Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road



4.5 Stars

I’ve hit a bit of a snag in my attempt to review the best films of the previous decade. It’s taken me some time to locate a copy of Arnaud Desplechin’s Kings and Queen. Happily, it has allowed me to reenter the modern world and review Mad Max: Fury Road.

To my mind, it’s the best of the Mad Max franchise (and I say that with apologies to both Mel Gibson and Tina Turner). As my film going companion put it, Mad Max: Fury Road is the best version of what it is.
Tom Hardy takes over the role of “Mad” Max Rockatansky from Mel Gibson. He was a cop before the world ended, and now he’s a lone warrior, hunted by the soldiers of the warlords who run the new world. As the movie opens, he’s on the run from a particular baddy, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, returning to the franchise having previously played “Toecutter” in Mad Max). He is caught, captured, and his relatively healthy blood is fed to one of Immortan Joe’s acolytes, Nux (Nicholas Hoult). Then just when it looks like curtains for Max, he finds himself caught in the middle of a power struggle between Immortan Joe and Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who seeks to liberate Joe’s nubile young wives. The rest of the movie is a chase film, first away from Joe’s home base and then back to it, as the plot carries us from one brilliant action set piece to the next.
There’s not enough dialogue or character complexity in Mad Max: Fury Road for it to make the list of best movies of 2015, but it is possibly the most fun and unique action picture that I’ve seen in a long time. Mad Max: Fury Road features a fully formed mythology that its characters subscribe to. It seems to be some combination of Norse mythology and vehicle worship. Tom Hardy’s age makes this unlikely, that the traditions of westerners could have changed so much between Max’s life as a cop and the still relatively young Max that rides the post apocalypse. Nevertheless, I liked how “lived in” this world felt – as if it were real.
The action, set, and sound design are spectacular. The bottom line is that Mad Max: Fury Road will likely be the best action film of 2015. It was put best by a friend of mine: “Mad Max: Fury Road is the best version of what it is.” Honestly, you can’t ask for much more from a film.
From Out in the Void
Steven

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