Mad Max: Fury Road, directed by George Miller is a stunning piece of cinema. One that in some aspects follows the traditions of modern story telling but is also one that from here on out, should be the film that is considered the benchmark for which films to come are compared against.
The plot of Mad Max: Fury Road sees a rebel, Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron and a hunted man, Max, played by Tom Hardy. The two find themselves connected to a cult like world and it is the want of the both of them, to not only escape and hopefully return to an existence that was familiar to them before but also to try and save others who wish to escape and be free from the tyrannical control of a mad man.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the specific aspects of Mad Max that make it so great, there are just that many. The first that very clearly comes to mind is the visual delight that Mad Max has to offer. Every single scene of Mad Max is a work of art, I can’t tell you how many times I would be in awe of the spectacle that was before me on screen, it has been a long time since I got literal goose bumps from just the imagery on screen and Mad Max broke that streak. What director George Miller was able to accomplish in this film is something that absolutely has to be seen on a large screen, it is like nothing else.
What I think helps to elevate the visual medley is that so much of it was done practically, yes there are some things done in post and with the situations that happen in this film, that’s understandable but it is insane what Miller was able to accomplish practically. I couldn’t believe the amount of times I would see the chaos on screen happening and realise that, that was actually a real vehicle slamming into the other one and those were stunt men being thrown around and none of it was a noticeable CGI mess, like most audiences will be accustomed to in cinemas today.
Helming the madness is Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Interestingly and unlike your normal blockbuster extravaganza that fills the summer time slots, Mad Max sees its lead characters as secondary to the action but still gives them enough time to grow and have their place within the film. Both actors are as you’d expect, reliable and a joy to watch on screen. Hardy says very little throughout the films 2 hour run time but he never really needs to. The ability of this actor to convey what he’s thinking or what he wants with simply his actions or facial expressions is why you can always count on him to command the screen. Theron perhaps has more time to say and do things than her counterpart and it works great, the powerful and intimidating nature of her character makes her someone who is really interesting to follow along with on this crazy train.
I also want to take the chance to give a little love for Nicholas Hoult who plays Nux. A character unlike anything we have ever seen from this actor before and it is probably the best performance I have ever seen from him, and he unexpectedly has a great place within this film. Not only did he bring some humour to the film with his unusual ways but he also helps to bring some heart to it as well.
The story in Mad Max, the thing that has to try and join the dots between the incredible action set pieces is suitable for a film like this. It’s simple enough to keep things moving along and it doesn’t have too many moving parts to it. It would have perhaps been nice to get just a little more from it, learn a little bit more about the world that these very unique characters inhabit but I also appreciate the fact that in a time where films have unnecessarily cumbersome and confusing plots, it’s nice to see a film go in the other direction and let the brilliance of the visual medium speak for itself.
As a film, Mad Max: Fury Road is meticulously sublime. All of the various pieces are polished and slotted into their respective slot, everything comes together to aid and elevate one another. When you are watching the stunning array of visuals take over the screen it also comes assisted with some intense and satisfying sound design, a world that looks like no other, Millers mind must be mad house and he fills this film with all of his crazy Frankenstein like creations and then coming up from the rear and helping to tie so much of it together is the constant and perfectly constructed soundtrack. This really is a recipe that was nurtured and then cooked to perfection.
I think it’s pretty obvious by this point that I’m going to recommend Mad Max: Fury Road. This is already one of my favourite films of the year and we aren’t even half way through it yet. No matter what you’re doing, make time to see this film and let its majesty wash over you.