It’s time for another D&D Mixed Review. This time the guys will be looking at the sequel 30 years in the making, Mad Max: Fury Road. As usual, myself (Derek) and Denis will be discussing the film in four categories; PLOT, PERFORMANCES, PRODUCTION AND OVERALL FILM QUALITY. The review will then end with a score of SEE IN THEATRES, WAIT FOR RENTAL or PASS.
But before the review here’s the basic plot:
Picking up sometime after the events of the last film, Fury Road opens with our titular post apocalyptic Max (Tom Hardy) getting kidnapped by the War Boys, a cult lead by King Imortal Joe (Hugh Keays-Bryne). While being used as blood donor for one of Joe’s warriors Nux (Nicholas Hoult) Max is dragged into a cross country chase.
After years of service, one of Joe’s loyal Battle Rig drivers, Furiosa (Charlize Theron) takes Joe’s brides and tries to bring them to safety across the wasteland. After meeting-up with Max and Nux, the group soon fight off Joe’s large army and tries to find a place away from Joe.
If there ever was a film that need to slow down, it’s this one. From the opening seconds of Fury Road we’re given nothing but tones of information, most of which visual, about who the main character is and the situation he’s thrown into. While the film is light on storytelling, it uses it’s concepts well and plays around with the post apocalyptic world. That being said, the film leaned a lot more on action instead of plot, leading to some dialogue that was more then a little on the nose. Despite this, Fury Road ends up giving the audience enough information through it’s visuals and few spoken lines that it’s easy enough to follow, 90% of the time.
I remember hearing from George Miller that action movies are closely associated with silent films, where much of the plot doesn’t rely on dialogue. That’s certainly the case with Fury Road, where the brunt of the movie is just pure action with dialogue sprinkled in between. Which isn’t a bad thing, the movies pacing and action desires are what George Miller is servicing and what has resulted is an awesome action movie. It’s not dumb like a Michael Bay film and it’s not focused on long scenes of people hashing out their beefs, it’s pure action that is staggering to look at. So I don’t care that there aren’t flashbacks or long montages of character stories and over world building, cause the movie had a goal and it achieved it with zeal.
With this being an action movie, there’s little to say about the overall acting of the cast. Each one fills their roles well enough and there aren’t any performers that make you question their place in the film. Hardy seems to walk into the shoes of Max well, but this might not be such a difficult thing seeing how the character is basically a mute who just happens to wear a sweet looking jacket.
Everyone fits. No one is out of place, people act broadly or subtly depending on where they come from and their all interesting to watch. Also tones of dudes are chalky and shirtless and the ladies are wearing toga clothes, so it’s great for both parties.
While the performances and plot might not be impressed, the films production is it’s saving grace. With a budget almost half the size of the last Avengers film, Fury Road ends up being one of the most creative and impressive special effect driven film this year. From the huge crowds of people living under the rule of Immortal Joe to large action set pieces Fury Road hits a happy medium between practical and special effect. Series director George Miller and cinematographer John Seale end up making some impressive set pieces with each bit of action raising the bar. Add on top of that a score that ranges from sweeping orchestral flourishes to guttural crunchy guitar chords and the production is top notch.
This is the part of the movie that stands out. I think mainly because I’ve never seen an apocalypse movie with so much vibrant colour. The movie looks awesome, and on top of that are some incredible stunts and sequences. The emphasis on practical effects were evident by the enormous grit that was spitting out of each action scene. It’s incredibly impressive and awesome to watch. Unfortunately I had to watch it in 3D which adds a bit of confusion to the visuals, but thankfully I was able to overcome the terrible 3D and see the movies brilliance on display.
While it won’t be winning any awards for it’s writing or acting, Mad Max: Fury Road is an impressive film. With amazing stunts, top quality special effects and solid direction this film is probably the best popcorn film this summer. If you wanted more action out of you Marvel Comics adventure then this is the perfect film to get your action overload. SEE IN THEATRES. NOTE: If you can, see it in 2D. Like many 3D films, there’s really little that’s added to the overall film.
Mad Max:Fury Road reminds me of last years Edge of Tomorrow. An action movie that stands out as very clever and stylistic and yet unfortunately because it’s not linked to a comic book universe it probably won’t get an overwhelming amount of attention. Although it is from a franchise so hopefully you all grab you friends and some popcorn and watch one of the most fun actions movies I’ve ever seen. SEE IN THEATRES.
Mad Max: Fury Road was produced by Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Village Roadshow Pictures. The film is distributed by Warner Bros.