Mad Max: Fury Road

Why are we doing another Mad Max?  Don’t we have other stories to tell?

Director: George Miller

Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris

Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult.

IMDB Synopsis: In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the cult status of Mad Max you need not watch the first films to enjoy Fury Road.  That said, if you wanted to be familiar with several infamously gruesome scenes and one liners in Australian Film, then it’s worth doing a u-turn; especially for Mad Max 2.  If there’s proof that sequels can be better than their predecessors, MM2 is a worthy example.  What is most striking about these early films is the dystopian vision created by George Miller and Byron Kennedy (18 August 1949 – 17 July 1983) and that realisation is driven home in Mad Max Fury Road.

Unlike the first films Mad Max (FR) was shot in Namibia, and the environment is stunning.  Visually, the creative team deserve praise.  The film is rife with chunky steampunk designs and a theatrical spiritualism that bounces off the desolate landscape.  This tribal aesthetic is reflected by the high-octane characters and oppressive society that now dominates this Earth.  The War Boys are a wonderful creation.  Unlike the goons from most action films, they strive with purpose to enact their master’s commands for honour and spiritual transcendence.

The lead actors, Charlize Theron (Imperator Furiosa) and Tom Hardy (Max Rockatansky...yes he has a surname) work well together.  There’s a credible on-screen chemistry that isn’t stifled by emotive wish-wash, or selfish capital “A”- acting.  Hardy’s quixotic performance is equally matched by Theron’s passion and dexterity.  Nicholas Hoult (Nux) pushes himself into new territory convincingly and - though her screen time is small - Melissa Jaffer (Keeper of the Seeds) shines bright.  The rest of the cast work hard to make little of a bare script, and those who weren’t seasoned performers struggled to convey anything but effort.

Even though this film is thematically rich it lacks an investment of those ideas and fails to provoke introspection which could have elevated the experience beyond a gripping thrill ride.  But if you’re looking for a circus on wheels, Mad Max (FR) delivers it in spades.  Big rigs and pumped-up off-road junkers roar across the terrain - chaperoned by sonic accompaniment (of course!) - while their passengers do battle at high speeds.  Miller employs a huge stunt team to choreograph an outstanding array of action sequences and Junkie XL orchestrates an energized soundtrack guaranteed to reverberate around your body long after the film has finished.

Mad Max (FR) is already a success at the box office and it will certainly clean up at all the future Australian film award celebrations.  Our return to Mad Max shouldn’t be met with scorn.  It has the potential to inject a much needed boost into our film industry - especially in the current climate.  Despite falling short of some emotional depth, this theatrical release gives cinema-goers what they want; a furious unapologetic road trip of redemption.

Ray @ Lovesac

RATING: Moviesac + Minisac

[Ratings are based out of our 7 sizes of Lovesac: Kidsac, Gamesac, Playersac, Pillowsac, Moviesac, Supersac, BigOne.  The bigger the Lovesac - the more we love the film.  Accessories are used as markers in between sizes/ratings: Tubesac 1/4, Cubesac 1/2, Minisac 3/4. ] 

 


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