Overall Grade: (A)
A wildly exciting adventure that highly entertains and oozes uniqueness.
In a barren desert landscape two strangers will work together to try and restore order to a new world ruled by chaos and anarchy. Thirty-years have passed since the last Mad Max film was released and I was interested if a new audience would take to the series that made a world-wide star out of Mel Gibson.
With skilled director George Miller returning to create his post-apocalyptic world, my interest was high in where the franchise could go with the advantages of special-effects. After watching I can easily say the entertainment “Mad Max: Fury Road” delivered was extremely high with amazing and eccentrically created set-pieces with a score that was amazing, and truly turned the film into a beautifully sinister ballet of visuals.
Before digging into the good things this film delivered the lack of a story-line has to be mentioned. With skilled actors such as Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, whom have a proven track record for great character acting, they were extremely wasted. The story-line was over simplified and really served nothing to bolster the strength of the film overall with menial, small bits of dialogue, most of which was mumbled by Hardy. For that aspect this film did nothing to create elements that would connect the viewer to the story-line in any way other than by sight and sound.
Regardless this was a great, albeit mindless ‘popcorn flick’ and keeps you enthralled in all the beautiful chaos created by George Miller. The creativity and detail put into the wardrobes, props and vehicles was great. The massive rigged up cars were creative and in their own way were as intimidating in appearance as those driving them.
The chase-sequences were the true star of this film. They were grand in scope and added with a perfectly fitted score the sequences gave off an elegance despite the carnage ensuing from them. After seeing the crazy collection and creation of the characters you are only given more as the choreography in the chases exhibits talented stunt-work. While the weak script may have failed to intrigue, the chases in this film make up for it and keep you on the edge of your seat as you take in the acrobatic spectacle of the dystopian world they are racing through.
The camerawork was excellent and used wide sweeping angles to capture the massive scope, as well as create anxiety as the hordes of villains chasing them down could be often seen out in the deep distance. The cameras were also able to put you in the perfect visual spots to take in the most of what Miller created in his intricate battle scenes, and at the high speeds the chases were able to deliver a strong sense of velocity to make the action as visceral as possible.
Immorton Joe, the films leading villain was excellent in appearance giving off a great visual intimidation but much like the rest of the cast he was underdeveloped and thus his impact was hampered. Also the titular character of Mad Max seemed more like a side-character in his own film with rather bland screen-time and minimal dialogue. I loved the creation Miller took into expanding his world but I would have preferred it didn’t come at the cost of an intriguing plot with even a slight amount of detail.
The action in this film was insanely ambitious and are what make this film enjoyable. The detail in the stunt-work, wardrobes, set-pieces, props and make-up save this film by creating a compellingly odd world. The 3D was fun and did a great deal to put you in the scope of the expansive settings and in the midst of the chaos during the destructive chase scenes. Normally 3D isn’t a must but for the lack of story this one gives you, and the fact it hinges solely on the visual appeal, make the suggestion of the glasses a necessity to take in the full experiences.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” was not excellent but it was extremely exciting and definitely not a waste of time. With Hardy and Miller rumored to have signed on for two more sequels I am excited to see the next level in Millers creation. I hope that a more layered script in the next one will account for its glaring absence in this one. Summer time is meant to take in blockbuster films with loads of eye-popping action and “Fury Road” does not disappoint in that aspect and is absolutely worth a watch.