Two Fridays ago we got another installment of the Mad Max franchise. A due date for another sequel, at least that’s how I saw it. Another possibility for production companies to churn out a less than thoughtful film while a director compromises way too much just to get his story told. I wasn’t too primed to see it to be honest until… I saw the first five minutes of the film. It was as clear as crystal what kind of experience this film was going to be for me. In the first few shots of the film, I felt the film gently begin to grip my attention. And as the film blasted past all my expectations in a roaring Pursuer through an endless desert for all 120 minutes in this satisfying and exhilarating action-packed, post-apocalyptic film called, Mad Max: Fury Road.
Fury Road immediately begins with Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), as a nomad & ex-cop with a painfully haunting past, who is captured by a clan in the orange dunes of a nameless desert. With Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) driving the War Rig, to Gas Town & Bullet Farm per the clans communal king, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), we are introduced to a rich, and expansive world by the Mad Max franchise creator, and returning director, George Miller.
From this point, we are immersed, via an unexplained detour by Furiosa, into a unique world of a dried up, and dying (Or already dead) Earth in hopes of delivering Immortan Joe’s stowed away brides to a mysterious land called, “the green place.” After Joe learns that Furiosa has gone off-route to Gas Town and checks to see that indeed his wives are missing. He calls for all of the War Boys (Immortan Joe’s kamikaze thugs, basically) to join him in retrieving his runaway wives from the duplicitous Furiousa, who is bent liberating the women from the forces of oppression.
As word of this spreads we’re introduced to the last real character of the film, Nux (Nicholas Hoult), a sickly War Boy who is intravenously draining Max of his “hi-octane” blood to get better. Nux decides to venture out to retrieve Joe’s wives along with the leader and the rest of the War Boys but, not without bringing his “blood bag (Max)” with him. As the War Boy’s and Joe prepare to chase down Furiosa, we, the audience, realize that this film is just getting started.
This film is unlike any other is terms of entertainment. It is the perfect amalgamation of adrenaline-pumping, arm rest squeezing, edge of your seat action and a dense, relatable narrative plot that leaves you reeling as the film seems to be over as soon as it started. With Miller combining these two simple, yet often overlooked elements of film, this movie grabs your attention, holds it, and let’s go without you getting bored for even one scene to pass. The world that George Miller has catapulted us into is so thought out that we never question into buying if Earth hasn’t become a giant desert. With the thousands of parched and oppressed citizens of Immortan Joe’s Citadel, where he controls an underground spring, we believe that liquid, it being milk or water, is what is barely keeping any of these people alive.
“One scene took up to 138 days” to film, George Miller says. And it shows as over 150 vehicles were conceived and created by the production team & art department. Mad Max: Fury Road is a testament to the genre of action, practical effects, and the lack of computer generated images (CGI). This is a motion picture that is meant for the audience to revel in within theaters. It’s eye candy that’s got a unique and original flavor that resides on your palette that leaves the average movie-goer jonesing for the next possible show time. The film acts as an oasis in a mirage filled desert of mediocrity.
As a final note, the film also boasts a delectably rich soundscape. Not only in music but in sound effects. The music, by Tom Holkenborg, delivers a lush score to this explosively charged postapocalyptic carnage that you cannot help but feel that we are in a land of dog eat dog world where one mistake could leave you six feet under the sand. The sound effects that accompany this film would make David Lynch smile at its rich, deafening audio.
Am I done gushing? I am. The truth is Mad Max is a thrilling experience. It’s a film that finally has imagination as well as story. The cast is on key to deliver a believable performance with every role cast to the character. The cinematography should be considered for the 2016 Academy Awards due to it’s impressiveness & consistency. And George Miller, the filmmaker that helms the Mad Max franchise, out does himself and arguably raises the bar for upcoming films for the rest of 2015.
Then that airborne guitar and steering wheel part happened which was obviously chucked together to appease the 3D crowd. But, I’ll let you judge that part.