Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth film in the well-regarded post-apocalyptic action series of the same name. The film, stuck in development hell for 30 years after the release of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hout. Fury Road is the brainchild of writer and director George Miller, creator of all Mad Max films. I find it surprisingly awesome that Miller stuck to the ideas he generated in the late 80’s and early 90’s all the way through to 2015. (There’s concept art dated 1990 of the prisoner mask Max wears for a good portion of the film.)
My parents and some of their friends went to see Mad Max and hated it vehemently. I was skeptical about the movie going in because of this. People say you can’t be wrong when it comes to an opinion. Nope, you can. I do not understand, it does not compute, how one cannot love this film. My brother and I have vowed never to trust my parents concerning entertainment ever again. Many want to preemptively label this film action movie of the year, and I am perfectly fine with that.
This is a wonderful film to look at. The aesthetics are extremely pleasing to the eye. I was actually super impressed with that aspect of the film. The first two minutes of the film comprise of a beautiful establishing shot and a very, very good opening monologue by the always-wonderful Tom Hardy. Oh yeah, after said monologue, he eats a two-headed lizard whole. Miller uses orange and blue hues to create something I can only describe as beautiful out of the Australian landscape. I was told I needed to see the film in 3D. Most films are shot in 2D and post-converted into 3D to make a cheap buck. I haven’t paid for a 3D film since the 2D showing of The Avengers was sold out in 2012, and I really needed to see it a 3rd time. This is not a crappy post-conversion. The 3D was used to marvelous effect here, and I definitely recommend seeing it in 3D if you can.
There’s not much dialogue in Fury Road; Mel Gibson only had 17 lines of dialogue in the original Mad Max. In keeping with said tradition, Max doesn’t talk much… actually, it’s just around 17 lines, nice touch. Hardy does a great job emoting simply with his eyes. Theron and Hout are great as well. I, however, think that anyone saying any actor involved should receive an Oscar needs to get their head checked. The film is definitely a contender for best visual effects, probably not Best Picture, sadly.
Don’t let the lack of dialogue trick you into thinking there isn’t a plot. Contrary to popular (my parent’s) belief, there was a surprising amount of plot in the film. It’s no Usual Suspects, but the film is not completely mindless. Really, really weird? Yes. But seeing as how Bartertown in Thunderdome was powered entirely by pig dung, and it’s a post-apocalyptic film, called MAD Max, no less, I’m willing to let that slide, and, in fact, compliment them on their commitment to creep me the crap out.
Max, sometime after the death of his wife and daughter (who he hallucinates about throughout the film), is captured by members of a cult/town called Citadel ran by Joe, a freaky dude. Max is a universal donor, and is used as a “blood bag” for wounded soldiers. He ends up as Nux’s (Hout) personal blood bag as they are sent to hunt down a revered warrior and “traitor,” Imperator Furiosa.
You see, one of the strangest parts of the film (that apparently ruined the movie for my parents) were Joe’s wives. You see, the members of Citadel don’t get much water, so they survive off of milk. Breast milk from said wives. I will admit that was a little too weird, but whatever. Aside from the milk wives, there are also the breeding wives. Joe takes his babies of the breeding wives and then turns them into warlords. That’s why Furiosa escapes with five wives. They are not his property. Long story short and without spoiling anything more, Max escapes Nux and begrudgingly teams up with Furiosa.
The action sequences in this film are phenomenal. Those I won’t spoil for you, but we were all staring in awe the entire time. I would explain one in detail, but sitting here right now, my friend and I can’t narrow one down to actually talk about because, well, they’re all frickin’ awesome. On top of that, Joe’s army has it’s own drum boy of sorts who plays a guitar that spews flames while attached to strings like some sort of puppet. It’s awesome.
There is down time between all this chaos, where a surprising amount of character development (although slim, I mean surprisingly comparatively, as I came in expecting next to none) takes place. My parents didn’t find the movie exciting, which leads me to believe they just might have an Ambien problem. This movie is possibly the most exciting and tense one I’ve seen in a very long time. The fight sequences were brutal and amazingly choreographed.
In closing, go see this movie right now, and don’t let anyone tell you it sucks. I legitimately regret not seeing this movie sooner. This is my film of the year for now and will definitely be picked up on Blu-Ray. This has also led me to consider disowning my parents. 🙂 I mean, SERIOUSLY!
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