Yes. That is a man in a mask on a car full of amps (with drums behind him, mind you, bangin’ away) playing war music on a flaming guitar.
This is Mad Max: Fury Road.
I shall dive right into this marvelous madcap madness in motion.
I’m sorry, did you say flaming war guitar? Should I pay to see it?
Yes. And YES. The film is remarkable. Truly, the plot really boils down to an hour forty minute enormous car chase. It is worth every penny to see this on the bog screen. Such epic action. Explosions. Crashes. But all with such flair and a cinematic eye. George Miller has an incredible touch for the operatic quality of such a chaotic, barren landscape.
Oh, that’s right, George Miller did the original, too. Do I need to see the original?
No. This movie is stand-alone fun. Mr. Miller, as the original OG, has the tone and tastes down pat. They shot one truly epic scene (honestly, one of the coolest action scenes I have ever seen in a movie) for ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT DAYS!!!! Let me reiterate: To get what basically amounts to a perfect, gorgeous action sequence, Miller and crew filmed one scene for 4 months. Hell yes. Yes, there is a certain fun in the Fast and Furious-esque action sequences these days (blowing a tank out of a plane? Gotta give them that). But Miller understands the ballet of brutality, and this movie sparkles with explosive, chaotic and gorgeously colored (more on that in a second) shots.
The future looks… well, pretty sandy.
The cinematography in Fury Road may have been the part that sticks with me longest. John Seale served as Cinematographer for George Miller, and the two do some extraordinary work. Their dystopia is bleak, bright, sparse and scary. The viewer can almost feel the dry air, the terrible dust and sand. The scene pictured below, of a sand storm, was a stand-out in my book – without giving too much away.
Remember when I so oddly said the movie was gorgeously ‘colored?’ You don’t? It’s right above this section, jeez. There is ample research on the Orange/Blue contrast in films/television/games – basically any medium. Here’s a basic gist: Orange and Blue are complementary colors, which we like. The two are also great contrasts in what they represent in the mind- fire and ice etc etc. Fury Road is starkly, bleakly, suffocatingly-at-times orange tones, as the desert landscape and bare lands are so evident. This makes the scenes pop, too, as the chrome and blacks of cars really stand out. See it, you’ll understand. Then, the film does a neat trick, too, with some evening scenes, throwing the cast into incredible deep blues – jarring after so much time in the sun. Really, Miller and his team have constructed an artful action romp – did you know people still did that?
Someone should make some sort of Tom Hardy-likes-wearing-weird-masks-over-his-face comment.
… Someone. Not me, though.
Which brings us to the… uh… acting. Tom Hardy doesn’t speak much, but carries the role of Max well. No surprise there. Ditto for Charlize Theron being the one-armed badass Furiosa. As the two leads, both actors are well established badasses at this stage in their careers and do not disappoint. Man, can Tom Hardy play crazy. Makes you wonder…
Let’s be honest, so long as the acting didn’t completely suck (it did not), the movie’s spectacle was going to steal the show. That’s what happens. Everyone is great in their roles, being varying levels of intense, dirty, scary, badass, crazy and mysterious. The only real standout, for me, was Nicholas Hoult, as Nux, who continues to surprise me in movies in all kinds of weird roles. He’s an insane kind of fun. The look and feel of all the characters just works. Indescribably cool. Weird and rugged. And dusty. Definitely some sandy places.
The whole landscape and world built by Miller, his crew, and the cast feels horribly lived in. So out there, yet somehow so believable. Just a fun, odd, explosive movie. Go grab a bucket of popcorn and check this grand chase out on a massive screen.