Why’s Max Mad when he’s probably among the more sane people in this otherwise cloudy dystopian future?
And don’t say I didn’t warn you, there are mild spoilers.
Mad Max: Fury Road is George Miller’s answer to the queries on how one should follow-up his prior Mad Max films- and he does it so well, that this really seems like the perfect rendition everyone asked for, and no one will ever beat. Mad Max: Fury Road is as insane as you can probably ask for- crazy, dictator-like villain, War Boys who would do anything to please their great leader, blood bags, all kinds of vehicular stunts- this is really Fast and Furious, but packed into a brand new environment with a new cast, and one which is set in the far future. One might wonder if Fury Road here will exhaust people, since it’s technically a 120 minute road chase movie, and nothing more. However, that’s where Mad Max: Fury Road pulls off the biggest surprise here- it doesn’t just keep people engaged, but it does things so differently that every sequence seems unique, and never-before-seen, something which most other action films these days can’t attest to doing. You don’t have to watch the movie to figure this- just boot up your com, look for the trailer, and just know this- go in expecting 2 hours of that, but with each sequence different enough to make you drool. From bikers ‘gliding’ from sand dune to dune, dropping bombs in the Rig, to an electrifying scene where a guitar cum flamethrower is used as a weapon, this is probably one of the more original action offerings that Hollywood has offered as an option in the recent past. Every action scene here was created to stick to your mind, and yeah, that’s where it succeeds. And 2 hours of non-stop action, due to these very factors, becomes a pleasant ride which never feels like its dragging time at its feet, and instead feels like an exhilarating thrill ride, one which will leave popcorn-movie watchers leaving theaters with a grin on their face. (And since its no longer in theaters, at home too) From here, we can easily see the ambition brimming from the mind of George Miller, and he successfully translated those ideas to the film medium, and I can’t deny that it looks utterly amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised if I remember this movie for years to come, solely based on its intriguing premise and stunts. In summary- you have never seen, and will never see Mad Max: Fury Road. You’ll only go in surprise, asking ‘What the heck’, as you seat, wondering what the cast and crew were thinking about when they created this (were they drunk? Nah, just geniuses)
And the best thing of it all? Almost the entire film was shot with physical effects- meaning, little CGI was involved, and they were mostly used for the sand storm scene, where it wouldn’t be possible logistically to film in one (unless you’re saying the cast is disposable? Or that you know when and where it’s going to be?). Apart from that, I’m glad to say that every vehicle in the film was painstakingly created, and turn out to be as beautiful as one could envision. No one vehicle is alike, making this budget skyrocket, but yeah, its kinda understandable, since we are looking at long term viability, since practical effects tend to live longer in terms of their credibility.
Furious is an incredible showcase of the prowess of woman and their equal standing with man, one which Hollywood can manage with ease as long as they are given the chance. Played by Charlize Theron, Furiosa ironically steals the show from Hardy’s Max, who is relegated to the background, or absent from most of the first act, or mainly trapped as a blood bag for Hoult’s Nux character. She gets most of the lines here too, though Max rises into prominence later on in the film. However, Furiosa’s character still lingers at the background, imposing her dominance upon all who attempts to come scare her. She’s the woman that everyone wants to see on film- strongly depicted both physically and mentally, one who isn’t merely a wife, or a girl introduced only to be forgotten later. Yes, Mad Max: Fury Road still has quite a bit of questionable interpretations- the breeders resemble sluts, if you ask me, the very thing most woman don’t like to be associated with- but Furiosa’s character shows Miller’s willingness to veer away from social trends, and for that, he deserves our kudos. Tom Hardy is impressive here too, along with Hoult, who elevate this already fantastic film.
That doesn’t mean the film doesn’t bring along with it its fair share of problems. Removing the hoo-hah that comes along with the action sequences, the film feels exceptionally bare. Being mainly driven by action sequences, the storyline is actually pretty straightforward and simple- Furiosa helps a bunch of breeders escape, in search of the Green Place, in search of asylum. Meanwhile, Max is used as a blood bag for Nux, who aggressively leads the rest of the War Party to recapture the breeders, and to stop Furiosa from ever succeeding in her escape plan. That’s pretty much it, until for some reason I shall not disclose (for fear of revealing too much), they decide to turn back, and recapture the Citadel. And with that, we pretty much have the plot. Characters, including Max, are particularly undercooked, but that woe might be attributed to exceptional focus on his character in past installments (which I cannot attest to, since I personally haven’t caught them just yet). However, there are indeed several complex relationships going on between Furiosa and Max and Nux, which are definitely fun to watch (and, well, compelling enough to believe. It’s like ‘we gotta get through this, so let’s just work together or we all die’).
And no matter how action-heavy this film is, there are surprisingly quite a number of heartwarming moments scattered throughout the film. Mad Max: Fury Road, at its core, is first and foremost a survival movie set in a post-apocalyptic future, and for that, it succeeds. And, regardless of how simplistic the plot is, you can’t deny that universe building is omnipresent- this film isn’t one that blindly shies away from plot in place of action scenes, and effectively juggles between them, even within the action scenes- something surprisingly few films can handle. And with that, Mad Max: Fury Road is beautifully crafted, and driven by passion and ambition from George Miller.
No doubt, Mad Max: Fury Road is a miraculous return to a long dormant franchise. Warner Bros. and Miller have successfully revived a franchise which seemed like it had no future ahead of it. It’s true that Mad Max: Fury Road won’t appeal to all- it’s too geeky to some, and weird, choosing not to follow the common course set- I’ve met some who expressed disinterest in this film, for its sheer insanity it exuberates, but if you choose to watch this, I promise, you won’t regret it. It’s by far the best action movie of the year, no thanks to its cinematography, incredible casting choices and characters, especially Furiosa, an overload of practical effects, and original action sequences not resembling any you have encounters, and the confidence Miller shows. Yes, the film might stumble slightly with its otherwise simplistic plot, but apart from that, its the perfect Mad Max anyone will ever wish for. Here’s hoping Miller can top that, if there ever happens to be a sequel. Oh, and its not just the best action movie of the year. It’s the most original, insane theatrical action offering in the whole decade, seriously.
And here’s my final verdict:
On a scale of A to F, where F means stupid and dumb and ridiculous, and anything that you possibly wouldn’t love, and where A symbolizes perfection,
Character Development: B
Entertainment Factor: A+