Review: Mad Max Fury Road
While Justin Lin is considered today’s genius in cinematic vehicular combat, George Miller returns to the post-apocalyptic sands to remind us where action-packed car sequences in film were invented. Mad Max Fury Road is unparalleled. In films, that can be really good or really bad. This film is really bad…in a really good way. Read on.
Fury Road’s scenes rarely take place outside of moving vehicles. The film takes you on a ride and doesn’t let you off until the credits roll. Each action sequence is fresh and ups the ante on the degree of difficulty as the film progresses. The motorcycle stunts featured in the film would’ve been worth the price of admission on their own, but then the film does this pole transfer Cirque du Soleil action in a moving vehicle….it was jaw-dropping awesome. If George Miller was trying to send a “remember me” message to action fans, he basically slapped us upside the head and dropped the mic at the end. There are enough explosions to give Michael Bay tears of joy and a lot of displaced sand to uncover a Sarlacc Pit and its mate. Fury Road is simply more furious than anything we’ve seen from the Dominic Toretto Family Reunions.
Collective Action Performances: B+
Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy are solid casting choices. The former because she’s not afraid to get physical and get her hands dirty and the latter due to his ability to convey presence and emotion while keeping the onscreen action moving. There weren’t many supporting performances due to the little room for character development, but Nicholas Hoult did an excellent job of acting the “heel-turned-face” transition of his character. The beautiful Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Zoe Kravitz, and Riley Keough added Siren-esque beauty to the desert not seen since The English Patient. They didn’t have many speaking parts, but they did enough to raise the stakes in the story’s unexpected conflict and resolution.
George Miller and company did an excellent job with art direction. The film consistently juxtaposed character costume contrasts against the tan backdrop. There was a natural evolving mythos and belief system that was well presented. The heavy electric guitar solos integrated with the action seamlessly, while the visuals were sharp and on point. You can tell that the filmmakers did what they could to lessen the amount of green screen as much as possible by shooting on location with crazy difficult stunts…and the fruit of their labor was a deliciously sweet final product.
While Warner Bros. is currently working to compete with Marvel, Fury Road is better than the two-week old Avengers: Age of Ultron. While the Joss Whedon mega hit was expected to be the biggest movie of the year, Mad Max and Warner Bros came out of nowhere and released a better film. Every nook and cranny of this gem is scripted and executed with love. Every vehicle stunt and fight sequence has been captured to perfection. The result is action nirvana and one of the most memorable futuristic films in recent years. We hope George Miller is back out of the animation world and into the desert for a couple more installments. This film is packed with bug-eating protein and crazy amounts of adrenaline. For that, we spray our collective faces with chrome paint and proclaim “witness” to an awesome score.
Final Score: A+
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