Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

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9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Amazing visuals, intense action film

Decent story could have been expanded but would have taken away from the action

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Mad Max:  Fury Road

Studio:  Kennedy Miller Mitchell

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  May 7, 2015 (Premiere)/May 15, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

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Hannibal Lecter has nothing on me!

Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) finds his day of wandering the wasteland might be coming to an end when he ends up a prisoner of the War Boys and their leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne).  With precious blood, Max is hooked up to War Boy Nux (Nicholas Hoult) but finds himself pulled on a wild ride when Immortan Joe’s enforcer Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) decides to defect with Immortan Joe’s wives.  Now, the hunt is on, and Max is thrust into the middle of it.  Imperator Furiosa has promised the brides that she can help them…and that the “Green Place” exists.

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I spy with my little eye what will be an insane movie!

Directed by George Miller, Mad Max:  Fury Road is the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise after a thirty year break following Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985.  The movie was plagued with delays, rewrites, and recast Tom Hardy in the role that helped to make Mel Gibson famous.  Despite the problems surrounding the pre-production, Mad Max:  Fury Road was well-received and instantly catapulted into the top tier of action movies by many critics.  The film won Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Make-up and Hairstyling, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Production Design with nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects.

I grew up on Mad Max.  I can remember renting the original movie multiple times on video and then (like most of America) falling in love with The Road Warrior through repeat (though edited) showings on cable.  Though I enjoy Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, I thought it was a step back from The Road Warrior.  Many were worried about this movie, but I had hope.  I love Tom Hardy, George Miller is back, and there have been advancements in filmmaking.  This all lead to an explosive movie that was more than just eye-candy.

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Let me catch my breath…no? Ok…

Don’t get me wrong, if you just come for the action and explosions, you’ll be pleased, but I was actually surprised a bit by the story.  There is debate where this movie falls.  The makers kind of leave it ambiguous in interviews, but it feels like it goes between The Road Warrior and Thunderdome.  The original trilogy shows a real social decay from the first film and this is as wild and crazy as Barter Town.  Some of Max’s flashbacks of “failure” could relate to events in those films but nothing concrete.

A lot of attention was made to the role that it is a feminist “agenda” film.  I can’t say that the Mad Max movies all have been pretty pro-women even if they are victims.  No one goes down easy in a Mad Max film (even Max’s wife put up a bit of a fight before being rundown).  This movie has a patriarchy with essentially war brides tending to men…and they opt to fight instead of remain in the situation.  The movie smartly has the different brides react differently to this decision and even has one who wants to return to the slaver.  It is dirty, raw, and probably true.  Max might be the star, but the women rule.

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Yep…with one strum, he’s an instant meme…

As a result, Charlize Theron is probably the most praised actress in the film…her role is hard and physical.  Tom Hardy is good as Max but he’s had much better “acting” roles.  Like everyone in the cast however, this might have been his most physical role, and Hardy continues to prove his versatility.

The primary thing you take away from Mad Max:  Fury Road is the insane visuals.  The movie is possibly the most “action” action film I have ever seen.  There is very little down time in the film and the action is intense, intense, intense.  Virtually every perceivable car chase/wreck scenario seems to be in the movie.  A movie with a flaming guitarist really can’t add much more.

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Max who? I’m the star here!!!

The movie is a rare exception to the summer blockbuster model.  Generally I get totally pumped for a blockbuster and then thoroughly disappointed that it doesn’t live up to my expectations (sometimes they fall way, way short).  Mad Max:  Fury Road does live up to the hype.  It combines tall out action with the weirdness of a Jodorowsky movie.  I still prefer The Road Warrior to this movie simply because what it accomplished, when it accomplished it, and how it accomplished it…but Fury Road is a close second.  With a success, there has already been talk that Max might ride again…and I’ll be right there with him.

Related Links:

Mad Max (1979)

The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2) (1981)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

The 88th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by

Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn’t afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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