“Fury Road” excels expectations
For not one second did I look at my watch. My eyes were glued to the screen as I saw the adrenaline rush and visual splendor. Critics praised it and it rightfully deserves it. Of all the blockbusters, I wish “Mad Max: Fury Road” came out sooner in an era of cinema when we were desperate for a movie that was rich in atmosphere and grand in scope. No need to worry now. George Miller returns in the director’s chair and delivers the goods giving a satisfying entry. Miller was there from the first film and seeing him return is a delight. He knows how to please audiences of new while delighting fans of old with small cameos from Max’s old car to the outfit he wears. Every frame and every scene doesn’t boring or unsettling.
The plot, however, is so simple that one could debate if its paper thin. A one-armed rebel named Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is on the run to a promised place of green in a rusted gas tanker. Along for the ride is Max (Tom Hardy) who barley says a single paragraph as he joins on. The chemistry is almost akin to a male and female version of Han Solo fighting at each other while working off one another. However, they already know one can’t survive alone in the desolate wasteland and reluctantly trust each other. I like how Furiosa is able to put her own life on the line as much as Max when it comes to saving characters of great importance. Not to mention, her mechanic skills become an interesting character trait later on when she has to teach the survivors aboard how to run the place.
The survivors in question are the wives of bad guy Immortan Joe, who can be described as the Darth Vader of the movie. With a plastic muscular chest covering his frail body and buck-teeth oxygen mask, he stops at nothing to see his property in his hand. The menace Hugh Keays-Byrne gives is memorable as each action he creates shows how much dominance he posses on the world. Joe’s design is so iconic it matches the personality of the character with such a powerful presence covering a weak body.
“Fury Road” is a visual wonder taking the vast dune desert and turning it into a Salvador Dali painting. One minute, we trek into a sandstorm that looks right out of a level of Hell and then nightfall seems peaceful but still has that menace. It complements the world of Mad Max as no one can be trusted and those who do are under reluctance or seeking promise to a fortune of nothing. Not since last year’s “Guardians” has there been a movie that combines visual wonder in a summer blockbuster wizz-bang fest of enjoyment.
The biggest surprise for me was not the practical effects and on-set stunt work. But rather Nicholas Hoult as Nux, a boy warrior that seeks to please his master the Immortan Joe but ends up following a different journey. This character is given a story arch almost similar to Golumn from “Lord of the Rings” but end up sympathizing more for his innocence. One minute, he follows his faith from the religion he is brought up on and the next minute questions it. Under all the pale make-up and chapped lips, Hoult gives such a wonderful performance of insanity and tragedy to this character that it makes me wonder where all this was when he performed in “Jack the Giant Slayer.” No doubt, my favorite character this year is Nux.
As said before, CGI effects are used as minimal possible while all the car chases and stunts are done in camera (well, almost after reading an article from Fxguide). Its refreshing to see so many live cars crashing and hunting down one another that each vehicle almost feels like a character itself. It shows how alive the world is as these mechanical monsters ravage the dune sands while trying to go against every obstacle of the land. For all the crazy designs and over the top ideas like a guitarist flamethrower, I never questioned the oddity.
The only flaw of “Mad Max: Fury Road” is the character Max himself. He is present a lot and moves the story along but it feels like more could have been done. With the few lines given, Tom Hardy still makes an impact with his portrayal compared to Mel Gibson’s years ago. But I wish there was more lines and time spent diving into this character’s psych.
Regardless, “Fury Road” is one movie you have to see on the big screen. With much action and visual appeal, this is one movie that will keep you on the edge and give you the money worth. Now, there are points of violence and some intense spots but it never gets too graphic or too unsettling to ruin the fun. People who rent movies like this claim they have seen it. They are dead wrong. A movie is meant to be seen in a theater to appreciate its grand appeal. If you even plan to skip this one and deem it a rental, you have no idea what your missing out on this summer.
Posted on May 31, 2015, in In Theaters (Sort of) and tagged apocalypse, Australia, car chase, Charlize Theron, desert, Franchise, George Miller, Mad Max, Mad Max: Fury Road, Nicholas Hoult, practical effects, Road Warrior, Summer Blockbuster, Tom Hardy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.