Film: Mad Max: Fury Road Review – relentless and painful
George Miller’s return to the post apocalyptic and cryptically mysterious Mad Max world is one that doesn’t take its foot off the pedal inducing strong whiffs of gasoline, burning rubber and thumping engine revs.
The film takes numerous cues from silent cinema and dances acrobatically to the tune of practical effects and gleeful fun. Its mythology and colour palette is one to revel and feast on.
The film bounces from location to location, set piece to set piece and action sequence to action sequence. Mad Max was filmed in the desolate country of Namibia and the dusty, dry location paints a visceral and raw future in which religious fanatics and messianic figures rule the poor and deformed with a mile long pole.
Whilst Tom Hardy may be carrying Mel Gibson’s Max into the 21st century, Nicholas Hoult’s Nux and Charlize Theron’s Furiosa steal the show. The pursuit of a better lifestyle and acceptance is a narrative we can all relate to and the characters of Furiosa and Nux embody that belief. The performances are so out there, so rapid and so physical that you forget that dialogue is scarce. Instead you hand on the body language, the facial expressions and the ambient atmosphere.
The film does not stop and in some cases it works and in others it doesn’t. in a two hour film, one would expect some lulls and character moments but Miller prefers to take character moments and have them accelerated in the face of a chase, a shoot out or a brawl.
Mad Max grips you from the off with its damaged characters, damaged vehicles and damaged world it does not leg go. It drags you along the wasteland at full pelt and singes your retina, eardrums and brain for the full two hours. At one point the film became so painful and arduous that a fellow friend, I hesitate to use the word friend when talking about this individual, found his eyes closing below a faint and luxurious monobrow. I was bemused as to how his brain could switch off in the face of a feature so fast, so rapid and so erratic but then I came to the conclusion that this friend is an anomaly in and of himself – he is a very special, special person indeed – one who’s mind is still yet to be understood – the less said about his origin, the better.
Mad Max: Fury Road may very well be the best action movie of the past decade, that remains debatable, only one conclusion is apparent – it’s the best blockbuster of the year so far.
Score – A-