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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 05.15.15] post apocalyptic action

At this point it feels redundant to review Mad Max: Fury Road so consider this more of a love note to the movie that will, undoubtedly, fuel more generations of PA loving kids.

For weeks the internet has been abuzz about the impending release of George Miller's new masterpiece. There was a lot of expectation going into Fury Road and Miller and crew easily erased any doubt with the movie's opening ten minutes. It is simply put, a spectacular achievement.

More of an expansion of the post apocalyptic universe we first saw in Mad Max, Fury Road feels like the natural progression of the world we already know and love. Miller started this world building on film in the 70s and it's clear that in the 40 years since, that apocalyptic hell has continued to grow in his mind. The vast wasteland is now peppered with small pockets of life. One such pocked it governed by a genius madman known as Immortan Joe who rules over his domain with a V8 powered iron fist. He has created an almost religious army, the war boys, who will do anything for him. When his prized wives escape, with the help of Furiosa – one of Joe's best and most trusted Imperators - the mad king goes hunting, calling in the help of other war lords for a three day chase across the desert. Max, as tends to be the case, just ends up being at the wrong place and the wrong time and in the process of saving himself, he helps save those around him.

Once it starts, Fury Road doesn't stop but it does occasionally slow down and approximately every thirty minutes there are moments of relative quiet where the characters (and the audience) breathes. The movie only really stops once for slight exposition the rest of the story is told visually. Every bit of backstory is told either through images or through the characters themselves. We know the hierarchy of this world and the inner workings of it through the way the characters look, talk and act. What's impressive is that Miller and his crew manage to impart specifics of the world while never taking a break from breakneck, high octane action of which there is plenty.

Sure, the car stunts in Fast and the Furious are awesome but they don't hold a flame to the craziness on display here. Second unit director Guy Norris and the stunt team deserve every accolade for stunts that manage to wow but never snapped me out of the story; I never stopped to think "how did they do that?" though more than once I broke out in rapturous glee.

Fury Road makes a case for the argument that script extends well beyond dialogue and into every aspect of filmmaking. The music, costuming and action is as important to storytelling as any single line of dialogue. Many have compared the energy of Fury Road to that of a hot shot young director with something to prove but that's far from the case. This is clearly a movie made by an experienced, season director who understands how all the pieces go together.

Fury Road was no accident. Miller knew exactly the movie he wanted to make and he put together the team he knew could pull it off. It may have taken the better part of a decade to do it but the result is a carefully balanced bit of movie magic. The bar for action movies has been reset.

Mad Max: Fury Road opens May 15. See it big.

Recommended Release: The Mad Max Trilogy

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dXm99 (5 years ago) Reply

I realy dont want them to make another one. I want to remembar Mad Max as perfection as Fury Road is.


Wumpus (5 years ago) Reply

Thanks for the review (and the Mad Max series retrospective reviews), everyone! I will definitely see it big.


Speedy (5 years ago) Reply

After seeing it yesterday with my wife, she said "My brain is tired". It barely paused to allow you to catch your breath.


Sylook (5 years ago) Reply

At one point I was getting tired of the mayhem but then I thought ''What am I doing? This is Mad Max, man, give me more!!!!''

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