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CINEMA REVIEW: FTN reviews Mad Max: Fury Road

May 11th, 2015 by Big Phil Comments

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Mad Max: Fury Road (15)
Directed by: George Miller
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron &Nicholas Hoult
Running time: 120 min

An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max Rockatansky, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.

Right from the opening, with a little narration and explanation footage, Max blazes across the baron wasteland in his V8 Interceptor once more. This is clearly a reboot that firmly stablishes itself as both a part of the original series and something entirely different.

Tom Hardy is portraying Max, the burnt-out ex – road cop, who is clearly suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the loss of his wife, his daughter and various others he has encountered. The scenes and quick flashbacks firmly set the tone for this new and higher than high octane version of the Mad Max Saga.

The dialogue is sparse and continues the theme of “guzzaline” slang from the original movies. Max, who was always a man of few words, maintains his mystery and harrowing past by speaking as few words as possible. This leaves the dialogue for new characters such as Immortal Joe (played Hugh Keays-Byrne who was The Toecutter in the original Mad Max movie); a villain whose scared and cancerous bulk fills up the screen just as much as his nastiness! Charlize Theron is The Imperator Furiosa, the driver of War Rig and the heroine of this visual opus.

The story is a simple one, but it’s not the story, but the telling of it that is so enthralling. This is a visual futuristic epic told by the Grand Master himself, George Miller (the Director of the previous Mad Max movies).  George Miller has taken the most memorable part of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior ( the tanker chase, one of cinema’s most detailed and best loved car chases) and spun it into a movie that lasts two hours.

For in all its visual glory, Fury Road is one VERY long car chase (or in this case, Tanker chase). The fact that the audience barely notices the running time is testament enough that this is something incredible on the silver screen for we witness car, motorcycle, tanker, men on high poles, and there is even a guitarist with a guitar doubling as a flamethrower involved in this chase. Everything you see on the screen screams as loud as the engines.

And that is one of the film’s greatest accomplishments. What you see is made to entrench the audience’s subconscious that it all works. From the industrial use of man power to turn giant cogs which winch vehicles into the air to the spitting of petrol into filters to make the engines go faster; there is virtually nothing to look at on the screen to say that this couldn’t happen.

All except the laugh out loud stunts and the CGI weather that is. The original Mad Max 2 portrayed the future as bleak, both in landscape and man-kind’s future. This reboot however, doesn’t take itself too seriously as we see our hero literally bounce from one car to the next with little to no effort.  The CGI weather is both good and bad. Here we see a nuclear storm of sand and lightening which looks incredible. Yet shortly thereafter we see shades of white and dark purple for the night that simply looks like poor back screen lighting. It is these night scenes that sadly let this amazing film down a notch.

This is perhaps the first reboot which is at least equal, if not better in parts than its original. The visuals are incredible, the narration and limited vocabulary work in the film’s advantage as too do the many touchs from the original movie trilogy such as the white face, black eyes, the children, a music box and le’ts not forget that fabulous V8… to mention but a few!

A brilliantly futuristic movie that is refreshing and loyal to its original source material; a must see and worth the “guzzaline”  to get to the movie theatre!

4 out of 5 Nerds

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I arrived on Earth in 1977 and have virtually devoted my entire existence to cult films, television programmes and cartoons. I am a very big fan of Star Wars and Star Trek; I may struggle with foreign languages but I can order live Gagh in Klingon! I’m the Nerd that knows the trivia but I’m hopeless at sport!

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