FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: And with this Friday, we have “Mad Max: Fury Road” which stars Tom Hardy (Inception, Lawless), Charlize Theron (Prometheus, Hancock), Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, X-Men: First Class), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Moby Dick [TV mini-series], Sleeping Beauty ), Josh Helman (Jack Reacher, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Nathan Jones (Troy, Fearless ), Zoe Kravitz (Divergent, After Earth), Riley Keough (The Runaways, Magic Mike), Abbey Lee (Ruben Guthrie, The Neon Demon), and Courtney Eaton (Gods of Egypt). It is directed by George Miller (Happy Feet, Babe: Pig in the City) who also co-wrote it with Brendan McCarthy (ReBoot [TV series]) and Nick Lathouris. Mad Max is revamped and in full-throttle in this new addition to the franchise in thirty years. Max Rockatansky (Hardy) is madder than ever when he is taken by a group called the War Boys and is held prisoner for his blood since he is a universal donor. He gets his chance to escape however when the War Boy he has to give blood to, Nux (Hoult), is prompted to chase down a stolen war rig when one of their own, Furiosa (Theron), decides to go rogue. She takes something that belongs to their leader, Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne), and knowing the costs, she is hunted down in a long chase scene that results in chaos, blood, and redemption.
“What a lovely day!” And boy was it, for this movie is chock-full of crazy, messed up, manly things that made me sprout chest hairs just by watching it. No, I haven’t seen the original three with Mel Gibson at the helm of Max, which in a way kept me from viewing this, but I did some research and apparently I didn’t have to see the originals to understand anything in this, so I went for it (because who wouldn’t?). I’m glad I did for I had fun and that’s what this film is all about. You want some creepy-looking pale guys throwing explosives spears? You got it. You want an insane man in a onesie strapped to a moving vehicle while playing electric guitar that spouts flames as he plays it? You got it. You want a giant of a person named Rictus Erectus (Jones) wreaking havoc? Sure, why not? Because whatever you can think of that is outlandish and senile is injected into this piece of cinematography. What I want to touch up on first in this review is the main core that drives this whole thing: the action. If you are looking for a story-driven flick, then you’re in the wrong place because the script is pretty bare-boned. Don’t let that steer you away too soon though, because once the first action scene takes place, your eyes will be glued to the screen. This movie showcases some of the best directing of action sequences I have ever seen. It’s pretty much chaos times ten. Several things are going on at once and although it may be hard to look at every detail, you still get caught up in the moment of it all because it has an extremely strong force to it. It felt awesome to see this movie. There are many things outrageous, silly, and dirty that unfold, but for some odd reason, I enjoyed it. The whole spectacle of it all is mind-blowing. Everything plays out in a harmonic way with randomly pieced together cars exploding, people jumping onto moving vehicles, and guns firing at every second. It makes me sweat just sitting here and writing about it. So much goes on with so little to work with and I give major props to George Miller for bringing this to life. The setting was brilliant and I loved the contrast of the blaring, orange sun in the daytime to the cool, blue colors of night. When it was daytime, I felt thirsty because of how hot it must’ve been out there, and to have no water can drive a man….well….mad. The cinematography was masterful, and I applaud all the work that went into setting everything up, and the fact that most of it wasn’t CGI makes it a heck of a lot better. Outside of the action, the acting was pretty good. Seeing as how I haven’t seen Mel Gibson perform as Max, I really couldn’t compare Tom Hardy to anything. On his own merits, I think he did fine. He’s a great actor and I appreciate all the roles he has portrayed. However, the way Max is treated in this can muddle my whole opinion of him. Mainly for the fact that he gets shown up by the character of Furiosa. Don’t get me wrong: Charlize Theron was amazing. She was kicking butt and taking names while being understandable and condescending at the same time. She was great. But what is this movie called? Last time I checked it wasn’t titled “Imperator Furiosa: Fury Road.” I wish Max had more to do or say for he was either chained up or the wing man for mostly all of this film. Besides them, I thought everyone else did great. All of them seemed crazy so that’s a plus. Nicholas Hoult surprised me for, coming off from a mediocre performance as Beast in the new X-Men films, he did a fantastic job in this. The characters themselves are very interesting. They are all filthy and are weird to look at, but I have to admit it looks cool. It takes you away from all the warm-hearted movies or ones that conform to a sense of being proper in how matters are handled. This is a post-apocalyptic world. You aren’t going to get that. One last pro I should mention before I go into my cons is the musical score. It was terrific. The loud drums with the riffs of the electric guitar were fantastic and perfectly blends with the style of this film. It could even be fun just playing the soundtrack alone. Separating myself from the pros, I have two big issues. The first would be the bare-boned plot. This is basically a very long chase scene with little talking involved, and when there is, it is usually about making a plan to survive for the next couple of minutes. There isn’t a lot of character development involved which is a shame. This can also leak into my next, and last, con which is the handling of Max. Sure, he is epic fighting, but the only time you hear him speak is in the beginning and scattered pieces towards the end. Other than that, he grunts. I’d like to get more depth with him if I could. Overall, this is an awesome flick that delivers on every level in terms of action and is just out-of-this-world cool. Many scenes are memorable and I wouldn’t mind watching it again. Hopefully I can have a marathon sometime soon of the original Mad Max films, if I can find a way to get them. I recommend anyone of the right age to watch this! FINAL SCORE: 95%=Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: