding respect from all and makes for quite an entertaining character. The rest of the cast does a fine job playing their part, but Mad Max’s casting seems more about looks and makeup than incredible acting ability.
Despite all the good this movie has to it though there are a few things that didn’t work for me. I know the movie is all about insanity and action, but some of the characters were a bit much for me. Immortan Joe’s band of rebels sometimes were too annoying, their garbles screams and chants doing nothing for me. The fact they are riding around in moving death traps, in the hot sun shirtless was more than enough to prove they were nuts. Even Immortan Joe was a bit lame at times, because he didn’t really do anything other than scream, sometimes drive, and breathe through a ventilator, like a grotesque Darth Vader?. Another thing to pick at is the action in this movie. While very exciting, they do all fall under the same formula, summarized as bad guys arrive and stuff blows up, then repeat. In addition Max surprisingly is not as impressive as I thought he would be, often taking backseat as the other characters, primarily the awesome women, take care of the barbarian trash. Score one for the suffragists.
Overall Mad Max Fury Road met a lot of my expectations for the genre. It brought me back into the chaotic world of Max, and kept me entertained, and elated, the entire time. I would have like a little more story and explaining, but Miller has made his normal quality film. This is definitely a movie for the theaters folks, the special effects and actions scenes alone designed for silver screen. Should you see it in 3-D? I didn’t, but there might be some extra detail, though probably not enough for the extra cash. FYI those who can’t suspend reality or hate violent, action movies need to stay clear of this one, unless you want to be nice to your significant other.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 8.0-8.5