“The road where we go insane”
It’s fair to assume that George Miller, the director of the original movies, wanted to make a statement with this not-a-remake new installment in the series. The subtlety is not one of the biggest assets of Miller, nor a request for ‘Mad Max’. That guy is loco. Miller or Max? Well, both. This movie is insane. Crazy, fast paced, violent action, where the plot is delivered when the cars aren’t running. What else do you want? Fast, furious… and smart.
FILM: Mad Max: Fury Road
PRODUCER: Kennedy Miller Prod.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Max (Tom Hardy, the best choice for replacing the actually mad Mel) is an ex-cop who has lost his loved ones in a post nuclear war world where water, oil and blood are precious materials, and sand, diseases and extreme poverty are everywhere. A part of this world (Australia) is ruled by the anarchic dictator Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays Byrne, returning to the saga after playing the ‘Toecutter’ in ‘Mad Max’) the commander of a little army of ‘half-lives’, who need regular transfusions from normal folks. Like Max Rockatansky, a hostage of them from the beginning. Max is the ‘Blood-bag’ of Nux (Nicholas Hoult, Beast in new X-Men movies), a young ‘Half-Live’ who wants badly to be recognized for his leader.
The action starts when Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron, excellent), a truck driver of the army heading to Gas Town, changes her path and takes a detour. She is carrying something else in her War Rig.
Immortan Joe finds out in time that Furiosa has taken his five wives. Five selected girls for him to impregnate.
Furiosa and Max will eventually get together and everything will blow while war drums (actual drums) sound all along the infinite desert.
A guitar player with a double neck guitar that spits fire from his headstock; an anthropophagous creeper with a fake nose; an old man with lots of guns and the army of ‘Half-lives’, all commanded by Immortan Joe and his son Rictus Erectus (Nathan Jones) will try to capture the unlikely duo and his escaping young wives.
A Short Road
‘Mad Max, Fury Road’ doesn’t give you a break. The movie is intense and a delight to the senses. The score composed by Junkie XL with sections of classical music is epic and puts you in the mood of velocity. It works excellent with the visual design of the film that, taking out the general awfulness of the world displayed, is beautiful. George Miller stated that he wanted to separate completely from the bleak aspects every director (and cinematographer) gives to post-apocalyptic movies. The desert of Namibia –where ‘Mad Max, Fury Road’- was shot, never looked so amazing. John Seale, the cinematographer, made a superb job with a not so extensive palette and the amount of exteriors that are actually the whole movie.
Every actor in the movie is an over-the-top version of himself. Tom Hardy does an impressive performance as Max, recreating the part acted before by Mel Gibson in the early 80’s (mainly the first two films). His perpetual frowned eyebrows and that look of despair are consequent with his destroyed man voice, filled with grunts and monosyllables. He is always on the verge of total madness. Max is already there –hence his nickname- but he is in constant struggle between sanity and a straight-jacket. On the other side, Charlize Theron, the heroin, and possibly the main character, does an amazing job forging a hardcore badass woman who saves, is saved, and then saves again.
The film, close to the two hours length, never becomes boring. The action sequences –which are the whole movie- were directed in a way that you feel you are reading a comic-book and you are just flipping pages and going through the motion. Other modern movies, soaked on the pleasure of fantastic CGI, just delight themselves on long shots that never make you feel inside it. Miller decided to use old time special effects, real explosions, true damage (and danger), and make-up, and that way, a two hours run through an impassive desert is funny as hell.
There’s a reason ‘Mad Max, Fury Road’ has such a short script and almost no dialog, and 3500 pages of storyboard.
The Subtle Road
Mad Max Rockatansky is not the main character of this movie, even when his name is on the title. No. He is the vehicle (lol) Miller drove to tell his story. A so up to the day story. The plot is simple: these girls are kidnapped, as once was Furiosa. Now she will release them in her homeland. A place where women are free, and not soil to plant seeds. Max is circumstantial to the movie. He is the Billboard. The true hero(in) is Furiosa. She is the one who takes all the risks. Max is merely escaping and trying to make his own road again.
Max is the everyday guy who sees the girls on the corner offering their bodies and just keeps driving until something forces him to act. If it eventually does. In this case, his personal needs. Of course, the reasons here are bigger, harder and demented which makes us think, what are WE doing?
Yes, this is a film with modern problematic. Women are tyrannized, abused and killed. Feminism around the world is giving a great fight, but it can’t fight on their own. They need us. They need Max. Not a “man”. Max, as a man, does not represent “the man” aiding the lady in distress. He represents the ideological struggle that men encounter when they are put in the position of opening their eyes. It’s not a nice position to be put on. It would be nicer to be born with your eyes open already.
Mad Max: Fury Road is not only an excellent action movie. It’s a necessary movie whose plot delivers a hook to the kidney that hits merciless. George Miller and Tom Hardy said that two more Mad Max are on the way. Let’s hope the messages keep coming.