Mad Max: Fury Road

FURY ROAD

I’m truly blown away by how George Miller has gone from making one of the most dull and painstaking moviegoing experiences of the year so far for me with the first Mad Max to making one of the greatest action films I have ever experienced.

A problem I often have with the blockbusters of today is the endless amount of exposition. While Fury Road might go a bit too much in the other direction, leaving us to know very little about the characters we are about to spend two hours with, it was such a relief not having to drudge through forty minutes of aimless exposition.

What I love about Fury Road is how Miller relies on practical effects, sparing the use of CGI. Knowing that the stunts were performed by actual people instead of just by a computer just adds to the whole experience even more.

Fury Road really isn’t anything we haven’t seen before in terms of the construction of the film. The basic themes that Miller touches upon are incredibly basic. Max, who is played to perfection by Tom Hardy, is out to survive in this post-apocalyptic wasteland. There is not much to his character. The only reason we are really rooting for him is because the people who are after him are so despicable.

Now we have Charlize Theron’s character, Furiosa, whose motivations are really unclear to the audience. It’s said that she is striving for redemption, but it’s very unclear to what she so badly needs to be redeemed for. I’ve seen some make an argument that this has to do with how a certain character falls out of one of the rigs and dies. This would be a logical answer to this if it didn’t happen so late in the film.

The screenplay that George Miller co-wrote is really, really bad. Luckily enough, there isn’t that much dialogue in Fury Road. Hardy barely spoke throughout the two hours. When he does speak though, his lines are incredibly cringeworthy. Max is barely a character after four movies. The one thing he has is his badass persona that Miller has built over the years and pushes the nth degree here. The incredibly tacky lines that Hardy every so often has to deliver really do not juxtapose well with the character that Miller has built up.

I was disappointed that Miller never explored the emotional tension between Max and Furiosa. We see at the end that Max has grown attached to her over the course of their journey, but that was about it. I am hoping Miller does something with this in the upcoming films because I think it could make for some truly interesting material if Miller can provide some emotional attachment to these characters. In Fury Road, none of Miller’s attempts at getting an emotional reaction out of the audience landed for me.

Fury Road is a spectacle that deserves to be marveled over by everyone. Miller has truly crafted one of the most perpetually thrilling action films that I have ever had the privilege to lay my eyes on.

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