Mad Max: Fury Road SPOILER-FREE Review
It's funny. For a long time, I wasn't interested in Mad Max: Fury Road. I saw the trailers and I just wasn't buying into it. I mean, I thought it visually looked great, but I didn't think it was going to be that good. Looking back, I don't know what the hell I was thinking. As the release got closer and the film ended up with a 99% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and every critic I listen to raved about the movie, then I went from zero interest to dying to see this movie. I couldn't opening weekend but I finally got to see it this weekend, and oh my God. This is one hell of a ride.
Mad Max: Fury Road opens with our titular hero(?), now played by Tom Hardy, captured and taken prisoner. Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) is the leader of an almost cult-following civilization. The movie kicks off when one of his trusted followers, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), who is supposed to be getting gasoline from an outpost, betrays him by stealing his wives and escaping. Joe rallies his troops to pursue them and chaos breaks out. This movie is really spectacular. Visually, it's incredible. It has a beautiful color scheme with different red and orange hues that work well with the film. The design of the cars, costumes and weapons work really well in the action. You could tell most of the action in this movie was used with practical effects, because it feels real as opposed to just watch a bunch of green screen and CGI. They actually filmed the movie in an African desert, and you feel the tangibility because of it.
But even though it is called "Mad Max", this is really Charlize Theron's movie. She owns the role of Furiosa as a badass, one armed warrior. For me personally, she is the highlight of the movie over Tom Hardy. In this film, the role of Max didn't require a lot of work. While it nice seeing Hardy in the movie, it feels like he was wasted a bit because Max could have been played by anyone. That is my main complaint about the film, that Hardy was wasted as an actor a bit. But it was still cool to see him in the movie kicking ass.
The chase scenes were spectacularly filmed. George Miller, who is now in his 70s, knows how to create a shot. There was no rapid editing or shaky cam; everything was clear and coherent. You saw exactly what was going on. The pace was rapid and was unrelenting. About two-thirds into the movie, the pace slowed down and it was a lot more tame for about fifteen minutes. I was kind of getting tired of it. That was another complaint of mine, was that small part. It was just a bit too slow. But then it picked right back off, capping it off with a fantastic battle sequence.
I think one of the coolest things in the movie was the fact that music was being played live in the film. During the chase, Joe had cars with people playing drums, as well as a guy playing an electric guitar that shot fire. It really was one of the coolest things in the film. It just fit in perfectly with the wacky and weird setting Miller created in the movie. Now, I have to be honest. I haven't seen any of the previous Mel Gibson Mad Max movies. So I don't have a frame of reference, but now I want to check them out. There were some really cool, innovative things I haven't really seen before. There some really out-there, WTF moments as well, which didn't bother me, because that was kind of the tone of the film. I also have to quick say that Nicholas Hoult as Nux was great in the movie as well.
Overall, this was an adrenaline ride. It didn't have a very strong story, but it didn't need it because the focus was the mind blowing action. Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult were great in the movie, and even though it was good to see Tom Hardy in there, he was wasted a bit as an actor. And there was one point in the movie where the pace slowed down a bit too much. But those few negatives are entirely outweighed by the positives of this movie. If you love action and science fiction, you need to see Mad Max: Fury Road.
*You can check out our special interview with Andrew Germishuys, who worked as an armorer on Mad Max: Fury Road, here*
What do you think? Did you see Mad Max: Fury Road? Did you like it? Leave your spoiler-free review in the comments section below.
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