mad max fury road

In a world where gasoline is more prevalent than water, expect to get revved up above the point most movies throttle the intensity. Even when the wheels stop turning along the way, the tension still looms in the distance. The unrelenting threats keep coming, their fury high, their actions frantic.

Nearly the entirety of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is a grimy, steam-punk cross-country car chase with no sympathy or remorse. The villains are vile in intention and hygiene. The protagonists are largely bound together by circumstance. The morality of the post-apocalyptic survivalists is as barren as the landscape, with faint glimmers strewn along the way.

Not that you’ll notice much of the dialogue, as the aesthetic and bad-ass action fills you with “whoa”, but that’s one area that deserves improvement. Perhaps the only area. The stunt work was incredible. The fighting never got boring, with innovative attacks from the antagonists with some creatively styled weaponry. Frantic moments were spaced well enough to provide a manageable, non-exhausting pace.

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No one’s winning an award for their acting in FURY ROAD, but the performances were gritty and realistic. The Hollywood polish was buried underneath grime and grease, allowing Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Charlize Theron and even Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to appear to fit in to a society of survivors. Immortan Joe, the film’s disgusting big baddie, is deftly established. Very little opportunity to sympathize with him exists, which is a tough task for screenwriters to accomplish in films outside the horror genre. Interestingly enough, Hugh Keays-Byrne also plays a primary antagonist from the original Mad Max film almost 40 years ago.

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Any notion that there is too much feminism on display should be relegated to after-thoughts. Once you’re done absorbing how crazy, beautiful and intense the FURY ROAD ride was, that might be part of the discussion, but it’s not an overwhelming part of the plot. George Miller created an incredible world

My Rating: 82 out of 100

This review also appears on my movie reviews site, Guys Film Quest.

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