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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Movie Review- Mad Max: Fury Road

Nothing preps a post-apocalyptic army like a flaming guitar in Mad Max: Fury Road



Introduction

Australian writer/director, George Miller, doesn't have a large body of work in his movie library. However, what he does have, is a handful of unique films that capture your attention and, sometimes even your heart. His three Mad Max films from 1979 through 1985, are entertaining drive-in type flicks that have inspired and been imitated by more filmmakers than one can count. His Nightmare at 20,000 Feet segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie, was arguably the best part of that film. When he directed an all-star cast in The Witches of Eastwick, he showed that he could handle the reins of a big Hollywood production. The Oscar nominated film, Lorenzo's Oil, was a heartfelt change of pace from what people expected of Miller. I almost always forget this but, he also wrote the family favorite, Babe, and directed its sequel. His first Academy Award win, came with 2006's Happy Feet. What I like about Miller, is that he doesn't jump onto multiple projects just to make movies. Instead he takes his time on his projects so that he can have the best possible outcomes for his visions. If they ever do a live action version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, I would love to see what Miller could do with it. I mean, the guy does have a thing for talking animals and gloomy settings.

Mad Max: Fury Road

When a film suffers from multiple delays for almost two decades, the general outcome is that the finally finished product will fail in nearly every regard. With Miller's long awaited Mad Max: Fury Road, that outcome is the complete opposite. Now, I don't normally use profanity in my reviews but, Holy Shit! This movie is amazing! Fury Road seems to be what Miller had envisioned almost forty years ago with the original Mad Max but, was inhibited by an extremely low budget and the lack of effects technology at the time. Not. Any. More. This time, with nothing holding him back (after the pre-filming delays, of course), Miller has orchestrated a balls-out, post-apocalyptic, adventure, that's as insane as it is beautiful. This movie never lets up. Think of it as one long barbaric car chase through the desert, with a couple of short breaks to help you catch your breath and take a leak, before once again tearing ass up and down the barren wasteland some more. Most car chases in the last twenty years have become boring and predictable but, Miller perfectly blends his imaginative characters with some intense action. Everything looks gorgeous, and I do mean everything. Even disgusting characters look cool. There's even a large set-designed vehicle with a rock band on it that looks like a Marilyn Manson nightmare on wheels. From the first shot, this film looks like a concept artist's creations poured out onto the screen. Every detail from the costumes to the outrageous sets, is something to behold. It's almost distracting, it looks so good.
Oh yeah, there's some known actors in this too. One can almost forget that amongst all the chaos. Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) as the title character, is quiet and indifferent, similar to Mel Gibson's previous attempts as Max. He always has the right look on his face or the right remark to say. Charlize Theron (Monster), is on the screen just as much as Hardy and, she delivers a no-holds-barred performance that would make Linda Hamilton (The Terminator) proud. Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), plays a member of the main villain's, War Boys, in a misguided but sympathetic way. His leader, Immortan Joe, played by original Mad Max villain actor, Hugh Keayes-Byrne, is as creepy in voice as he is in appearance. Altogether with a fun cast, the leads are as mysterious as the story itself. Like with the other Mad Maxes, there's little to no explanation for anyone or thing and, that's perfectly fine. It adds to the overall affect of the film. Throw in some high octane practical effects with an aggressive musical score and, you have a near complete viewing experience that makes the Fast and Furious franchise pale in comparison.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Mad Max: Fury Road

The Good- Every damn thing. The scene of our heroes scrambling to get going with the impending doom of a rock symphony led army approaching, is a highlight.
The Bad- Not a damn thing but, what more could Miller possibly do after going all out like this?
The Ugly- If you choose to mount a facemask to your jaw and proceed to piss off the wrong person, then expect the gruesome consequences that go along with it.

Final Thoughts on Mad Max: Fury Road

The difficulties that Miller went through to get Fury Road made, has paid off big time! It is an amazing accomplishment. Until proven otherwise, this is the best movie of the year. You must see this on the big screen. I've seen the regular and 3D versions and, your best bet is the standard. The 3D is okay but, it partially distracts from all of the detail that's oozing out of the screen. There are more films planned if this one is successful. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant in its shear madness! More please!
Rating- 9.5 out of 10 (That's Right!)
Running Time- 120 Minutes
Post-Apocalyptic/ Adventure/Action

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