19 May 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

It has been nearly 30 years since writer, director George Miller has blessed our screens with the cult, post-apocalyptic tale of Mad Max. In all it's awesomeness, Mad Max: Fury Road is an eccentric, kinetically charged car chase that will have you gasping for breath as you witness this sensory explosion of blood, revenge and exhilaration.

Miller has undoubtedly maintained his passion and zest when it comes to this quite frankly 'mad' character residing in this demented universe. Clearly stating that this is neither a prequel or a sequel in a very Scott Prometheus fashion, we still follow the famous Max Rockatansky, albeit this is a very different Max compared to the one we have already met. Mel Gibson's Max was in charge, calculating and clever. Tom Hardy's new age Max may be clever but admittedly erratic, full of spontaneity and rather irrational. Yet, this type of Max needs to be all of the above plus more to survive this dystopian wasteland of a landscape that takes them on one high voltage, non-stop race that is Fury Road.

Minimal dialogue lends it self to this barren desert, vibrantly coloured with dazzling blues and oranges. Stylistically this film is so superior that invariably words simply wouldn't enhance what we see. The sheer grandeur of this production (make-up, costume, vehicles - where to begin?) distracts you from thinking you are virtually witnessing a fetishistic, primal take on silent cinema, that replaces light piano playing with glam-rock electric guitar and booming percussion. Leading man Hardy brings so much complexity and depth to his barely speaking, awkward Max with only facial expressions and periodic grunts to signal his emotions. Naturally, there are aspects that we are only given snippets of and delving into them would have pleased the story-lover inside of us all, yet this obviously wasn't Miller's main objective here. Through flashbacks and supernaturally charged visions we gain an insight into Max's fragile and broken mind supplying him with ample ammunition to aid female warrior Imperator Furiosa in getting the 5 brides away from the grotesque Immortan Joe. 

Charlize Theron is a ball of utter kinetic energy as Furiosa. With one and a half arms she makes 95% of men on screen look as weak as kittens. As it becomes apparent there is more to her story than just saving the women; it is hope that drives the latter part of this narrative. The ironic juxtaposition of placing highly sexualised, scantly clad women - one in the purest form of femininity, pregnant fighting beside their 'protector' Furiosa worked seamlessly on screen. Undoubtedly, there are elements of girl-power; how vigilant and skillful women can be (even in their last trimester), but ultimately Max and their new found blood sucking enemy come friend Nux (insanely performed by Nicolas Hoult) contributed greatly. This sun scored sand has stripped everyone normal life resources and simple pleasures that if you aren't prepared to get your hands dirty in this hell - you will die.      
This bizarre and brilliantly beautiful film will satisfy hardcore fans and indefinitely gain more from younger generations. Accelerating with such pace, Mad Max: Fury Road is a wild, over the top fun-fest, cranking up road rage to a whole new level. A wickedly entertaining film that doesn't take itself too seriously and neither should you.

Directed by George Miller
120mins, 15 (2015)

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