I chose to watch Mad Max: Fury Road because this flick was recommended to me numerous times by friends and family. Plus with its attainment of an enormity of awards, I wanted to know if it was worth the frenzied hype.
Directed by George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road takes place during post-apocalyptic times. Years after the collapse of civilization, tyrannical Immortan Joe now keeps a supply of water, shelter, and food all to himself– enslaving other survivors inside a desert fortress, (the Citadel), in the process. When warrior Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) decides to help Immortan Joe’s five wives (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Courtney Eaton, Abbey Lee Kershaw) escape, she forges an alliance with former captive, Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy). Aided with their trusty, armored truck and an heirloom of weaponry, the survivors try to outrun the ruthless warlord and his henchmen in a deadly high-speed chase through the Wasteland.
Throughout watching this flick, I couldn’t help but be awed by its costume, make-up, and set design. It was all very unique, tribal, punkish, and perfectly incorporated the rugged ruthlessness and discord of humanity’s deprived, degenerated state. And the “drummer boy” that’s swinging around the enemy’s speeding vehicle while playing his own little solo rock concert with a flamethrower guitar? EPICLY BADASS! Probably one of the best things to watch! And for other fellow watchers, was it just me, or did Mad Max: Fury Road kinda remind you of Naughty Dog’s 2004 PS2 game, Jak 3?
“Oh, what a day… what a lovely day!”
Another positive aspect of the adventure sci-fi was the sound mixing and editing. While watching it on my old, portable DVD player, I initially thought it had magically enhanced itself via an upgrade or something before realizing it was the film itself;the sound of revving engines, explosions, etc. that incredible and beautiful :D. From the sound of sanding crumbling to the revving of engines, Miller’s flick is a dream come true for those obsessed with random sounds.
Now, before you roll your eyes and go, “Great, dudes fighting to kick eachother’s asses,” there’s actually something that some of you feminists will enjoy: Imperator Furiosa. Furiosa isn’t a weakling, but a woman who has broad knowledge of guns, combat, and kicking ass. But what’s great is that Miller doesn’t just depict Imperator Furiosa as a killing machine; she’s also human. Charlize Theron especially does a good job in revealing a sliver of a softer, compassionate side as opposed to her character’s debut of a rough, scarred woman. Furthermore, a lot of the girls featured, (pregnancy slaves), actually made an effort to fight back and break free rather than the cliched damsels-in-distress-curling- up-in-the-corner. Yay for more female lead roles without making them look like brutish, viking Helga’s.
“I live, I die. I LIVE AGAIN!”
Moving on to the cinematography…wow–I mean WOW. For a lifeless, dead world, Miller is somehow able to make colors seem bright and beautiful— especially the contrast of golden sand and the cerulean blue of the sky. Despite literally only hills of sand being present the entire film, the landscape is strangely beautiful. And those continual panoramic view shots? That is some skilled camera work.
The action is ongoing literally during the entire duration of the film—perfect for action lovers. Nearly every single scene includes shots, explosions, etc. But then again, that’s because the flick is entirely supported by a blazing high-speed car chase. So if your buddy has ever complained about a movie being complete bore due to the absence of violence and action, force your weirdo to watch this; they won’t have enough. Having said that, in today’s world of CGI overload, Mad Max: Fury Road also trumps the majority of Hollywood’s action films in its glorious, practical action effects. The violence in this film is also great because it isn’t too excessive or gory, yet it perfectly stimulates your imagination and implies a shivering brutality whenever one of the characters is KO’ed for good. I’m not saying that I hate gore, (Final Destination lover here), but for a film like this, they didn’t include unnecessary, redundant shots of guts spilling out which would allow its viewers to adapt to the violence and usurp the film’s pivotal aspect of its characters’ brutality. Here, the violence is tastefully incorporated.
“You know, hope is a mistake. If you can’t fix what’s broken, you’ll, uh… you’ll go insane.”
Now onto the one thing that could’ve been better: the plot. I’m really sorry to say, but it was thin and terrible. The entire thing was literally a car-chase– cars going BOOM BOOM…really? It was kinda funny though since while initially watching this, I was thinking “wow, this chase scene is so long; the pacing really sucks!,” before realizing that was the entire film. The story line was also way too generic and boring when comparing it to other flicks in the post apocalyptic genres. So for a visually stunning movie to get dragged down by its mediocre plot? You could guess how disappointed I am that the film had excelled in every single other category except for “plot.”
All in all, I initially thought Mad Max: Fury Road was extremely overrated. But after thinking about it, here’s the thing: your satisfaction of the film depends on what you were looking for. If you’re the type of person to really care about the plot, you might be disappointed. But if you’re the type of person to care more about the action–or even the majority of categories it did superb in other than the plot, you might overlook its story…
Running Time: 2 hours
Final Verdict: Action = A+ Visuals = A+ Costume/Design = A+ Plot = C