Mad Max: Fury Road

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Welcome to the human race...
MAD
MAX:

FURY
ROAD

George Miller, 2015


In the aftermath of a nuclear war, the titular survivor is dragged into the middle of a situation involving an evil cult leader and a group of escaped sex slaves.

The long-awaited fourth installment in the iconic Mad Max franchise does not seem particularly concerned with confirming whether or not it's a sequel, prequel, interquel, or straight-up reboot; in the end, such a fact seems barely relevant. The only significant difference is the fact that, due to the fact that thirty years have passed since the last film, Max is now played by Tom Hardy instead of Mel Gibson (a small part of me does wonder how a film about a fifty-something Max would've played out, but it would most likely not be like this). Aside from that, it's business as usual as the film inhabits the same post-apocalyptic outback setting that defined the last two films and once again traces our hard-bitten protagonist as he unwillingly embarks on yet another adventure through the resource-starved desert starting with his incredibly sudden capture and enslavement by another group of freakish-looking warriors. Fury Road's storyline comes across as a loose hybrid of those of the previous two films, with aging wasteland despot Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) being forced into action when the members of his personal harem decide to up and leave with one of his best soldiers, Imperator Furiosia (Charlize Theron) as she commandeers a battle-ready tanker truck and starts a movie-long chase through the desert. Though a series of circumstances that are left unexplained and inexplicable, Max ends up being thrown into the fray and forging an uneasy alliance with Furiosa and her companions as they try to evade not just Joe and his "War-Boys" but various other gangs that populate the area.

It's a credit to this film that it lasts two hours but doesn't drag things out with excessive focus on plot and characterisation, with there being only the slightest of ambiguities to muddle up the non-action side of things (most prominently displayed through the continued presence of Nicholas Hoult as Nux, an especially excitable War-Boy who wants nothing more than to make his chief proud). Of course, the film is ultimately rather basic when it comes to plot and character development - Nux notwithstanding, you can easily tell the good characters from the bad ones, and the characters are flat enough that any strength they do have is because of the actors' talent. Max isn't an especially deep character - a loner with a troubled past that is occasionally referenced through lightning-quick flashbacks, once again getting the same character arc where his selfish survive-at-all-costs attitude gradually gives way to protecting the innocent from the inhumane. Furiosa gets a few little bits and pieces to distinguish her as being more than just a female clone of Max and Theron does a good job with that material. Nux could easily become annoying - and maybe some will find him annoying anyway - but he's got enough depth to him so that he's fairly tolerable. The same goes for the escaped slaves, who all prove to be considerably more proactive and capable than you'd expect your average damsels in distress to be. The villains are distinctive enough, but they're all pretty basic monsters whose only real strengths are vile bloodymindedness and weird physical appearances.

On the action front, Fury Road definitely delivers. Miller has claimed that the vast majority of the effects in the film are actually practical instead of computer-generated and it definitely shows as cars career across screen and into one another while explosions and stunts happen all over the stark orange landscape. Of course, that means the exceptions to this rule tend to be rather obvious and hard to miss (especially the detail on Furiosa's mechanical arm), but they are rather forgivable in the face of the high-octane pursuits featuring a variety of bizarre vehicles and even more ridiculous-looking occupants. Though most of the action scenes centre on the good characters driving a militarised tanker truck and the bad characters besieging it at every turn, there are usually enough variations on this particular scenario to keep things interesting up until the climax. This even extends to the more outwardly inventive ones, such as Nux strapping an imprisoned Max to the front of his car so as to keep harvesting his blood through an IV (you'd think it'd make sense in context, but not really - guess it's a good excuse for an unusual action sequence, though). Though it may not have the best story or characters to back up its powerhouse pyrotechnics or its two-hour running time (and, without spoiling anything, something about its denouement just feels out-of-place for a Mad Max film), Fury Road is definitely a strong example of what action films once were and could be again. It is worth seeing on a cinema screen (I saw it in 2D, so I can't comment on how it looks in 3D) as it manages to adapt old-school action sensibilities to reflect a much more demanding contemporary audience while also providing something for long-time fans of the original films.

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I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.



I just skipped to the rating. I'll read the actual review after I've seen the movie, hopefully tomorrow.
Can't wait!
Ha me too! Seeing it in an hours time



Really intense action cinema. True fans of the action genre will LOVE this film.

