Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mad Max Fury Road Review: Nothing but Action

As of May 19, 2019, Mad Max Fury Road has a 98% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mad_max_fury_road/), 230 fresh reviews to 4 rotten. That is a very impressive number for any movie, and I went into Mad Max Fury Road looking to be thoroughly entertained. I was entertained, but not to level of the hype I was expecting. Do not get me wrong, I really liked the movie, it was fun and action packed. It had a great hero and heroine, a good villain, and a compelling world. The movie just left me wanting something more. This is purely off the hype. I was expecting out of the world greatness, and saw a good to great movie. Lesson learned, do not get over hyped for a movie. Easier said than done, but gosh darn I will give it a try.
Most of the reviews I have read have given heaps of praise to Charlize Theron character Furosa, saying she stole the show, and out shined the title character. I do not think I would go quite so far. She was great in the role, and kicked major ass. I feel Tom Hardy is getting downplayed for his great portrayal of a character who was made famous by a legendary actor (he's an ass, but still legendary). Hardy's Mad Max was spot on with his depiction of the Road Warrior. The dilemma to not want to get involved, to just survive, and then his pull to help, echoed the second movie of the series, which is my favorite (Fury Road, now is a very close second, and if I was born today Fury Road probably would win. Sue me for being nostalgic). Part of the credit has to go to George Miller for this. The world and all the characters feel like a Mad Max movie. True he created the world, but to be able to go back to it after so long, and recapture the same magic is short of amazing. The Wives from the movie are the best embodiment of this, they have some of the same actions and mannerisms from characters from the previous movies.
George Miller's world is the star of the movie. The action is amazing, and I'll give it its credit, but it is the post-apocalyptic environment which creates these characters that I enjoy above everything else. The main villain is good, but it is his cult of followers who steal the show. They worship gasoline, and the cars that are fueled by it. Steering wheels, chrome, and nitro are all part of the religion. Why would it not? The ones who control these things rule the world. It is an easy step to elevate them to Gods if no one knows any better. The pharos of Egypt were gods, and acted as if they controlled the Nile, it is similar to the main villain in the movie. He controls guns, gas, and water, and is worshipped as a God.
While I was enthralled by the world that spawned the people, most everyone is talking about the action of the movie. It is non-stop, with only a few breathers. The movie doesn't bog down in those moments, which is another credit to Miller. Most critics are gushing over Miller's use of practical effects instead of CG. Don't kid yourself, there is still plenty of CG in this movie. The huge sand storm stands out to me in particular. I like the cars, and the real car crashes in the movie, but I don't know if using CG would have been to the detriment of the movie. If CG is done right, you cannot tell the difference. This is one of the main reasons I think the movie has such a high score on Rotten Tomatoes. Big time critics have an aversion to CG being used too much, so when someone bucks the trend they slobber over the movie and make it something it is not. If this movie was released 30 years ago, around the same time the originals, it would not be getting the same love it is today. Is CG overdone in today's movies? Yes it can be, but to completely ignore its usefulness is asinine. Miller still used CG in the movie, and I think found a good balance between the two. The pendulum for lack of CG cannot swing too far back in the other direction, a happy medium is needed. Ok, sorry, off my soapbox.
Fury Road is a good movie, one I will eventually own. The Mad Max world is one I cannot wait to introduce to my 11 year old when he is a few years older. If you like action, you should enjoy the movie. Don't expect a spectacular movie. Avoid the over-hype and expect a solid action movie.
My Rating: Must see in Theaters/Will stop and watch every time on TV
My Ratings:
  • Must Buy
  • Must see in Theaters/Will stop and watch every time on TV
  • Rentable
  • Wait for HBO release
  • Has a good scene or two.
  • Don't Bother
  • Craptaculur (Guilty pleasure)


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