Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mad Max - Fury Road

When I first moved to my town in 1981 there was a three screen drive-in that showed movies all night on the weekends. I went to see the movies one weekend with some new friends. By the time the third movie started, most everyone was asleep in their vehicles. I remember sitting in a lawn chair and watching the The Road Warrior. It was the THIRD movie and became one of the greatest film experiences of my life. I was never so riveted to the screen and never believed that such a visceral experience was possible.

You all forget how much of a game changer The Road Warrior was. How it came out of left field and spawned a whole genre of cheap to video 'warrior of the wasteland' pictures. I know because I have watched them all. None of them lived up to the greatness that was The Road Warrior. I never thought I would see anything that would ever measure up - until I saw Fury Road.

Fury Road takes everything we know about the Mad Max's world and turns everything up to '11'. It was another transcendent experience. High concept and full retard on the execution. How else could this be anything other than a success? The explosions are bigger, the stakes are higher and the environment is more hostile than ever.

I was never bored and often dazzled by all the Cirque Du Soleil stunt heroics. The fight choreography was balletic. The entire production is a triumph in design and imagination. There are so many last second saves and spectacular deaths that I never felt safe, even for myself. No one is safe, except for maybe Max who we need for the sequels. Wisely, he is the one who needs all the saving in this picture. I wonder what ever made him special enough to be the hero of the story? For most of this movie he just seems like so much more road kill.

The bad guy (Immortan Joe) is no Lord Humongous (how could he be?) but he functions adequately as the villain. It was smart to give this bad guy a god complex that Humongous never had the hubris to consider. He just wanted the gasoline. He just wanted you to walk away. Immortan Joe takes all of this madness personally and that somehow made him less of a threat. He has a family but they have absolutely no backstory because no one on the other side can be the least bit sympathetic. It' a minor quibble.

Frankly, I was more afraid of his minions with their hairless white skin and no fear of death. To see them bounce on their poles as the pluck girls off the rig one at a time is something you have never seen in all your life. It's a beautiful bit of business to behold.

I can also watch Charlize Theron shoot flying motocross bikes out of the air like so much skeet all damn day long. Again, something I have never seen before. Surprise after surprise are the hallmarks of Fury Road. I had a lot of fun at this one and wisely got a small soda. No way I could have left my seat to take a pee. Word to the wise for those of you with little bladders.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

It's certainly been getting rave reviews -- good to know that you concur! O he of tiny bladder.

DrGoat said...

The fact that there was not excessive CGI and mostly real stunts is a big plus. Can't wait.

msmariah said...

This was such a brilliant film. Like you, I didn't even leave my seat to empty my bladder. I didn't want to miss one minute of this incredible film. Thank goodness for George Miller. Why can't hollywood take a page out of his book?

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Once again he reset the bar and now the copycats arrive. The can do these kind of movies on the cheap but still create something exciting. Miller did us all who love action movies a favor. We now expect more out of the whole genre. Action better damn well mean action, fresh action, thrilling action. I will mock anything less.

Michael Lynn P. said...

I have been waiting for this movie for so long and it was everything I had wanted and more. This is what we needed. It feels fresh and new while also being a perfect addition to the other three. I want a Furiosa action figure. She was a revelation. I love this movie with such a passion. I grew up with the original three too, Thunderdome being my favorite. It's just a beautiful film. Your review is a perfect way of describing it.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Thanks for that Michael Lynn. I was thinking about a Furiosa figure today. I hope they find some good company like Necca or McFarlane to make them.