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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Movie Review - Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Leigh, and Courtney Eaton
Directed by George Miller

Winning six Academy Awards is no easy feat -- especially for a genre film such as Mad Max: Fury Road.  I will totally agree that director George Miller's film is uniquely designed in terms of sets, costumes, and sound -- all for which it won Oscars.  However, it's rather telling to me that the film didn't receive a screenplay nod amongst its ten nominations.  After watching, it's no surprise, though, as the script is one of the biggest downfalls of the manic film that, while better than the 1979 original which I despised, is still too much of a punk-fueled visual cacophony to merit me ever wanting me to subject myself to it again.

The title of the film would have you believe that "good guy" Max (Tom Hardy) is the star of the film, but the little story that Mad Max: Fury Road has to offer isn't really about him.  Sure, the flick opens with Max attempting to escape from the army of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), a tyrant who rules over a large group of people by controlling all access to water and fuel in a post-nuclear-explosion apocalyptic desert society.  When Max fails his escape, the film shifts to Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), one of Joe's best warriors who is responsible for heading out into the world to bring back gas and water in a giant tanker truck.  However, on her latest mission, it's discovered that she has smuggled out five of Joe's young wives in an attempt to take them to safety.  When her treachery is unveiled, one of Joe's War Boys, Nux (Nicholas Hoult), straps Max to the front of his truck (because, you see, Nux is draining the blood out of Max in order to get healthier himself) and chases after Furiousa along with a bevy of other crazy-looking folks.

And then everything else in the entire movie is one long chase sequence after another...after another...after another.  It never ends.  There's very few moments of respite and, quite frankly, because of the nonstop barrage of chaotic sound and in-your-face visuals, I zoned out after about an hour.  Quite frankly, there's nothing here.  Sure, you've got a "woman scorned" angle with Furiosa trying to help out objectified women, but the feminist angle never really rises to the occasion.  Max himself is left with very little to do in the film and Tom Hardy continues to give us just the low-voiced growling he's become so well known for over the past several years.  

George Miller (who also co-wrote the film) feels as if he came in with the attitude of "Let's throw everything at the wall and see what sticks."  And then he proceeded to either think everything stuck or he just was too lazy to clean up, because as his camera zigs and zags crazily through the insanity he's placed onscreen, he seems to hope that the audience can't see all the nuttiness he left scattered throughout.  Mad Max: Fury Road has reasons to be recognized.  The costumes are unique and the production design was admittedly awesome, but beyond the below-the-line crafts (which certainly hold merit and helped my rating be as high as it is), Fury Road is a mess.  I can't imagine watching this on a screen bigger than my tv screen at home -- I'm not quite sure I would've been able to sit through the freneticism.  

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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