Thirty years after Thunderdome, Max is back with a vengeance. The bumpy production phase with delays, script changes and pretty high costs did not exactly paint a picture of confidence. Thankfully, the result shows no sign of any of that. 'Fury Road' is a kinetic thrill ride, a choreographed high-octance ballet of death and destruction and is as imaginative and exciting as they come. The landscapes and frames are so stunningly beautiful you wanna pin them up on your wall. Mild spoilers to follow.
It’s easy these days to get carried away on the internet and declare something “the best X I ever Y’d” but I can objectively say that 'Fury Road' is one of the greatest action movies I have ever seen. But it doesn’t just end there. I’d have no problem placing it on a list alongside something like 'The Seven Samurai' without feeling like I have to qualify it. It has a scope on par with something like 'Intolerance.' I had to remind myself to breathe, several times during this film. The amazing thing is, every time someone or a something steals the show, something else happens that steals the show. The film’s constantly one upping itself.
The best part was that the reliance on practical non-CGI visual effects added a whole new level of realism and adrenaline to the action. It made this movie all the more entertaining and engaging. The world felt real, so I could focus instead on what was happening within it rather than what it looked like. It didn’t matter if I was witnessing a painting come to life on screen or picking my jaw off the floor after a particularly hair raising action sequence; I was always on the edge of my seat.
The best thing was that I can’t recall the last time I was so engrossed in a movie. I was wincing, biting my knuckles, covering up my mouth, gasping, cringing, etc. For two hours I was in Max’s world and it was glorious. This is the type of movie YOU HAVE to see in a theater. Your laptop, tablet or phone won’t do it justice. You need to see every little detail. Hear every little sound.
No, really the best thing about 'Fury Road' was that I appreciated the lack of any overwrought dialogue. These people are not complex beings with deep desires. They are survivors and scavengers. Plus, the lack words (Fact: Mel Gibson only had fourteen lines of dialogue in 'Road Warrior') helped make the world more believable and allowed the actors to express their characters through their expressions and interactions with the madness unfolding around them. Moreover, there is a threadbare context to the world which serves as a backstory. Again, this doesn’t detract because you can form your own metaphors about humanity and our urge for destruction, megalomania, manipulation, subjugation, and tribalism. It’s a dark and despair ridden world which highlights that even when we’ve gone too far we’re unwilling to abandon our baser instincts.
For real, the BEST part was Flaming Guitar Bro. This is the most 80’s thing in the last thirty years. That rig was supposed to be Immortan Joe’s “chase music” when he goes out to war. Kind of like having a band following you around playing your own personal theme music as you walk about town. Not only is it insane, but it’s insanely genius.
Seriously, The bestest. I like how the whole world explodes enthusiastically around a great work of a director that some people would see as ‘old’. Equality between men and women is one thing we seem to have some work to do on. But being 70 years old is in no way an indication your ideas and the seemingly wonderfully crafted imagination would qualify less as being ‘fresh’, ‘spectacular’ and ‘revolutionizing’ at all. Shouts to the master, George Miller. The man directed all the Mad Max movies, both Babe movies, and both Happy Feet movies. He loves his post apocalyptic action and talking animals that don’t quite fit in their society. Which is why I’d like to nominate him for Marvel’s inevitable attempt at making a 'Howard the Duck' movie. Or at the very least, a shot at Orwell's 'Animal Farm.'
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