Review Mad Max: Fury Road film review by Lone
Written By Lone on 2016-03-25 13:48:39
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If I had to sum up Fury Road in one sentence it would be… Totally insane, unrelenting, post-apocalyptic, motherfreakin masterpiece!
Mad Max: Fury Road, is a lesson in how to continue a movie franchise, George Miller style! This is what you get when you have a director who has decades of blood, sweat, tears and obsession invested in his own gig. Because this franchise belongs to George Miller. (How I wish the ALIEN Franchise could have been a similar, one director-Ridley Scott vision.)
Fury Road takes my favourite of the Mad Max trilogy, The Road Warrior, propels it into hyperdrive, but remains its own thing. Filled with Wellsian-like characterisations, bringing an almost heightened sense of theatricality to the performances, Fury Road re-envisions and refreshes elements from Millers original trilogy, turning some of them on their head, Max’s infant son, Sprog, being just one example. As we see in Max’s fit-like flashbacks, here his offspring is older and female.
Tom Hardy has enough charisma and presence to carry off Max’s caged animal-like beginnings. He grunts rather than talks. Hardy’s Max, responds to the madness around him, rather than seeking revenge, he is the anchor around which the storm ensues. Theron’s Imperator Furiosa, is the pivotal character. Her action, the almost insurmountable task of freeing the female characters from Immortan Joe and his pursuing entourage, sets off the ensuing lunacy.
Gradually they form an uneasy bond. Later, resigned and driven by their common need for redemption, results in them opening up emotionally. Witness Max finally utter a complete sentence and tell her his name, gradually he emerges a more fully realised human being, and Furiosa drops her guard and breaks down in despair, when she realises her beloved Green Place, her childhood place of Sanctuary, no longer exists. Charlize Theron has never been better, she is totally suited to her role.
The women of this updated Miller wasteland are a force to be reckoned with. Furiosa is a crack shot, better than Max, she uses his shoulder as a gun rest. The remnants of the tribe of many mothers, the Vuvalini biker women get right in on the action, prepared to fight it out to the death if need be. Even the cosseted wives of Immortan Joe find the resolve to fight back.
There is no shortage of monstrous, crazy, interesting populace, or mashed-up vehicles to marvel over and make us smile. Where else could you witness the Doof Wagon, with it’s six drummers and the deaf and dumb, frantically strumming guitarist, spewing flame from the exhaust-port neck of his guitar? Or the War Boys and the Polecats, performing a dance as they swing from vehicle to vehicle as the action plays out like a well choreographed ballet?
To capture all this, Miller used a host of cameras, each taking us inside the action. We are right there in the War Rig as it growls through the mayhem. At times the camera sweeps down and over the speeding caravan of vehicles. At others it hones in on a single character, with everything slowing down, the sound and music quieting for a moment, as we feel their thoughts in telling detail, then panning out again into the anarcic throng as the soundtrack gets louder once more.
The sound effects and soundtrack are absolutely fantastic, enhancing the frenetic action and complimenting the few introspective moments. Director of photography John Seale, was coaxed from retirement for this project. He contrasts the beautiful golden-orange desert sand vistas of daytime, with the sad, cobalt blue of the nocturnal scenes. The cinematography is stunning and elevates the action, putting Fury Road on par with a Cecile B. DeMille, or David Lean epic.
At films end, Max once again detaches himself from the survivors and melts into the crowd. ‘Where must we go….we who wonder this wasteland in search of our better selves?’
These days it’s hard to find a movie which can be fun, and thrill and surprise in equal measure. Well, here it is, one of the greatest action movies you will ever see. The first of a promised trilogy, I don’t know how in hell George Miller is going to top Fury Road, but I can’t wait for another peek inside his crazy-brilliant maverick brain.