Movie Review – Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Director: George Miller

Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Josh Helman, Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

In the apocalyptic wasteland, Max (Hardy) is still trying to survive. Captured by a band of savages led by Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne), he’s held prisoner and drained for blood to keep the soldiers alive. Little does he know that Imperator Furiosa (Theron) is planning to smuggle out Joe’s wives and lead them to a better life. When Joe learns of this betrayal he takes his forces in pursuit, and Max finds himself on the road again as he’s used as a blood bag.

Okay, first off I’m going to make it clear that I really enjoyed this movie. I had a great time watching it and I think as an action film it does what it’s intended, and the execution is near flawless. I have seen the previous Mad Max films, although I’m not the biggest fan of them, but I don’t think you’d necessarily have to have seen them in order to enjoy Mad Max: Fury Road.

Miller manages to create a unique world without much exposition. It’s a character driven story where things are shown and not told, and the little touches give it a distinct feel. The visual style and color palette he employs complements this. The action is cool and the pace is quick. The plot is fairly simple but the aesthetic is what drives the film.

It’s also been getting amazing reviews, and I think looking at it objectively I can see that it’s a fantastic film and it’s hard to fault it. But I’m not objective and I’ve never claimed to be. I actually got into a discussion with a friend over Facebook about this, because I’m not sure that I agree with all the universal praise. I think Hardy is not used well enough as Max, because although he’s the titular character he’s basically along for the ride. This is much more about Furiosa’s story.

The other thing, and perhaps this is much about me as the film, but I didn’t feel a strong emotional attachment to it. The films I love manage to elicit some sort of visceral response from me, and while this was extremely cool it never quite reached that level of enjoyment for me. And perhaps I’m being too picky or expecting too much from my entertainment, and maybe I’m even being too critical, but while I enjoyed it a lot, at the end I was ready to move onto something else.

That’s not a bad thing either, because I don’t think it’s trying to be anything other than it is, so yes, it’s a great film and I can see why it’s been getting so many great reviews. I enjoyed it a lot, but it’s disposable for me, and it didn’t have the emotional impact on me that, say, Fury did. It’s a cool, fun film, and I enjoyed it a lot, and I’m definitely recommending it, but for me it didn’t reach that upper echelon of greatness that it seems to have done for a lot of other people.

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