Thursday, May 14, 2015

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD movie review

A world gone mad. I love it.

Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth film of the Mad Max series. The last film, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, came out thirty years ago, and now, director/mastermind George Miller has returned to create a world gone mad. The plot is relatively simple; Furiosa (Charlize Theron) must deliver a tanker to from one point to another, but along the way she encounters Mad Max (Tom Hardy), Nux (Nicholas Hoult), Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), and a lot of out-of-their-mind crazies.

While Mad Max was more of a character study of a man trying to physically and psychologically survive in an insane world, Mad Max: Fury Road is more along the lines of Mad Max: The Road Warrior, the second film of the series, turning in high-octane and beautifully action-packed thrill rides, but it also surprisingly has an emotionally investing narrative.

I don't think I've adored a modern action blockbuster as much as I do Fury Road. The film is action-packed and chaotic (but not all over the place); it's insane. Miller really delivered on the "world gone mad". I mean, there's a war envoy that has drummers and an electric guitar playing psychopath play music for them whilst battling. Oh, and the guitar shoots fire. It's high-octane, adrenaline pumping madness.

It's purposely constructed like that, and you can see Miller's vision and style there. The action sequences are shot beautifully, with eye-popping colors and landscapes. No bleak dystopian future here (I'm looking at you, Insurgent). Miller also constructs the action sequences to serve the story and the characters. The film isn't fun action sequence followed by exposition followed by a bigger action sequence then exposition, etc. Miller ingeniously constructs his action sequences to tell the story and develop his characters.

Hardy takes over Mel Gibson as the titular character Max Rockatansky. He did a great, great job taking over, and he continues to prove himself a badass, capable actor/action star. Hoult really wowed me with his performance as the crazy war boy, Nux. He just disappeared into that character. I was surprisingly really invested in his character too. He only has one or two non-action scenes where he has a full lengthy conversation (the rest are all during action sequences), but they were able to tell a complete and fulfilling character arc, and that really surprised me. Same could be said for Max and Furiosa, which goes back to my earlier point about the action sequences telling the story and getting you invested in the characters.

Mad Max is the titular character, but hands down, Furiosa steals the movie. Theron is amazing in the almost unrecognizable role. In my eyes, she's the hero of this story. Women in general are the heroes of this story. All I'll say is that the film showcases how desperately they're needed in a man's world gone mad.

Mad Max: Fury Road is a visionary, adrenaline pumping, emotionally investing feminist action blockbuster. Thank you, mastermind George Miller. This is one of the best action blockbusters of the last decade.

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