Mad Max Fury Road - This Movie Rockatanskys
Dir: Mastermind George Miller
Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough
Yes, there is a plot. But it doesn’t matter. Yes, there is action – and boy, does that matter. George Miller has resurrected his post-apocalyptic resurrection hero of thirty years back, and probably made the movie he has always wanted to make – he just never had the tools. And it is balls out and really rather wonderful. Hard to imagine that in the years in between, Miller has consoled himself with the Happy Feet franchise.
Hardy is Max Rockatansky, former Aussie cop, one time Thunderdome champion, now rebooted with (probably) none of that foreknowledge, once again fighting for a mixture of gasoline and justice, this time defending Theron’s Furiosa, and a bunch of runaway brides. And then shit blows up. And how!
Miller’s Fury Road is akin to one long chase with a couple of moments to catch breath. But the chase is so inventive, so visually dynamic, so involving, so clear and easy to follow despite the furious nature of both its action and it’s editing, that it seeks to redefine breath-taking. Impossible to describe, this movie is so visceral it doesn’t just raise the bar, but takes the fucker, snaps it in half over someone’s crushed skull and then stabs it in the eye of the guy in the car behind.
The fact that so much of this is old school practical is the key to the film’s success. Don’t get us wrong, there is a fair amount of CG at play here, but what resonates is the stunt work, the feel of the dirt, the wind in the hair – theirs and yours – as these unique vehicles tear through the Namibian desert. Miller has spent years getting this movie made and, in delivery, it’s easy to see why, for this really is a unique vision. Beautifully shot by John Seale (who must surely be troubling uncle Oscar next year), with production design and editing to die for – literally in several cases, Miller has delivered the finest Max of his career.
Performance wise? Well, its not really that kind of a film, save to say Nicholas Hoult comes out the best, Theron is compelling and Hardy – well, he pouts well, but the decision to keep him in the mode of “bemused/taciturn with beesting pout” sometimes leaves him as little more than a presence.
With Fury Road, George Miler may well have reinvented the action movie. And if that’s true – once all the initial dust has settled – that’s a helluva thing to have done.
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