Lets get Mad on the Fury Road

I know it’s a bit late to review Mad Max: Fury Road but now I’m on holidays I have finally got a chance to start catching up with some serious viewing, so here goes…

I don’t know about the rest of you but when I first heard about Mad Max 4 I was very apprehensive thanks to the disappointment that came out of Beyond Thunderdome. However, after keeping track of the films development and hearing some feedback from a few reliable sources I started to get a bit more excited. As an Australian I have long considered Mad Max and it’s sequel The Road Warrior to be two of the best examples of our unique brand of gritty film making also present in Wolf Creek and Animal Kingdom. Its a quality that can often be lost in the big budget Hollywood productions which have a tendency to make action to heavily processed and ridiculously unbelievable with the added insult of simplistic noble stereotypes. Thankfully … Mad Max Fury Road is faithful to it’s origins and delivers a high octane hit of adrenaline in a flawlessly depicted version of a post – apocalyptic world.

Returning to the helm after 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome George Miller is able to deliver the world he envisioned in 1981 after the remains of a decaying society seen in the original Mad Max are swept away. To the stark and harsh desert of the apocalypse Fury Road brings a depth to this vision that was missing form the earlier films through variation. During the film as Max and his companions journey across the land they are faced with different environmental obstacles which are as bleak and desolate in their own way as the all to familiar desert. It is this variation that makes the world of Fury Road more realistic and even brings a sense of adventure to the film.

It is the action sequences were Fury Road really stands out as despite the $150 million budget it resists the urge to give into the Hollywood tendency for bigger is better. The film blends individual action sequences into one nearly two-hour car chase filled with V8 engines, gun fire, explosions and customary gritty violence. Surprisingly, based on this description the films actions sequences seem more realistic and avoid the far-fetched cliché’s of other movies such as the prevalence of martial arts training or the ability to survive multiple gunshot wounds. One of the elements most noticeable are the periods of silence that follows each confrontation where the characters actually have to reflect on the cost of their actions or the losses they have suffered. In these instances a few words, the growl of the engine and a series of small subtle expressions are all that are required to allow the audience to believe that the characters belong in this vision of the future.

This is were the cast led by Tom Hardy as Max and Charlize Theron as Furiosa make the film work as the characters communicate volumes with limited dialogue. Theron provides a gripping portrayal of a women of action and gritty determination while carrying the scares of her past, trying desperately to hold on to some form of hope. In contrast Hardy has even less dialogue to bring depth to his portrayal of Max yet, he is able to create a loner hunted by the events of the original Mad Max who develops through the relationships and experience he shares with Furiosa. They are ably supported by a well chosen cast who also manage to communicate through looks and gestures just as much as dialogue. A special mention must go to Hugh Keays-Bryne who played the Toecutter in the original Mad Max for returning as the principal villain Immortan Joe.

One of the things I liked must about Fury Road is it emphasised these links to the original films and didn’t try to reboot the series. The continued references to the lose of Max’s child although with some slight differences brings back memories of Mad Max and his V8 interceptor still makes a cameo. However, the film is more reminiscent of the 1981 sequel The Road Warrior since it takes the final car chase and extends it over the course of the 2-hours. Thankfully, Fury Road does avoid following the mistakes of Beyond Thunderdome by including a logical plot.

Mad Max: Fury Road is possibly the best action movie I have seen in years and is definitely a cut above most of the so called blockbusters released this year. This is a must watch of any action movie buff or any fans of the originals as it clearly delivers, I’m even looking forward to the next instalment, Mad Max: The Wasteland

Action: 10/10

Storyline: 7/10

Cast: 8/10

Cinematography: 9/10

 Overall: 9/10

If your interested in checking out a few more reviews head over to the movie guys


About jgbarry

A teacher, poet, novelist and causal tech guru I am always keen to share my thoughts. A firm believer in critical thinking I rarely rush a decision without any research and once made my mind is primed for a good debate.

Posted on June 30, 2015, in Movies, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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