Mad Max: Fury Road Movie Review- by Ninja13 Film Reviews
This is my first review on this site. I'm Ninja13 Film Reviews. I'm a movie fan as well as a lover of the art of film. I am also a ninja.
I love talking about movies, and to start off, we're gonna talk about one of my favorites of this decade, George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road
Fury Road is a continuation (?) of the Mad Max trilogy, also directed by George Miller. But this time, it's Tom Hardy behind the wheel of the V8 interceptor instead of Mel Gibson. I'm not a huge fan of the original Mad Max films, but I respect them for what they were able to do with stunts sequences at the time. There's no question George Miller is a mastermind when it comes to elaborate, fast-paced action scenes.
And that's what this movie is. It is a masterful symphony of nonstop action. The story-line is incredibly simple, there is very little dialogue. This film represents an entirely new form of visual story-telling: story-telling through action.
In a post-nuclear war future, a tyrant warlord rules over a civilization of survivors in the wasteland. When one of his most trusted warriors, Imperator Furiosa, commits treason by driving off with his five female "breeders", he comes after her with his entire army of sycophantic soldiers and roided-out vehicles.
That is the plot. The story isn't told through exposition, dialogue, or narration. The film's action scenes tell the story and convey the emotional weight of the characters. It's not style over substance, the style is the substance.
And what style. This film makes the original Mad Max films seem understated. George Miller is a certified mad genius, (quite appropriate). He crafts a wonderfully bizarre and beautifully flamboyant world. It's gloriously over-the top... And almost all the effects are practical.
It can't be overstated what a rare treat it is to see a film that relies on, and does new and groundbreaking things with practical effects and stunt-work, when most filmmakers seem to think those are things of the past.
We've grown accustomed to looking at special effects extravaganzas and thinking "Well, they just did that in front of a green screen". With this movie you look at it and wonder: "How the hell did they do that?". It's been such a long time since movies made us marvel at how they were made, how they could have been made! George Miller recaptures that wonder that, it seemed, the film industry had lost.
And Mad Max: Fury Road has some of the most jaw-dropping action sequences ever put on the movie screen. They are thrilling, imaginative and heart-pounding. The film is essentially an extended chase sequence with short respites between road skirmishes, and each sequence is beautifully orchestrated in its own way. One scene takes place in a swamp at night, lit in a vibrant blue moonlight tint, while a blind maniac fires machine guns into the fog as Verdi's Messa da Requiem plays. There's so much going on in these sequences. Sometimes there're 20 or 30 vehicles in the shot tearing across the desert, cars are smashing others into pieces, people are flying through the air on poles, people are flying through the air on motorcycles (and throwing grenades). This movie elevates action filmmaking to an art form of its own.
As previously mentioned, Tom Hardy takes over the role of Max in this film. And like the previous incarnation of the character, he is a man of very few words. But this film gives him more depth than previous ones. Yes, his family was murdered in the original film, but that didn't carry over as part of his character in the other movies at all. If you only saw The Road Warrior, he was just a guy...who wanted some gas. In Fury Road, Max is a guilt-ridden man, tortured by the ghosts of those he wasn't able to save. He has no cause and nothing to live for, and is only kept alive by a primal, virtually feral survival instinct. And that Hardy is able to portray all this mostly through grunts and a full iron face-mask for a large portion of the film is pretty impressive. No, he's not the main hero of the film, but his performance is very underrated.
The main hero is Charlize Theron's Furiosa, and she's one of the best and strongest action movie heroines since Ellen Ripley. She should have been nominated for best actress like Sigourney Weaver was for Aliens. Furiosa is a badass, but in a believable, and not overplayed way. She's extremely skilled, but the movie just shows you this and keeps moving along instead of making a big deal about it.
Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best action films ever made. You don't have to be a fan of the other Mad Max films to enjoy it, you don't even have to have seen them. If you love action movies, or great movies in general, you'll love Fury Road. It's visually beautiful, viscerally thrilling, and surprisingly emotionally impactful. Its plot is simple, but its execution is unbelievably complex. It's a movie that demonstrates that with all the advancements in cgi, it's still more exciting to see things done for real on film. I hope this movie inspires filmmakers to take more chances and dream up more ways to use practical effects to tell stories. And I can't wait to see what George Miller does with the franchise next.