Film Review: Mad Max Fury Road

“Oh what a day, what a lovely day!”

I’m coming a week late to the party on seeing Mad Max: Fury Road, so there really isn’t much I can say that hasn’t already been said…it’s magnificent. A truly tense and edge of your seat, high octane, dirt and blood soaked car chase on the apocalyptic outback. It’s crazy to think about the fact that this movie is supposedly 90% practical fx and how anybody behind the wheel of a car in this film wasn’t killed horribly.

The Mad Max series is well known for it’s intense car chases and insane stuntmen, but Fury Road takes it to a whole new level. Spiked/flame spewing, four wheeled behemoths smash into one another at high speed for almost 2 hours. Stuntmen attached to poles, sway dangerously close to the ground as they grab other drivers off cars going nitrous levels of fast.

Washing away the bad taste of the last Mad Max film (Beyond Thunderdome) released 30 years ago, a now 70 year old George Miller has made a return to the series more in the vain of Road Warrior, but on steroids. I miss Mel Gibson, but Tom Hardy plays the role of Max just fine. These films were never really about Max anyway, more about the scenarios that seem to unfold around him…and this particular story is so filled with strong characters and sets, costumes and vehicles that you become totally immersed in it. Charlize Theron has always been a great actor, but she is an absolute badass, warrior woman here. Someone you would follow into hell and believe would get you there safely.

While sort of comically tongue in cheek with how over the top it is, the Mad Max series has also never shied away from moments of realistic and terrible violence. I was beyond pleased to see that Fury Road keeps with this tradition, offering up a truly horrific scene depicting a child birth of sorts, that actually left me feeling sort of disgusted. It was more the way the scene was so nonchalant about what was happening, rather than what it actually showed that made it so horrific. Just the the world that these people inhabit and how barbaric/detached these survivors are was rather unsettling and it was good to be shown this as a reminder amidst the frantic fun of the ensuing car chase. This is truly not a world you want to live in.

In closing, Mad Max Fury Road is masterfully shot, brilliantly acted, soaked with gasoline and already guaranteed itself a spot on my top 15 of the year. Just a wonderful, back to the basics action film that delivers on all fronts. We need more action films like this.

-Sock Talk Jon-

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