Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD: Bold, Badass and Beautiful

May 17, 2015




I have only a fleeting memory of the Mad Max films from 1979-1985 directed by George Miller and starring Mel Gibson. These were set in the dystopian future in Australia, where energy is a critical commodity. Max was a man mad with revenge after his wife and child were brutally murdered. This setting is all the background you need to know about the previous franchise in order to enjoy this present incarnation, 30 years after "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome", the last film of the first trilogy.

In the massive Citadel, a skull mask-wearing tyrant Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) rules, cruelly withholding precious water from his impoverished subjects. Mad Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) has been captured to become a blood donor for Nux (Nicholas Hoult), one of Joe's War Boys. Elsewhere, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a female War-Rig driver, helps Joe's five wives escape to the fabled "Green Place" of her childhood. Nux, with Max still attached to him, joins Joe and the other War Boys to pursue Furiosa. This chase leads to a major explosive battle-royale in the desert, one that would cause an upheaval of the balance of power in the outback. 

The screenplay by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris was rich and complex, with deep emotional moments. The cinematography of John Seale, with his orange-tinged day scenes and yellowish-hued night scenes, was breathtaking to behold. The magnificent action sequences with 90% actual (not CG!) vehicular stunts with gigantic monster trucks were so perfectly planned and executed. These were edited with precision by Margaret Sixel, with awesome sound mixing to boot. I thought the eye-popping 3D effects for those exhilarating car chase scenes are very much worth the extra in ticket price.

Tom Hardy was impressive in both his athletic ability and his facial expressiveness as the quietly macho Max. He was required to underplay his role since Max is a strong and silent type. But to his credit, Hardy was able to come up with a relatively silent but memorably strong performance. His final scene was very haunting even without any words being spoken.

Despite being totally bald, one-armed, with black grease on her face, Charlize Theron never loses her elegant screen presence for a moment. Her performance, so rough and physical and yet so warm and moving, was the very heart of the film. Truth to tell, she was riveting every time she is onscreen, even stealing the thunder from the title character himself. Rare as it may be for an action film, I feel Theron is definitely in serious contention for a Best Actress award.

More than anything else, "Mad Max: Fury Road" is one gorgeous-looking film. Director George Miller was able to mine cinematic beauty from the vicious violence and badass brutality amidst the dirty and dusty dystopian setting, and that is no mean feat. I am looking forward to the coming installments of this new and improved Mad Max franchise. 9/10.



21 comments:

  1. I remember Mel Gibson for his role as Mad Max, like at present my idol Tom Hardy. It seems that you're satisfied with this film. Your reviews in the past and until now, adds to my "cookie jar." Great!

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  2. Still never heard this movie before from Friends and family 😣 It looks like it's a nice movie

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  3. I never enjoyed the first Mad Max movies. Too violent and scary for my taste. This new one looks to be a jumped up version of the old so I have a feeling it will be relegated to being a "when it comes out on the TV" movie, LOL :-)

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  4. My dad saw this the trailer of this movie and said it's a good movie. But my Mom said she didn't like how violent the scenes get so we gave it a pass.

    Looks like you were very satisfied with this movie to give it a high rating, huh?

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  5. I'm a sucker for action films, so this is just right up my alley. Didn't see the old Mad Max films, but definitely looking forward to catching this one!

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  6. It's been a while since the last time I've watched an action film on the big screen. Will definitely watch this in the cinemas this weekend! :D

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  7. Wow! 90% actual stunts? Wow! Just wow. Anyway, I am not so much into this Mad Max, but with your review, I think it's worth a try watching. :-)

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  8. Sounds like it's a great movie.. Wow! Actual stunts? Gonna be great!

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  9. My husband can't wait to see it. I heard it surpassed the gross sales of Avengers.

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  10. I saw the trailer of Mad Max and did not really like it as it was too crazy. Or should I say, Mad? Haha... not gonna watch it anytime soon I guess.

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  11. I haven’t seen the original films of the Mad Max, but from the looks of it, the latest installment seems promising enough to watch. I might like it enough to watch the prior films too.

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  12. I saw the trailer in the movies and thought that it looked "crazy cool" as my son would say. I'm not sure if I'm seeing it though as yet.

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  13. Seeing Charlize Theron like that persona in Mad Max reminds me of her role in Monster

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  14. I have not seen the first installments of Mad Max so it looks like I need to watch them first. But this is something that I'd watch. Oddly, I like watching on-screen fight scenes because I think they're cool. I am intrigued by the "yellowish-hued night scenes" - makes an action movie sound cinematic ... it's something to look forward to.

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  15. I like action films. However, i cant watch this with my kid. Unlike the recent movie pitch perfect me and my kid enjoyrd watching it at the cinema with other moms and kids, lol

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  16. I can't even remember the old Mad Max film. This one looks like they were able to make a really good version of the film.

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  17. I can still recall having my ex watching the last Mad Max film. Now after 30 years, eto na naman, may new Mad Max na naman. Hope ma-satisfy ang kiliti ko. your honest review of the said film made me more eager to see this flick ..extreme action + Charlize Theron .. fantasy ko rin yang babe na yan.

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  18. OMG now I really have to watch it. My brother's been talking about how good this movie was all week! Haha!

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  19. I've never heard of Mad Max... perhaps I should be on the lookout for movies now that mil is moving in with us and hubby & I can sneak out for a midnight show, hahah! Thanks for sharing, might consider this show :D

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  20. It has been a while I watch Charlize Theron movie, since your review is quite a high marks I might be joining the boys to watch this movie coming weekend.

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  21. I see a fellow fan of Charlze Theron here ;) She is indeed one classy lady and I've always enjoy her performance! :)

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