Directed by: George Miller
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne
“Out here, everything hurts.”
I unfortunately have little to no history with the Max Max series, but I was able to luckily see the first film (on 35mm) a few months ago. I have also only seen a few scenes from The Road Warrior and nothing from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome so my knowledge of the series is very limited, but luckily a film like this does not require the previous films to be seen to understand, so with that being said, this movie freaking rocks.
“What a day! What a lovely day!!!”
The plot of Mad Max Fury Road can simply be summed up on the back side of a matchbox: Imperator Furiosa decides to steal Immortan Joe’s (Hugh Keays-Byrne) wives on a simple supply run and Max (Tom Hardy) gets caught up in the mix. The rest of the film is one giant rush trying to get to the finish line. The plot is light to make up for the intensity of the action and getting used to the extreme creative and otherworldly post-apocalyptic landscape.
First I’d like to start with the negatives, cause they are so few and if you’ve read this far you should just stop reading this and go see the film, just go. Ok so with the small stuff, I will say that character development is very minimal making everyone kind of a mystery, this is possibly due to lack of any substantial dialogue in the film that discusses what happened before the events of the film started. Another problem with the film is that even with a running time of two hours, it feels incredibly short. I really wish the film could have actually been longer to see other parts of the world or have character development happening or something to give more time to breathe in between action sequences.
Ok so with that over, the rest of the film is damn magnificent, it might only be May, but we already have a high contender for film of the year. To start with the use of color with its changing from bright high oranges to deep blue tones giving a rich palette for the eyes instead of the usual de-saturated tones that most post apocalyptic films use. The amount of creativity that every single piece has of the set its astonishing, with everyday items given different uses that really made me admire the set designer. From bannock devices being used for gas pedals to guitar wielding, fire breathing cars racing along the desert, nearly every single frame has something unique about it.
Charlize Theron really does steal the show as a strong female character that can stand among Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley in terms of being able to hold one’s ground. Nicholar Hoult plays an eccentric “half life” brother who uses Max as a body bag as he is sick from the landscape. His character arc is quite interesting with philosophy being in question in his own quest for self-redemption in the arid desert. The film is also completely bat-shit crazy with its cinematography that is always locked-down when it comes to filming the action and is completely easy to follow from one cut to another. Speaking of editing, the film is never cut too fast and having seen the film twice now, I did notice that each edit during the action sequences generally lasted one or more seconds before cutting making them much easier to watch than say, Furious Seven.
Mad Max: Fury Road is a fantastic entry in the Mad Max franchise and is a beacon of light of “how to do action” in today’s film society. I can honestly say (with the exception of the Raid films) that this is the very best action movie of possibly the last decade. Nearly everything about it is astounding and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. If you miss this film out, you make me disappointed. What a lovely day indeed.