The 4th Iteration of the Australian Dystopian Action series, which initially saw the silver screen light of day in 1979. Directed by George Miller, [produced by Byron Kennedy, and starring Mel Gibson]. Two sequels followed the very profitable grossing original, in 1981 (Mad Max 2: Road Warrior & 85’s Mad Max Beyond The Thunderdome). This 4th installment was released on the 15th of May.
What I found beyond the overly priced movie ticket, within the theatre of a light polluting building attached to the middle of a shopping centre, was something I have experienced before. There does seem to be some sort of a trend becoming of these 90’s action recurations. Revamping the original audiences, and recovering any that may have been born too late to have been apart of the ladder. Such films as; Robocop, Jurassic World (a follow up to the series Jurassic Park), & T5, which is a retelling of the rebel factions of man and machine. These uncanny films are childhood favorites of mine. Mad Max was superb, gritty, & very fresh for its time. Drastically different than what I am familiar with or generally associate the pedigree of films in the action genre could present themselves as.
This film, focuses on a character named Max. Played by one of the most brooding and menacing, most often in his typical roles, Tom Hardy (the Dark Knight, Bronson). Again we see him in a violent role, he isn’t angry this time around, well the way he displays it is a bit more – unique! He says very little in the entire movie. Possibly because one of the movie’s other main focuses [yes, there can be more than one thing to focus on in a particular film] is the Female Protagonist(s) and their “Hierarchy” [or
Rise There Of]. Living on roads vapid of any sort of life across the spectrum, Max is an infamous mercenary, a survivor of an unknown wasteland. We find our anti-hero being held captive by dangerous individuals, underground, in a cavernous sewer. Memories course through this mans’ twisted mind. Max is deeply haunted by deaths of those many people, he has failed to protect on his path. Fury Road illustrates the path in which he much take this toxicity within himself, purifying himself from the agonizing pain of his past, fueling his dexterity against the odds.
There’s a bit of familiarity here with the series brand. It has not attempted to stomp itself out completely, for the hopse of higher revenue with a targeted market, The director really tries to tell a fresh, and enriched new tale in the exact same universe, but by removing so many of the flashy parts of a new action film, and focusing on the story telling and relationships between each of the characters. Its is all layered in so well, you can barely tell that this universe is not real, and not a realm you can visit. Well not anytime soon at-least. The studio behind this release understand how to represent strong graphic-novelist desertpunk elements visually. The characters, as well as the set designs are still beyond what my expectations set them up to be. This sorta “Steampunk vs Cyberpunk, Post-Human, & Aztec” juxtaposition together- executes so nicely. Creating an a vivid, yet accurate exaggeration of a shitily governed fallout, leading to chaotic gang acclimation, followed by a terramorphing of public resources, by the elitist powers hungry for dessert trash. The composition of many of this films’ elements are simply breath taking.
Something I couldn’t forget to mention is the vehicles, and their concept designers. Mad Max is built off the hearts of those who appreciate the clear sweat, tears, and hard work that goes into the series vehicular level of customization in each design. The muscle memory is there, and is still looking as yoked as ever. Black matte, high riser engines, and hard bodies. They certainly didn’t miss the mark on that attribute of the series.The battles are outrageous, exciting, and leave you wanting more.
[Warning Reading Further May Result In Spoilers]
Max spending most of the first half of the film in captivity, finds himself in one cage after the other. From the sewer, to the first dessert vehicle road war we find him cuffed and chained to the front of what I believe is an original Ford vehicle from the Early 50’s or 60’s. Up until the reach a monumental sandstorm, comprised of dust, tornados of fire, and the more than occasion lighting strike, it doesn’t seem as though there is much hope for Max, but that isn’t to say, this world has very much hope in it. Something universal in regards to its genre. Horror Romance novels as its heritage in the literary sense. Nature solves its own problems, and the storm settles. Max awakes from a crash, covered in sand, and barely able to remember what has happened – although it’s fairly clear. He is chained to the car he had been strapped to and the driver and passenger are dead. Seemingly leaving him abandoned and chained to a dead man, right up to the point where we is about to blow a mans’ arm off with a shotgun, he’s just stumbled upon – seconds later he hears the sounds of an engine, and carries his new “friend” over to a tanker oasis, the bald female semi-truck driver, has parked her ride, and her stowaways (who are stolen breeders of the faction out to drain Max of his blood) are washing from a hose connected to the tanker reservoir. This quickly escalates to him fighting against the driver. The man Max is chained to wakes up, and this fight gets a bit more interesting. 4 opposing sides, 1 battle. I’m sure you can imagine.
† NVRMND †