Fury Road Review
Directed by George Miller and starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in the lead roles, Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2015 action film that is almost universally applauded and cited as one of the very best of the year and I have to say that it is a rare action movie that I really enjoyed, despite generally disliking the genre.
The movie succeeds mostly for the technical aspects and the action. Action sequences here are for once genuinely well filmed and well executed. And they are, what a surprise, actually engaging and very entertaining. Action here is filmed very smartly with some excellent movements and camera angles thus helping you see the whole thing properly and not missing anything. That was great about it. And although there was too much of it in the first half, all of the action in the film is spectacular, wonderfully realized, always involving and accompanied with a sense of danger and consequences.
What I also liked a lot in Mad Max: Fury Road is definitely the tone. It is amazing. The approach is very intriguing here as it sometimes seems realistic, or somewhat realistic, but it then compensates for it with a bunch of really crazy and weird stuff thrown at you. I am of course talking about the crazy vehicles, the odd musician and the overall crazy attitude and behavior from its characters. Yes, none of the characters here is sane, but that is not a bad thing for sure as the movie is certainly positively crazy and just rarely pushing the boundaries. Yes, there are some too violent and disgusting moments, but there aren’t many of those which I was thankful for. But overall that tone is great as it is mostly serious with deadly circumstances and action, but once in a while there comes the humor which is very interesting, weird, crazy and definitely good as it made me laugh a couple of times.
Speaking of those vehicles, the world-building here is absolutely terrific. Everything is so well conceived and depicted, wonderfully imagined with excellent attention to detail. Everything about it technically is a pure miracle. The cinematography is ridiculously good with great camera movements as mentioned before. The scenery is beautiful and really pleasing to the eye with even the dark imagery in night scenes really well filmed. The colors are very appealing and a great choice, from orange in daylight to blue during night.
If there is one thing I did not like is 3D as I watched the film in the theatre. It is weak and failed to capture the wonder of the screen which is a shame as it had a lot of potential. However, there were about three moments where the object, a bullet for instance, passed right back at the audience and that was great as it literally went into my eye. I also have to congratulate them for the score as it’s so powerful. This is the kind of score and sound effects that accompany the action on the screen, builds the tension and wonderfully contributes to the overall enjoyment of the action.
The dialogue is okay, but not the greatest and the directing from George Miller is very good. I also like how the film, although in this usually stupid genre, still manages to have both heart and brain as it has some warm moments and it makes you care for the characters while also having the necessary realism, some political overtones and deadly consequences. The movie is way too predictable at times and that is definitely a flaw as I literally predicted some plot points early on. But the editing is deft with pacing not always fast and thankfully with some warm and calm moments. And there are a couple of instantly recognizable and memorable moments here that will probably go down into history how good they are executed. And overall Mad Max: Fury Road is not original, but it is incredibly authentic both in its themes and its execution. And of course in that wonderful look.
Until now, I complimented this movie a lot and because I give it a four, there are many things here that bothered me and those are essentially the problems every action movie has – weak story and so-so character development. Yes, the story is very weak. It has some great themes, especially of feminism and the relationship between the sexes, but those themes just become overtones as they are never properly explored. Although intriguing, they just are left for the action to occur. And also I was not a fan of that beginning and almost half of the whole first half just started abruptly and never explaining you the story or the characters. The world building, as I mentioned earlier, is so good but it is unfortunate that we never learn anything about this world or the political intrigue brewing beneath.
The characters are so underdeveloped that it hurts the movie. Nux is very sympathetic as this odd lunatic, but the villain Immortal Joe really didn’t get anything to do in this movie which was ridiculous as they built him up so much. Also, all of the girls and the rest of the people never get much to do and never get much development. As for Max and Furiosa, they are of course the standouts as this incredibly strong team of leads. They are both instantly likable and you want to follow them wherever they go. And they both got some warm moments and the ending with them nodding to each other is so powerful. But even those two never got any back-story as there are many things left unanswered regarding the two.
And the acting. It is very good, in some instances quite remarkable. Nicholas Hoult is so good as crazy but so likable Nux and this is probably his finest performance yet in my opinion. And Charlize Theron is absolutely incredible. She became Furiousa which was so hard as this role is incredibly difficult and demanding, both emotionally and physically. But she managed to pull it off and created one of the very best female action heroes of all time. As for Tom Hardy, I was once again angry how he never showed his face in the beginning, but thankfully he did later on. And once again his talk is too brutal and too much like that of Bane which was unnecessary. Also, I never really bought him that much in this role as he has such an innocent face and especially the look in his eyes, which distracted me as he was supposed to be one of the craziest persons in the movie. But although those things bothered me, he still did a great job as he is one of the better actors working today.