There's a clear storyline and there's a wide range of themes that's being explored, but it's all part of what's mainly one big visually engaging action sequence.

It's also worth seeing it in 3D, in my opinion.
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Cobpyth's Movie Log ~ 2019



Wanted to watch the movie first before reading your review, Iro. Great review, very well-written and I agree with a lot of what you said.

I will do a small review some time soon myself, when I find the time.



Well crap. Was going to see this tonight with friends, but that's not happening now.
Maybe I can convince my mom to go tonight. She likes the original movies.



Well crap. Was going to see this tonight with friends, but that's not happening now.
Maybe I can convince my mom to go tonight. She likes the original movies.
I watched it with my mom who also enjoys the originals, and apart from thinking there maybe was a bit too much action going on all the time, she really liked it. I mean, it does capture the Mad Max world pretty good, so I bet she will like it just fine!



Mad Max: Fury Road

After our previous week’s venture into summer action, I was not that enthused about another film of that sort, but the stars were aligned right, so we saw the new Mad Max movie.* Going way back, I recall that The Road Warrior was the first movie I recall that mastered the sort of hyperkinetic, FX heavy action that is the standard fare of summer blockbusters, so this was sort of a trip down memory lane.* It’s the same post-nuke, ruined world in which Australia is a savage desert, populated by warped maniacs, always on the prowl for gasoline to power their war-wagons.* Max (Tom Hardy) is still the burned out, monosyllabic maverick, loyal only to himself, but once again he finds himself dragged into taking sides.* In this episode Max finds himself on the side of a group of women (breeders as they are called), “stolen” from a self-inflated (literally) bully-dictator, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Burne).* Joe is the ruler of a colony of warped (mutant?) sycophants who nearly worship him, in return for brief gushes of water doled out from a subterranean well.* Meanwhile Max has been captured and is being used as an involuntary blood donor for a sick “War Boy” (Nicolas Hoult), mounted on the front of his vehicle like a trophy.

In yet another “meanwhile”, Furiosa (Charlize Theron) has liberated a group of breeders and is setting off in an armored vehicle in order to reach a green space that might be out there somewhere in the desert.* Not surprisingly, the chase ensues, with Joe marshalling all of his forces to retrieve his breeders.* Max is attached to the one of the vehicles as a blood supply and is an unwilling part of Joe’s War Boy army.* When Max gets loose, he links up with the women and helps them in their quest for escape.* Most of the movie, like other Max movies, is an extended chase scene, full of dust, violence, exploding gasoline, flying trucks and growling, hyper-testosteroned warriors dying like flies in order to get Joe’s breeders back to him.* Max and his new crew are having nothing of that.* They meet up with a group of older women and one disillusioned War Boy and become a new crew, off to some different end rather than being with Joe and his heavy-metal war boys.

If all this sounds completely over-the-top…it is, but you have to ask yourself, just WHAT are you doing in a Mad Max movie if you don’t want it to be over-the-top.* In a summer that will probably see more frantic action movies, I doubt that any of them will beat this.* It is violence, explosions and carnage, pretty much from beginning to end.* It never lets up for more than a moment.* As for acting, it’s pretty much all physical, very few sentences exceed 4 words and most consist of grunts, shrieks, roars and growls. *There’s not much verbal content here.

The other question…does it work?* I have to give it a rousing yes.* George Miller directs, as he did back at the beginning (Road Warrior was also Mel Gibson’s introduction to American audiences) and he really nails it in this one.* There’s very little plot to speak of, little exposition, mainly just a setup to a wild ride.* Miller is one strange director with a Jekyl-Hyde record.* Having a fairly small number of movies to his credit (15), most of what he has done is either hyper-violent, or something like Babe and Happy Feet….a bi-polar director and writer.* Most of the movie seems to have relied on carefully staged stunts and non-digital FX, without an over-reliance on a huge staff of animators (like The Avengers?).* I’m amazed that half of the cast wasn’t killed doing these stunts, but most of them are still breathing.* The actors are as good as they need to be, but this really is not an actor’s movie.* I did like (as I almost always do), Tom Hardy as Max.* He’s great in these sort of physical movies and manages to convey a lot with a scowl and a grunt.

