Mad Max: Fury Road (15)

Directed by George Miller
Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron

Do your Duran Duran video choices run to Rio (sun, seas, yachts) or Wild Boys (post-apocalyptic weirdness)? What I'm saying is Mad Max Fury Road either is or isn't your thing. I never saw the Mel Gibson originals and the premise of this and the images/ trailers etc didn't really sway me. It's not my type of film. However, after seeing rave reviews and hearing the feminist themes praised by critics I admire, I gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised.
As a piece of film-making, it certainly impresses. Bonkers, eye-popping visuals, amazingly inventive production design in the vehicles and non stop-action. However, it is a grotesque, cruel and brutal world. One that it didn't give me much pleasure to visit.
Charlize Theron is Ripley-eque as Furiosa, pretty much the lead and definitely the most compelling (and cool) character. She is as tough as nails and Theron's height and strong physique make her pretty damn awesome! Tom Hardy is slightly Bane-eque as Max and much less interesting. But neither really becomes a character you get to know. This film is so NOT a character piece! Women are chattels, the bad guys are more comic book villainous that you'll see in a Marvel movie. (Why are their flaming eletric guitar players in their monster trucks???) There are some excellent action set pieces, brutal fights and Miller's visuals really are stunning. However, if you're not into post-apocalyptic road movies, give it a miss.
It was fascinating to see this the week after Pitch Perfect 2 - a film I enjoyed a lot despite some flaws. Mad Max is a highly accomplished piece of film making but I have no desire to revisit this cruel world. Perhaps that is a compliment to how well realised it is.

May 2015

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