Mad Max: Fury Road *SPOILER ALERT* Review
Director: George Miller
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Josh Helman, Nathan Jones, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton, Zoë Kravitz, Richard Norton, Stephen Dunlevy.
Score: Junkie XL
With nearly a year since its worldwide release Mad Max: Fury Road still leaves that gritty taste between your teeth. My number one film of 2015, I was not surprised when it came to handing out Oscars taking home 6 of them. Maybe it was a blessing George Miller couldn't make this back in 2003 when he originally intended with Mel Gibson. It's not strictly a sequel, nor a remake but a refreshing instalment to the Max franchise and a start of another trilogy. It has elements from all three previous films but in my opinion, mostly reminisces Mad Max 2. It's George Miller at his best. Who hasn't directed much for a 71 year old. And flipping from one extreme to the other, Mad Max is solely his as is Happy Feet, written and direct by the Miller. It's not a director making a film of someone else's story, this is his story, made into a film by himself. He's a director that puts faith back into the old school and then to get his wife Margaret Sixel to edit nearly 500 hours of footage winning her an Oscar and rightly so. And this wasn't wish for Margaret, but when she asked her husband why her, he responded "Because if a guy did it, it would look like every other action movie." Miller's vision is unparalleled and even Tom Hardy couldn't get it until he actually saw the film. It's set in a desert wasteland, pockets of gasoline hungry, thirsty communities and rust bucket power engines. And in wanders the road warrior, driven by selfish survival who appears to care little about everyone else, especially those standing in his way. Max Rockatansky has always been an interesting antihero who embellishes the spirit of the drifter cowboy heroes of classic westerns. There's not much left in the world of Mad Max, especially trust. Does Tom Hardy portray Max? I think he does the job, and he got Mel Gibson's blessing, but he isn't Mel's Max, however I don't think there's anyone else who could have done a better job. The other stars deserve some amazing praise. Furiosa, I believe this is to be one of Charlize Theron's best roles and Marvel's Beast, Nicholas Hoult is amazing as the War Boy Nux. Then you have Hugh Keays-Bryne returning from the original Mad Max, but not as Toecutter; this time as a water-hoarding, skull-masked tyrant Immortan Joe. The film is beautiful, incredibly well shot and innovative. The night scenes actually being filmed in board daylight and then manipulated. Miller goes to prove just how colourful the desert can be and I've been quoted to say "a Cirque Du Soleil in a rusty, dusty desert." The costume and production design, makeup and hairstyling all deserve their Oscars. As expected, it's fully loaded with high speed action; it's ultra violent but not stupid with it, hosting mesmerising explosions, pole swinging acrobatics and acts of heroism that hit home like war rig at full speed. Furiosa emotionally kneeling in the flowing desert is still one of my favourite artistic shots I have ever seen at the movies. Really captures the solitude and the power of a silent scream. Miller's imagination runs riot and he doesn't fail in providing weird and wonderful characters with even weirder names. The elaborate, enhanced vehicles riding into a super storm is like a hardcore version of Wacky Racers, each having their own characteristics, the motors could well be characters themselves and where else have you seen a fire breathing, double-necked guitar, playing on a rig that looks like something stolen from a Burning Man festival; it was a mobile Rammstein concert. And talking of music, Junkie XL provides an amazing score, his best yet. There is no other desert road movie like Mad Max, originals or Fury Road. I can not think of any other film that has topped it. And totally agreeing with Miller (how can anyone argue) it is a "western on wheels" my top movie of 2015. Bring on The Wasteland, we're all getting thirsty here.
Running Time: 9
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for bringing back Mad Max full throttle without ruining him and done so beautifully well.