With the biggest action movies right now being Furious 7 and The Avengers: Age of Ultron taking peoples focus, you may not have heard or been aware that there is a new Mad Max movie coming out this month. Is it worth caring about? Yeah the trailers looked awesome but is is really any good? Well the master craftsman himself George Miller is behind this one who helmed all the previous entries so yeah its good. Its BATSHI!T CRAZY incredibly good! Have your attention now? I had the honor of catching a exclusive screening here in Hollywood with a packed room full of fans who's asses were on the edge of their seats the whole time from what was unfolding on screen. Lets get into it without any spoilers...
Theres three people right off the bat you need to know about:
TOM "I deserve more mainstream movies" HARDY as your new Max
CHARLIZE "Im a badass" THERON as Imperator Furiosa
and RICHARD NORTON as Imperator
Max is a man who is alone and of few words who is often haunted by his families death with flashbacks often plaguing his head yet he still traverses forth in the wastelands trying to tackle the biggest challenge...surviving.
The apocalyptic world is a place no one deserves to live in; scavenging for fuel, relying on insects and reptiles as food sources and the severe stark deserts that surround pretty much result in everybody's lips being chapped. From the lack of necessities that were once common such as a abundance of water and proper living conditions its resulted in chaotic, humanity broken, savage free for all but one self proclaimed leader seems to have found control over the majority of hopeless population and he goes by the name IMPERATOR.
Ruthless, self indulged and merciless he keeps his throne overlooking all below as he continues to reign unchallenged. He draws water from underneath the cracked lifeless ground and releases short vast amounts at any given time to his followers keeping them addicted and desperate enough to stay under his tyranny while his orders are carried out by his loyal goons.
Furiosa is Imperators righthand woman and a strong willed one at that with a higher freedom than others and is left in charge of leading a convoy from his Citadel to another town with the task of transporting a tanker armed and equipped with other members of Imperator to help her as well as improvised and custom weaponry for added protection against other wasteland bandits. Needless to say things don't go as planned....
Treading lightly here to avoid spoiling how Max is introduced to Furiosa, they team up along the way. Both realizing being prisoners to their own life, they seek something more with content...freedom. Going against the orders of Imperator with his army now hunting them, its a race to a alleged safe haven that exists across the desserts while going into the path of madness that awaits...
Its a pretty straight forward story minus some key elements I've left out so i can leave that to you to further enjoy and appreciate but its enough to sustain the overall goal Miller achieved here and thats creating something new for the audience rather than rehash whats already been told in the previous installments. A remake wasn't done on purpose, this is to serve after years of Max losing his family and we don't need to know why or how they died but the fact that Max is left to continue thriving on with nothing else to lose and bringing up an updated look at the wasteland from what we remember it as years ago with Mad Max 3.
Whats going to set this apart from the recent action movies out now is just that, the action. Where now movies are made commonly with heavily overused CGI and green screen back drops, this was done 80% with all practical effects! Kids this means the stuff you see onscreen is really happening and not computer generated! This is the good old glory days rarely seen from Hollywood anymore, my hat goes off to Miller and his dedication for this method he chose when so few directors still uphold this practice. When he decided to show some footage at the most recent SWSX a audience member got up and asked the question "How the hell did you film that!", that man dumbfounded was none other than director Robert Rodriguez. That says something to its impact, if not then maybe the fact that during the first action segment that is easily 10 minutes if not more, left the audience gasping for air collectively once it ended. I haven't experienced a reaction like that since the brilliant climatic finale shoot out at the Candy house in Django Unchained.
Early i said this was a crazy film, if you've seen Crank 1 or 2, Smoking Aces or even Shoot 'Em Up then you know what i mean to a degree but you haven't seen this...oh you haven't seen this...its glorious.
At times i'd forget my jaw was still hanging open from the stunts done in this film. Did anyone get hurt or die making this i wondered and how it was even remotely possible at times since theres content in here thats never been done before in a film. If you're a film student or a amateur director like i am then you'll love this just off to study from alone, trust me.
Explosions, guns, awesome music, people using giant poles to sway from one end to another onto cars, chainsaw wielding goons, a guy with huge deformed feet, this guy playing a guitar that spits flames out! What more can you ask for?
What about a guy jumping off a vehicle onto another with dynamite attached to the end of his spears? Well, here you go...
The cinematography here is just dazzling, it really is. Miller actually had the film entirely storyboarded even before the screenplay was started since he envisioned it mostly as one continuous chase with minimal dialogue needed while focusing on the visuals and it pays off well. In fact as i said earlier 80% of the film was done with practical effects as only the landscapes, stunt rigging and Therons left hand only required CGI use creating even more clarity and brutal realism caught on camera. A rare treat thats not used nearly as much these days anymore.
THE WRAP UP:
I waited to write this review until the next day from seeing the movie so i could make sure i felt the same way as i did leaving it and my opinion still stands strong as ill be seeing it again on opening day for the public in IMAX to support it like it deserves.
In a world of heavily formulated cookie cutter remakes and comic book adaptations, every now and then we get a sliver of what true cinema is to be and once was in the 90's and earlier...real quality entertainment. Seeing is believing sometimes and luckily for you it can be done on MAY 15th.
Will You Be Seeing The Road Warrior's Return?
TOM HARDY IS SIGNED ON FOR TWO MORE SEQUELS BUT IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE SUCCESS OF THIS ONE SO IF YOU LIKE IT SPREAD THE WORD OF MAD MAX FURY ROAD