Thursday, June 18, 2015

Let's Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

I haven’t really seen the previous Mad Max films but I was aware of them. It wasn’t through lack of interest that I hadn’t gotten to them it was always just something on my list for later. That said when the trailer came out for Fury Road I found myself to be very excited since it looked like a really over the top action flick. My surprise came when the reviews started to come out and each one of them gave the film perfect scores. My excitement doubled to see this film. So did the film live up to the hype? Let’s review Mad Max: Fury Road.

The Negative

The film is a massive action set piece with very little breathing room. That said when the film actually does take a moment to stop and collect itself the entire pacing comes to a dead crawl. This pause isn’t unwarranted as it took a lot of effort on the part of our heroes to reach this point but at the same time it almost singlehandedly derails the momentum the film had going. I’m not sure how the film could have reached this point without killing the speed but as it is now this moment just feels out of place.

Everyone has gone mad. I mean that is the point of a Mad Max film after all but what I really mean is sometimes it becomes impossible to really invest yourself into this world because absolutely everyone in it has gone bonkers. Even when you think you are following completely sane characters in their venture for freedom, the film goes out of its way to remind you that they all have sanity issues and that is the only reason some of them are surviving at all.
The Positive

Everything has gone mad. Yes it can be a positive as well. The main driving force behind the Mad Max universe is that with everyone being insane you are going to witness some of the most insane action sequences. I simply must applaud director George Miller for his mastery in executing some of the most over the top and death-defying car stunts ever put to film. You do wonder how they pulled the majority of these stunts off with CGI being used to a bare minimum within this feature.  

This film is a marvel to look at. Between the high octane stunts and the gorgeous desert landscape, this movie captivates the audience. I honestly didn’t want to remove my eyes from the screen for even one second in case I missed another fantastic site to gawk at. Director George Miller has stated that he is releasing a version of the film that will be entirely in black and white. I’m really intrigued to see this version and how the new dynamic will change up the visual splendor this film provides.

One of the greatest aspects of this movie is the acting. Of particular note is Tom Hardy’s Mad Max who has surprisingly little dialogue yet says so much through simple gestures or looks. Max’s story arc of redemption is very subtle but one that is accomplished wonderfully. Nicholas Hoult also turns in a rather bizarre performance of War Boy Nux, but one that fits perfectly within this world. It is Nux’s story arc that really gives us a glimpse into how the main villain operates. The true star of the film is Charlize Theron’s performance as Imperator Furiosa. Theron’s performance commands every scene she is in and honestly eclipses everyone else in the film.

In Conclusion

I think that Fury Road lived up to a ton of the hype that it had going when it first came out. I also feel that the film probably isn’t as perfect as many critics make it out to be. This movie is a marvel to behold with insane stunts and wonderful performances by the entire cast. The issue being if you’re not into action films with insane over the top stunts performed by equally insane characters; this film is just not for you. I can see a great number of people not enjoying this film simply put because it’s not what they are into. For those who have been looking for a masterful work of art within the action genre, this is exactly what you have been waiting for. 4.2 out of 5.