I liked this a lot more than I expected.* It’s been 36 years since the first Mad Max movie.* It was so Australian that when I saw it a few years later (after the US release of Road Warrior), that it needed subtitles.* I didn’t think the Max franchise would still work but it did.* I did not see the movie in 3D, so I can’t comment on whether that worked, but the visuals in the 2D version were excellent.* The acrobatic action is hard to believe.* If you are going to see one action movie this week, this would be my choice.* I liked it much better than Avengers (a middling yawner IMO).* This is a movie that makes extreme violence work.* Be sure to take your heart meds before you go and strap yourself in for a completely insane chase, right up to the end.






All I know is I read an opinion piece the other day about how "this generation has finally found its own Ellen Ripley." In the Furiosa character.

And I'm thinking to myself.... do they seriously not see how nuts that is?

It's a Mad Max movie. There is no need to put "the new Ellen Ripley" in there. It's called Mad Max. Mad Max is supposed to be the hero. That's who everyone should be talking about. But instead, everyone's talking about Furiosa.
Furiosa is in Fury Road the way the lost children (or whatever they're called) and Master Blaster are in Thunderdome and the way the gas people are in The Road Warrior.

It's not that you are using the word "realistic" in a way that is incompatible with it's semantic range. It's that you're responding to me when I said I look for realism in movies, but you're talking about realism in a different context from me. The way you mentioned looking for every second of travel time is insane, but I don't do that, and looking for realism is not restricted to that degree.

I want what is in the film to be portrayed in a reasonable way that makes sense. So the car with the massive speakers and the guy playing guitar should have had a more stable frame and been unable to keep up with the others, and Max should have demonstrated more skill before being caught. If things like that had been more realistic then I would have been more entertained
WTF?!?!? Dude, they built all those cars and drove them for real! The car with the speakers did drive and did keep up with the others!!!!?!
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Furiosa is in Fury Road the way the lost children (or whatever they're called) and Master Blaster are in Thunderdome and the way the gas people are in The Road Warrior.
Then why is she being hailed as this generation's Ellen Ripley?

Nobody looked at those lost children or Master Blaster or even Aunty Entity and made a statement like that. Nobody thought that.

The point is, you're supposed to watch a Mad Max movie and praise Max. Instead, people think they've found the big, new female action star. That's what's wrong. That's what's screwed up. If Furiosa had her own movie, it's fine to praise her as the new Ellen Ripley. But not when she should be secondary, like all those other people you mentioned.



There can be no new Ellen Ripley. There is only one Ellen Ripley.




It's totally sad that people think Furiosa is even on the same kind of level as her.



WTF?!?!? Dude, they built all those cars and drove them for real! The car with the speakers did drive and did keep up with the others!!!!?!
Well that's actually pretty cool then, but it's not like what I said hinged on that.



WTF was with Immortan Joe's gang having, like, their own band on the road???? That's something I found so looney. "HERE THEY COME -- AND THEY'VE BROUGHT A BAND TO ENTERTAIN THEMSELVES ON THE WAY!" Especially those guys beating those drums.



Welcome to the human race...
WTF was with Immortan Joe's gang having, like, their own band on the road???? That's something I found so looney. "HERE THEY COME -- AND THEY'VE BROUGHT A BAND TO ENTERTAIN THEMSELVES ON THE WAY!" Especially those guys beating those drums.
To get 'em pumped up and ready to die in a blaze of glory for him, obviously.



His guitar playing was pretty crap too. No interesting finger work, just really boring power chord riffing. He could have at least made the guitar scream a bit.



At one point in the movie, I got confused by what I saw and I thought they ate the blind guy who played the guitar that shot fire.

He was laying down taking a nap -- everyone had stopped for a moment while on the road -- and I thought his head was a skull and I thought it meant they all got hungry for food and decided to eat him. I don't know why I thought that -- maybe 'cause I was falling asleep and was halfway dreaming. But it made me laugh out loud. I thought that was the best part of the movie until I saw him wake up and I realized he was just sleeping (like I was).



His guitar playing was pretty crap too. No interesting finger work, just really boring power chord riffing. He could have at least made the guitar scream a bit.
I'll take Adam Jones over Satriani for my army.



Welcome to the human race...
His guitar playing was pretty crap too. No interesting finger work, just really boring power chord riffing. He could have at least made the guitar scream a bit.
Yeah, it may be boring by itself, but it makes some sense in context since they don't need it to be complex, they just need it to be loud and heavy to go with the drums and be heard over the roaring engines.