Friday, 5 June 2015

The Fast And The Furiosa [Review: Mad Max Fury Road]

Survivalist and all-round lizard-eater Max (Tom Hardy) is captured by the steering-wheel worshipping dwellers of the Citadel and destined for a deadly fate - but when Furiosa (Charlize Theron), one of the cult's most trusted warrior-drivers goes rogue, steals a "war rig" and heads west taking with her the cult leader's five most valued "breeders", Max might just get his chance to escape.

For the first part of the film though, Max remains a captive - chained to one of the Warboys and stuck to the front of one of their vehicles, so while he does little more than grimace, Furiosa takes centre stage. She's an extraordinary character creation, and played with aplomb by Theron, but her real story has all occurred before the start of the film. I would imagine there's a prequel to be made here. Fury Road is still Max's story - at the start of the film he is at rock bottom, basically an animal focussed only on his survival; by the end he has recovered some of his humanity.

Visually, Fury Road is quite an experimental film - I've not seen anything like it. The visual style is a sensory overload of neon orange and blue, through which a swarm of exaggerated dieselpunk vehicles make their way; most of the story is told through one long, non-stop hyperactive car chase. Bringing the characters to life, giving them depth and story while maintaining the pace and interest is a real challenge. In my opinion Fury Road succeeds 90% of the time, never veering into the dull zone and only occasionally into the silly zone.


PBScott said...

An interesting review, it makes me want to see the film.

I am curious if you have seen "The Road Warrior" and if this was a remake of that or a completely new film featuring Mad Max.

Maurice Mitchell said...

A Furiosa prequel sounds awesome but a spin-off sounds sweet too. I've heard so much about it I feel like Ive seen it but the best is yet to come. I heard the idea for the female hero was story driven. The chase was for the wives instead of an object and having them stolen by a man would have completely changed the story. Fascinating stuff and a great review

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Thanks for tour comments Maurice and PBScott! I haven't seen The Road Warrior so can't compare directly, based on the IMDb synopsis it doesn't seem like a re-make. The two films seem to have very different plots although both revolve around a sinister cult leader of some kind. Anyone seen both?

The point about the female hero makes a lot of sense - having one man steal the wives from another man would be telling a very different kind of story. The wives themselves were interesting characters, it's important that they become strong and resilient over the course of the film and also that they are very individual in their responses to being freed, for example one of them still wants to return to her "protected" life with the cult until late in the action.