FILM REVIEW | MAD MAX, FURY ROAD
By Brett Hutton
I’ve never cared for the Mad Max franchise. I thought the first two movies were silly, and heeded my father’s warning many years ago when he said the third film was utter crap. All that being said though, this fourth instalment to the franchise is a cathartic blast of pure, unadulterated fun. It’s a sheer adrenalin rush of carnage that proves that action done with a keen eye, a respect for the audience and a steady flow of decent editing, can be exhilarating, rather than a frustrating load of self-indulgent rubbish.
We find Max (Tom Hardy) staring off into the distance by his tired rig, having rapid flashbacks of people he’s failed, a somewhat regressive daydream, when a convoy of raiders chases him down. He’s captured and brought to a large, patriarchal society called The Citadel and used as a “blood bag” during the initial chase to stop Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a well-respected rig driver that goes rogue. The movie’s overall plot is paper-thin so any further detail would fall under spoiler territory.
Fury Road is the kind of film George Miller has undoubtedly always wanted to make but never had the budget to make it happen. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s kinetic, and damn good fun. The cinematography is excellent, mainly because you can actually see what’s happening at every given moment. Every shot is crafted so that it can be seen and taken in, rather than the nonsensical shaky-cam that has become a standard in action films these days. What’s more, there is no ridiculously fast-paced editing to leave you confused and nauseous. You can actually watch the sodding thing without getting a headache.
A particularly impressive aspect of the film is that it’s 80% practical. The production employed a great deal of stunt performers, gymnasts and acrobats and used real vehicles and pyrotechnics rather than bloating it with CGI. In a time where CGI is cheap as chips, I respect Fury Road for keeping it to the absolute bare minimum.
Outside of the delectable havoc, Fury Road does fall a little flat with its narrative, but you can tell that the film, rather than trying to present anything noteworthy, was more interested in laying a foundation sturdy enough to excuse the chaos. The only glaring fault I can throw at Fury Road is Max himself. I feel Tom Hardy’s talent was under utilised, as Max is a woefully boring character in this instalment. He’s dull, uninteresting, and has all the charm of an unwashed dinner plate. Honestly, they could have cast any meathead with a six-pack and the ability to utter five word sentences and nothing would’ve been lost. Max plays second banana in his own movie and protagonist duties are filled in by Furiosa.
Regardless, Fury Road is an action film that doesn’t strain your eyes, doesn’t treat you like an idiot and most importantly, is an absolute blast to watch. earn a living and stopped after a few months.
Brett Hutton is a strange little man with a penchant for black clothing and metallic jewellery covered in skulls and images of the Occult. He watches and critiques films deep within his pressurised vault and survives on a diet of pizza, fried rice and ice coffee.