By Ashley Johnson, Content Manager
The Mad Max: Fury Road movie arrived on screen like a gut-punching, game changingly visceral return to the 30 year classic we all know and enjoyed. The best part was that it gave us the R-rated genre pictures of yesteryear, you know the ones that never truly underestimated their audience, or took them for granted, so yes this movie gave an experience to yet be forgotten.
The trailers that were placed out for this film, though not really delving into many movie details, didn't lie; the action is insane, even more so when one considers that so much of it was achieved with very practical means, and that a large part of the movie is made up of that central iconic chase sequence we all know and love.
The storyline for the movie was developed quickly and stayed stable with a few bumps and humps along the way. It seemed that we jumped right in and were never really let go of. I would have to say that though it had an ambiguous backstory (a hallmark for any of director George Miller’s series) this ambiguousness allowed the filmmaker to reset Fury Road just a tad. And it was in this reset that a different perspective and twist on the story to be told was allowed. I found this aspect to not only be bold but an excellent way to reboot/remake the franchise. It stuck to the bare bones and added its own foundations and flourishes. There were elements always being introduced throughout the journey, and the story never seemed to falter only build upon itself. One of the best moments for me, was at the end, when they had a grand realization in terms of their journey.
And lets not forget all the action! For those seeking high-speed thrills you won’t be disappointed. Ditto to anyone who’s super-charged by the prospect of the many other oddities that have always been a touchstone within the Mad Max films. There was also no endless fighting and or violence for no apparent reason. The violence and bloodshed that was seen in the film was all about the characters and their journey, and the action(s) surrounding those movements. This type of purposeful action based violence gives us the difference in tone and direction for each character involved, thus giving us an in depth look into their development along the fury road.
What about Max you may ask?! Well Tom Hardy’s Max, is partially masked for half the film, bound for another chunk, is practically a supporting character in his own movie. But do not be fooled by these slightly misleading rouses. The actor ably channels the world-weary yet ever resourceful qualities of the character throughout all his adversities, and though he’s missing a certain spark of the crazed Gibson I quite enjoyed him as Max. And part of me feels that he's the perfect Max for this era’s generation. Tom Hardy gives us a real and truly eternal post-apocalyptic anti-hero performance from start to finish and though at times the road gives him hell, he gives it right back!
.Now as we all know Max Rockatansky is eternal, as is his plight in the freakish and horrifying Australian outback that exists in the wake of the vaguely defined global catastrophe that frames the film and the films to come, but there are those who are asking “Is this a remake, a reboot, a sequel, or some mix of all three?” In my opinion it is a mix between a remake and a reboot but who can really say. It doesn’t really matter anyway; the world that is painted here is reminiscent of the previous films in the series, but we also see it taken to the next level. The writers and directors have taken the evolution of the “End of the World” to its next logical, very jarring, yet at times extremely beautiful place. And its in this frame of mind and reference that the viewer is constantly being kept off-balance and we truly get to see Miller shining bright again.
All and all this movie is jam packed between action and violence to character development and even spiritual inner workings. I found myself not only enjoying the film but the new world and the characters it brings to our screens. I recommend this movie to anyone 13 and up (even though it's rated R, with some foul language) who wants to have action packed and quality movie experience.
4 out of 5 pocket protectors!!!