Before we even get into chatting about all the reasons why Mad Max Fury Road is “50 Shades of F#%king Awesome” I want to spend a moment reflecting upon the film’s theatrical trailers over the past year. All I can say is F YEAH! You want to know how to do a trailer right and pack seats? Study these trailers! They made me feel like I was reliving my childhood all over again. I had not seen post apocalyptic, insane Rated-R action like that since the 80’s. God bless these trailers! Like KFC does to chicken, George Miller does to trailers. He does them RIGHT! It’s like someone took that final action sequence in Neil Marshall’s 2008 Doomsday and made a feature length film about the lunacy of it all. In other words, it’s about fricking time! Come on! Check your brain at the door, buckle up and enjoy this wild ride with me. This is the off-the-wall completely insane world of George Miller’s MAD MAX FURY ROAD!
To say that this film has taken awhile to make would be like saying our planet’s sun is going to overheat tomorrow. It took a hell of a long time to make this fourth entry in Miller’s Mad Max franchise. There’s actually a span of 30 years between this one and the last one with Mel Gibson. Holy hell! I can’t believe it has been that long. Add ten years to that number and you just computed my age. That means I was only ten years old when Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome came out, but the weird thing is I remember it like it was only yesterday. And there was Tina Turner in it too!
Mad Max Fury Road is directed, produced and co-written by George Miller. However, the real shocker here is it’s the first Mad Max film not to feature Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky, with Bane replacing him. Err…I meant to say Tom “Fricking” Hardy! It also stars Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, the beautiful Rosie Huntington-Whitely and more. I know most of you probably saw the name Tom Hardy and really could care less with who else is in this one, based upon the insane moments on display in the trailers. I concur. Let’s move on!
So I guess depending upon what version of the tale you want to believe, plans for this fourth film of the Mad Max series hit financial difficulties and the project spent around 25 years in what we people in the film business refer to as “development hell.” I definitely know the meaning to that word. Some days I feel like my original Amy draft is literally going “take me to the grave.”
Mad Max Fury Road takes place several years after a series of catastrophic worldwide events went down, hence why I referenced the words post apocalyptic up above. For lack of a better term Max is a former highway patrolman. And quite honestly, there’s no way to prepare you for what’s about to go down because right out of the gate in the very first few minutes of the film…ALL HELL LITERALLY BREAKS LOOSE. And quite honestly, I mean that in a very good way! Mad Max is on the run! However, we all know from the trailers he spends sometime being captured. That’s a given and a necessity in our story.
You cannot keep a good man down. Despite being used as a human blood bag, yes I said a “human blood bag (one of the many, many reasons I love this film), Max finds a way to escape. He also finds his path crossed and fate intertwined with that of a female we simply know as Furiosa (Theron). I guess you could say that Furiosa has her own agenda, but when you see all that goes down, she’d be a fool not to include Max in any of her adventures with the merry maidens. Let’s just say they can both be of benefit to each other. And so the chase/hunt is on full sped ahead with the tyrannical Immortal Joe and his band of vehicular misfits always just a click behind. Like Flo Rida sings, “it’s going down.” Did I mention this was a chase movie? Oh brotha! You’re in for one hell of a ride as the action almost never lets up, and when it does, it is thankfully only momentarily for your benefit…to catch ya breath yo.
So let’s talk about story here before we go further. Haha. What story?! Now don’t get wrong, I do hear grumblings about people talking about the lack of story, but watch this film and tell me without smiling giddily that you really care about a lack of story here. C’mon! I’ll agree the story is really shallow. Hell, the dialogue is minimal too. But this is Mad Max people! This is vehicular homicide like the old school Twisted Metal games of years ago brought to life on the big screen. If George Miller impressed you with his action chops 30 years ago, just wait to you see the new bag of tricks he has in store for you here. Think the fun of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but on crack! Two hours of your life will never pass by as fast as it will watching Mad Max Fury Road. You can take that to the bank and cash it!
Seriously, it’s the runtime that chokes me up and makes me all teary eyed here. They say the film is 120 minutes long, but I’m here to tell you it felt like it was less than an hour. Never has a film went by that fast for me. I guess that is a good thing, but wow I was freaking out the whole time. Why was I freaking out? I’m glad you asked! I was freaking out because I was scared to blink or momentarily rest my weary eyes for just a second in fear that I might miss something spectacular. Needless to say, this movie made me exhausted, but the exhilaration and giddiness I felt throughout was so worth it.
So what movie has little plot, inconsequential dialog and is much more furious than any Fast and Furious movie you can name? If you guessed Mad Max Fury Road, DING…DING, you’re a WINNER! This film is literally going to knock pictures off walls with it’s Blu-ray presentation. I’m good because I have nothing on my walls, but for those that do. You have been warned. However, I digress, because I’m getting ahead of myself here. We have still have some more to talk about.
With all the crazy action I have still yet to mention the fun factor. Yes, Hardy and gang all did well with their performances, but the real star of this show was the “fun” to be had. It came in all shapes and sizes here from the relentless action sequences to the comedy and humor found in simple novelties like a traveling heavy metal guitarist to the ways the characters met their unfortunate demise. Yes, it was the 1980’s all over again! I was transported back to a memorable moment in time and for the first time in a long time, felt like a kid again. Thank you George.
Last but certainly not least, I wanted to cover two final topics before I let go of your uncontrollable attention span anyway, the feature’s score and the 3D presentation. Like 300: Rise of an Empire, the filmmakers were wise to take advantage of the rhythm and sonic talents of Junkie XL. And on the topic of post converted 3D, you won’t hear me say this often, but it was well worth it. There are many moments of fun mayhem to be had here and I was shocked to learn they benefited from the third-dimension added in post. I jumped a few times when things popped out at me. Sucker!
So what’s the lesson learned in all this mumbo jumbo up above that you treaded through of mine? Well if you learned only one thing here, I hope it’s this. Get off your a$$, DON’T walk, DON’T, run, but RACE YOUR CAR to a theater immediately this weekend and see Mad Max Fury Road. In the honorable words of infamous Nike marketing, JUST DO IT! And of course, have the time of your life in doing so! This is what summer movies are supposed to be! Anyone still doubting those unbelievable trailers like I was? DON’T FRET! Mad Max Fury Road DELIVERS!