Mad Max: Fury Road
Posted May 15, 2015 by Daniel Hodgson in
An aggressive assault on the eyes and ears, deadening the senses within the first 20 minutes. The story can be told within 20 minutes. The rest is noise.
Mad Max: Fury Road is an exhausting experience best endured with an extra large energy drink. Otherwise, you’ll yawn through the climax. I certainly did.
Explosions, gunfire, car crashes. Explosions, gunfire, car crashes. Explosions, gunfire, car crashes. Two hours of this. It’s not exciting, it’s enervating. It’s as if director George Miller saw Transformers 4 and thought, you know what this needs? More babes and more explosions!!!
And there are more babes. One of them is Imperator Furiosa, portrayed by an impassive Charlize Theron. Furiosa is entrusted with taking a rig to Gastown for fuel under orders from Immortan Joe (Hugh Keayes-Byrne), the despotic ruler of The Citadel.
However, unbeknownst to him, Furiosa has hidden the tyrant’s young wives in the vehicle, and makes off for the sanctuary of The Green Place. He soon discovers the betrayal, and sends his warriors after her.
You’re wondering, what about Mad Max (Tom Hardy)? Where does he fit in all of this? Think of him as the Bilbo Baggins character, an anchor into the story but otherwise superfluous. Max spends a long section of the movie as a hood ornament, and doesn’t become the hero until late in the running time, leaving Fury Road without someone to cheer for.
I know what you’re thinking, and no, Furiosa doesn’t count. Theron has about three minutes of dialog in two hours, and by the time her motivation is explained, the movie is almost over, and thank heavens for that.
Fury Road is an aggressive assault on the eyes and ears, deadening the senses within the first 20 minutes. The story can be told within those 20 minutes. The rest is noise.
Ka-Boom! Crash! Vroom! The action rushes right out of the gate and takes an early lead, leaving character development and relationships to play catch-up for the rest of the film. The wives, all five of them, have different hair colors, but otherwise, they’re largely indistinguishable as characters before it’s over.
Hardy’s dialog consists of grunts and groans, which doesn’t reveal much about him. He wears a mask over his face for an extended sequence early on, so you can’t see his facial expressions and connect with his character. Hardy is a talented thesp, but he’s wasted in this role and this movie.
The real stars of Fury Road are the cars. The trucks, the motorcycles, the dune buggies, and so on, festooned with skulls, spikes, and more skulls. The crazy, fetishy costumes are co-stars. This insane film has a look, I’ll give it that, and it has something to say. Down with the patriarchy! A feminist Michael Bay-esque movie? Who’d have thought it. 1.5 stars.