Film

Fury Road: Mad Max transcends the wasteland in psychotic, poetic masterpiece

Fury Road: Mad Max transcends the wasteland in psychotic, poetic masterpiece

Don’t even think about missing Mad Max: Fury Road — this film transcends the modern wasteland in psychotic and poetic terms … it is a masterpiece of psychological action, muscle and mojo …

Fury Road is the big middle finger to all the mind control … I mean … steaming Marvel dung that’s being forced down our throats by the Kings and Queens of Hollywood.

It also is the best movie of 2015, so far. So stop taking selfies, facebooking, tweeting, snap-chatting, or fucking off on whatever form of social media you worship like a deity and get your ass to the movie theatre — Mad Max: Fury Road is a revelatory achievement in visual filmmaking, a philosophical indictment on our modern society that is not to be missed.

The road to get George Miller‘s latest installment in the Mad Max canon made was a bumpy one (the film was supposed to be released in 2001). In fact, Mel Gibson was set to star in Fury Road, but Gibson’s numerous drunken rants and run-ins with the law saw the actor’s stock plummet over the decade. Besides, it was time for someone younger to step into Max’s boots.

Enter one of the best actors in the business today, Tom Hardy (The Drop, The Dark Knights Rises). Hardy, like the late, great Steve McQueen, is not a strong believer in the power of words. Hardy uses his face and “crazy” eyes to say everything that needs to be said. And like everything else (water, blood, food, gasoline, etc.) in Miller’s fully realized Wasteland, words are a resource not to be wasted on the wrong person. So when Max does speak, you listen.

But it is the relationship between Max and Furiosa, played by the magnetic and militant Charlize Theron, that carries the heart and soul of Fury Road. Theron, who is missing half her arm, drives home Miller’s point that everyone in this world has lost something, both emotionally and physically, but they push onward in the face of hopelessness.

And that face of hopelessness comes in the form of the cartoonish and tyrannical, Immortan Joe. Miller doesn’t waste anytime giving his villain a sympathetic backstory, the moment we see Immortan Joe we know he is pure evil. Fury Road could play in Bhutan without subtitles and those in attendance would have no problem following the story.

The greatest achievement of Fury Road is its limited use of CGI and green-screen. All of the cars are real. All of the explosions are real. And all of the stunts are real. Miller’s use of practical effects creates an instant sense of danger for the audience. More importantly, when an actor onscreen looks genuinely ready to shit in their pants, you can’t help but feel that same emotion pumping through your veins.

This is what superhero movies and many CGI extravaganzas lack, a mortal sense of danger, that at any moment, our hero might not make it out of his or her movie alive.

Fury Road is filled with all kinds of political and socioeconomic allusions, but Miller’s personal politics never become a distraction (you can draw your own conclusions about the many messages within the madness).

But there is one thing Miller does want you to know: The women of Fury Road are strong forces of nature not to be fucked with. At a time when feminists are screaming out on Twitter about their sexualized and diminished roles in Hollywood, Fury Road delivers the most feminist action film since Kill Bill and Aliens.

Leaving the theater, satiated from the visual and sonic feast my synapses had just consumed, I only had one question, “With an R rating and a lack of CGI, will we get to return to Mad Max’s punk-rock-women-rule-operatic-Wasteland ever again?”

That power, my friends, dwells within your purses and wallets.

Final Say: Pabst Blue Ribbon!



Bryan Kish

Bryan Kish writes reviews and articles for NID Magazine.