There was a time when going to the movies was an experience. It was more than just something to do on the weekend. People actually went to the theater to experience the artistry of a film. In recent years, going to the movies has become more akin to sitting around the house watching TV. We mostly use it to fill our idle time when we can’t think of anything better to do. Now, thanks to 70 year old George Miller, the experience is back.
Mad Max: Fury Road is a continuation of the futuristic, post-apocalyptic story of Max Rockatansky. This story basically consists of a whole group of crazy people chasing another group of slightly less crazy people across the barren wasteland of Australia in some of the coolest vehicles I have ever seen in my life. There is Mad Max, a female version of Mad Max, A god-like leader, a heavy metal rock band on wheels, and a whole lot of glorious action.
The term “visual masterpiece” gets thrown around a lot these days, but that is exactly what this is. This could be the best looking film I have ever seen. The cinematography and production value are immaculate. It is very polished, gritty, and strangely beautiful. Add in a tremendous score and brilliant sound editing and you get one of the most viscerally enjoyable cinematic experiences that has ever been created.
Tom Hardy is excellent as the lead in this movie, mainly because of what he accomplishes without the aid of a lot of dialogue. He does a great job of getting his point across without it. He doesn’t say much, but what he does say is important and people listen. Hardy definitely has a very big on-screen presence. Charlize Theron is good as expected. She does all the things she is expected to do but nothing more than that. The only thing that bothered me about her performance was that I didn’t understand why her character was the only one that didn’t have an accent. The most emotional performance in the film belongs to Nicholas Hoult, who I was not familiar with but was impressed by.
The story is very simple, as it should be. There is just enough of it to satisfy somebody like me, but not so much that it gets convoluted or boring to people who are only there for the action. Everybody has a reason for doing what they are doing and the characters are certainly relatable. My biggest complaint with the film is that there is not enough exposition early. Not that there should have been a lot, but I spent too much time trying to figure stuff out that could have been explained with two or three lines of dialogue here or there.
One would have to go back several years to find a movie with action sequences this tremendously shot. There are actually real stunts and real props used. There is CGI too, but not all CGI. The CGI that is in the film looks very good. Most of the time it is difficult to tell what is real and what is not. That is a good thing. The stunning action sequences are edited very well. No choppy footage or shaky cam. What a breath of fresh air for old school action movie fans.
I think what we have here is our first legitimately great film of 2015. This is far and away better than the original Mad Max film, which is the only other one I have seen. I can actually see this being considered a classic in the future. If you are the kind of person who needs a ton of dialogue or really deep stories to enjoy a movie, this is probably not for you. However, I do not consider myself an action movie fan and I loved it. The Movie Man gives it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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