Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road Poster

There has been a lot said about the ‘feminist agenda’ of Mad Max: Fury Road, that issue won’t be touched upon after this first paragraph, because it really isn’t an issue. Some of the best action films have strong female leads: the Alien quadrilogy, Terminator and T2, Kill Bill Parts 1 & 2, Hanna, The Hunger Games, Kick-Ass and the Resident Evil movie to name but a few. Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best of them.

That said, there has been almost nothing but praise from all right-minded people. But, does the film deserve it?

There is absolutely no question that it’s a visual spectacle, made all the more impressive when you take into account that a lot of the on-screen action is real – flipping cars, people strapped onto poles being swung in an arc through the air while racing through the desert, fighting on top of moving vehicles. It makes a huge difference to see stunt being performed by real people, on camera and not a group of pixels added in post-production.

The look of the world is visceral and fully formed with no particular back-story to explain it, which is also a breath of fresh air. Too many films take too long to set up the world so you can believe in it before the plot can kick in, director, George Miller throws you straight into the story after just a couple of minutes and if you aren’t up to speed, that’s tough.

And, action there is. In abundance. The film is pretty much a giant car chase up a road and back down it again, but so much goes on you barely notice the fact there’s hardly a plot. Add to this that Miller is 70 years old and the scale of the ambition of this film is almost too much to take in. How does a man that old have the energy to make this?!

This is, however, not a perfect film. It is a B-movie after all and despite the praise heaped upon this film there are a few things that are wrong with it. Firstly, it’s very difficult to understand what virtually anyone is saying because Max (Tom Hardy) is mumbling incoherently, or characters are screaming at the top of their lungs over the sound of the engines, or Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) has a mask over his mouth the whole time, or the fact they all speak in A Clockwork Orange’s Droog speak. It also grates that neither Hardy or Theron can be arsed to do an Australian accent. Hardy gives it a go at the beginning, but less than halfway through stops using real words altogether, relying instead on grunts and facial expressions instead. Theron doesn’t even attempt to change her American accent.

There, those are the only gripes I have with the movie. Well, that and the character who gets blinded. That was a bit much. But, as stated earlier, this is a B-movie.

Thank whatever god you pray to for directors like George Miller. Mad Max: Fury Road is an absolute treat for the senses. It’s loud, garish and not ashamed to spray you with shiny chrome and send you into the eye of an apocalyptic sandstorm strapped to the front of a car.

Oh yeah, …those car designs! Wow.


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