Out today in the US on DVD/Blu-ray, Da'Mon Guy drives the Fury Road...
Mad Max: Fury Road is a brutal, absolute embrace of absurdity.
The latest re-imagining of one of grittiest characters in cinematic history is a visually stunning marvel that institutes an insane level of nonsensical violence and ludicrous vehicular action as overcompensation for a very substandard plot and distinct deficiency in substance. The film stars Tom Hardy (Warrior), Charlize Theron (A Million Ways to Die in the West), Nicolas Haut (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Rebecca Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), and Zoe Kravitz (Divergent).
Fury Road is the fourth big screen outing for the Mad Max character, and the first appearance for the reluctant anti-hero to the screen in nearly 30 years. Taking over from Mel Gibson, who popularized the anti-hero, is Tom Hardy, and while not officially dubbed a sequel, reboot, or re-imagining, Fury Road
may just be considered another adventure of the character. From the outset the film establishes immediate continuity to prior movies with the appearance of the classic patrol car and images of Max's family's death. From the way the story plays out, this could occur in between the events of The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
However it's not all good news as Mad Max: Fury Road strips down and ravages just about everything that was good about The Road Warrior. This blasphemous endeavor is extremely fast paced and pushes the boundaries of plausibility, Fury Road is clearly lacking any level of the realism or the sense of dire survival that the other iterations displayed. In short, it has none of the substance of the originals. Whereas previously, and especially in The Road Warrior, we were presented with a hyper realistic world of what man could become after a nuclear fallout, and given a sense of what may happen, you never feel that here. Lacking in desperation, Fury Road is just comprised of one preposterous scene after the next. This film truly seems as if it were made for the mad!
You also never really get any true take on Hardy’s version of Max, which has nearly no remnants of the character portrayed by Mel Gibson other than the name and likeness. Hardy’s character is clearly more withdrawn than the Gibson version ever was, and beyond a couple of grunts and a thumbs up, the audience has no sense of the character or given any reason to like him. Hardy clearly lacks the charm and charisma that Gibson displayed in at any point in his tenure as Max, and should maybe give back half his check as he said less than 50 words the whole movie! Charlize Theron gets dual billing, and while her character was the more likable
of the duo, she doesn't give enough to push the film beyond
That's possibly an unfair statement as both Tom Hardy and co-star Charlize Theron are capable of far better than what they display
here, leading me to believe that it’s clearly a lack of directing and
So yes, Mad Max: Fury Road is lacking in a number of very important areas, however, it’s a visual extravaganza. It’s big, bold, and bolsters great cinematography. Its action sequences are first rate and some of the best to date. The movie is comprised of lavishly insane sets that make you feel like you are fresh out of the pages of a comic book. This aspect is almost second to none, but if you're looking for more out of a movie then Fury Road is likely not for you.
Like most remakes, Fury Road lacks the essence of any of its prior iterations. While it’s clearly a better looking and more steroid induced version of the story, it’s simply a shell of the former films. It's often moronic at times, and left me feeling that they made the movie just because they wanted to blow some things up!
However, I wouldn't mind a sequel, it would just need a better story and to revert to displaying the gritty and desperate state that all of the prior Max films compelled the audience to feel.
If you are looking for some of the most mindless and nonsensical action that you can find then this is your film. Don’t venture into this expecting more or even hoping for any of the substance that the prior Mad Max films had to offer. Bottom line is that Mad Max: Fury Road would make for a great video game, but lacks in far too many areas to be a great film.
Da’Mon is a
writer and artist, a graduate of Coppin State
University and an avid, life-long lover of film. Da'Mon has been actively
writing movie reviews since 2011. Check out more of his work at Examiner.com, where he has published over 400 reviews.
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