Check out Josh and Violet’s spoiler-free male vs. female perspective reviews of Mad Max: Fury Road, directed and co-written by George Miller, and starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult!
His Movie Review of
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road released this past weekend, George Miller’s fourth movie in the Mad Max franchise, a post apocalyptic film, set in a desolate wasteland, where water and fuel have become hot commodities, and people have gone basically insane across the board. Timeline-wise, Fury Road is supposed to take place after the second Mad Max film, Road Warrior, the most popular of the original trilogy films. The original trilogy for Mad Max began in 1979 and finished with the third film, Beyond the Thunderdome, in 1985. All three movies starred Mel Gibson as Mad Max, the ex police officer who seems to be a little off his rocker.
Prior to the new movie being announced, I had never watched any of the Mad Max movies. A couple of months ago, I gave the original movie a shot, and I had a hard time with it. I heard that Road Warrior, the second movie, was the best of the original three, but I could not bring myself to get past the first after watching it. I was determined to give Fury Road a fair shake though. It had a lot going for it. First, Tom Hardy (as Mad Max) and Charlize Theron were starring in the new film. These two actors seem to elevate almost everything they are in lately. Two, after seeing footage at San Diego Comic-Con last year, the film looked visually amazing. So I was prepared to go into this movie with high hopes. Then after seeing the trailers come out, it was all but solidified.
I will first say this: This movie is one big adrenaline rush with a couple breathers along the way. From the opening sequence to just about the last part of the movie, the action is non-stop. Cars are crashing, there’s a whole lot of fighting, big explosions are happening, oh and the mobile band is playing their massive bass drums and weirdo guitar within the movie, from their vehicles. George Miller has a very big imagination in not only the story of this post apocalyptic world, but how he portrayed it. The entire movie felt like one gigantic art piece, with how stylized it felt.
As far as the story itself, it was a pretty simple one–Max and his allies in the film are trying not to get caught/die. It is a pretty basic premise, but the way George Miller handled it, really put me on the edge of my seat the entire film. But don’t plan on having too many emotional moments here. There are a couple of sad deaths in the movie, but the pace of the movie is so fast, it doesn’t really give you time to grieve for these characters. But I am pretty sure that George Miller was going more for the massive action than trying to tug at anyone’s heart strings.
As far as the cast, I think Charlize Theron stole the show in this movie. Her character, Imperator Furiosa is probably the best part of the film. Tom Hardy as Max was good as well, but he has about 10 lines the entire film, most of which is grunting more than speaking. That is not to say I didn’t enjoy Tom Hardy’s portrayal, there just wasn’t a lot to go off of. But the first interaction between Max and Furiosa is a whole lot of fun as the fireworks go off. I don’t want to spoil anything, but you will see what I mean when you see the movie.
A couple of concerns I had with movie were pretty minor, but still worth bringing up. Firstly, it is definitely a movie that is meant to be just watched, and enjoyed for what it is. If you are looking for a thought-provoking film, this is not the movie for you to see. Additionally, I felt a little lost during some parts of the movie. Maybe it is because I haven’t seen the previous films, or maybe the movie was so fast paced, I missed something, but I felt there were some things not explained well enough, and left me a little puzzled afterwards.
All in all, I have to say I had a lot of fun with the film. It certainly met my expectations–a big action movie, with lots of fun, and not meant to be taken too seriously. I think I would give the movie an 8 out of 10.
Her Movie Review of
Mad Max: Fury Road:
Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise, and was directed, co-written, and co-produced by George Miller, who was also behind the original three Mad Max films, the most recent of which came out thirty years ago, and starred Mel Gibson as Max. This time around, Tom Hardy plays the title role of Max. The film also stars Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class), and Hugh Keays-Byrne (Mad Max).
The film is set in post-apocalyptic Australia, in a barren wasteland, during a time in which water has become scarce. Our title character, Max, is just trying to survive in this world, when he is captured and brought into the ranks of people controlled by Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne), the villain in this tale. When Immortan Joe sends out a convoy on a supply run, he puts Imperator Furiosa (Theron) in charge, but once they get on the road, it turns out Furiosa has another destination in mind, and veers off on a different path. As soon as Immortan Joe realizes Furiosa’s deception, and that she has stolen some precious cargo, he sends his war boys chasing after her, and joins the chase himself. Max soon finds himself in the middle of this road battle, against his will. As the chase progresses, Max ends up helping Furiosa evade Immortan Joe’s war party and aids in her journey to find the Green Place.
I first heard about Mad Max: Fury Road at San Diego Comic-Con last year. Although I had heard of the original Mad Max trilogy, those films were before my time, so I had never seen any of them. Therefore, there was no nostalgia in this for me, nor did I have any sort of frame of reference. So when I first saw the Mad Max: Fury Road preview at San Diego Comic-Con last July, it was pretty much all new to me, and I was mildly interested. Fast forward to this past April at WonderCon, where we got to see two extended clips from the movie, and suddenly my interest level was raised significantly. I recognized that this movie had the potential to be amazing.
It’s nice when a movie actually lives up to your expectations. Mad Max: Fury Road is a story of hope and redemption, in a world that seems hopeless, and where few people have the chance to display redeeming qualities. Okay, so that’s not really the focus of the movie, but happens to be an underlying theme if you look closely enough.
What you’ll actually notice in the film is the visually striking landscape, and the rich, vibrant appearance of this dystopian world. Of course, front and center to Mad Max: Fury Road was the action that took place, well, on the road. Although the chase was chaos, it was an organized chaos, that kept your eyes glued to the screen, your heart thumping, and left you on the edge of your seat. I was mesmerized by the beautiful choreography of the chase, and how everything worked together in rhythm.
Another thing I appreciated in this movie was the strong role that women played despite the misogynistic society in which it took place. Although the film is titled Mad Max, and starts out focused on Max, this is really Furiosa’s story, and she and her plan quickly become the focus. Max has very little dialogue, and essentially functions as a supporting role to Furiosa and what she’s trying to accomplish, although he does play a significant part in helping her mission.
However, some of the movie looked a little cartoony to me, especially the opening scene. It seemed like it was going in fast forward, and reminded me of the first Hobbit movie, which I saw in HFR (High Frame Rate), specifically the part when Gandalf and the dwarves were running around. It just made it look silly, and distracted me. Additionally, Max kept seeing these weird flashes and hearing a voice, but we never got an explanation of what he was seeing and hearing. Indeed, there are a lot of things that go unexplained throughout the movie, that seemed like they deserved more context. Although, like I said, I’ve never seen the original Mad Max films, so maybe they would have offered some insights.
Overall, Mad Max: Fury Road is a visually pleasing, high octane, edge of your seat thrill ride. But when it comes down to it, it’s pretty much just a bunch of driving around (though in a fun and enjoyable way). I would have liked it more if it had a little more substance, plot, and background story, so that I could have understood more about what was going on. I guess I’ll try watching the originals to see if that helps, though I feel like I shouldn’t have to.
My rating: 8/10