One for the action junkies. So in the post-apocalyptic future where fuel is used as currency, Max (Tom Hardy) is forced into an alliance with Furiosa (Charlize Theron). They attempt to outrun multiple factions of bad guys, all of which are pursuing them for a plethora of different reasons. I don’t want to call this overhyped, I really don’t, but I don’t know what other word to use for it. When a film is sitting on a 98% at rottentomatoes, and is currently considered to be the 38th best film of all time (according to the unbiased voters on IMDb), it’s either just me, or people are in cahoots. This is really giving me Interstellar flashbacks, because while I do recognize elements that work in both films, I failed to connect on that level of full blown adoration that almost everybody else has for the film.
I just can’t tell if a blind man in a red onesie mounted on the front of a ginormous speaker truck playing a guitar that shoots flames out of it is the most metal or the most retarded thing I’ve ever seen, and that makes me sad, because that can only mean that I’m not a 14-year-old boy anymore.
If you love action and that is the only thing that you ask for out of your action movies, by all means, this is your ticket, and I would like to start this off with all of the positives about Mad Max: Fury Road. The action is extremely well choreographed and filmed, and is shot in such a way that you never have any doubt exactly what is going on; it’s not like a Transformers movie where it’s just a bunch of metal clashing together, you feel every single hit and crash. The majority of the stunts and effects were done practically, which makes it all the more impressive. All of the designs are cool, from the disturbing mutilated characters to the vehicles that have been cobbled together from spare parts. There are so many bizarre touches and so much attention to detail, it goes a long way to building this post-apocalyptic world. All of the effort was made, which makes it all the more disappointing that I only liked it, and didn’t fall madly in love with it.
The action is all great, but where Mad Max: Fury Road comes up short is… well, pretty much everywhere else. You are thrust into the thick of the action so quickly, and it wastes no time on stuff like character development. You know what helps an action sequence? Caring about whether your protagonist survives or not. I wanted to care, but this film has other interests set as priorities. The writing doesn’t sparkle, and I can’t think of a single quote off the top of my head when I just watched this three days prior. The pacing on this is unorthodox, having two extensive car chases at the beginning and the end, and having all of the slim plot crammed into the middle. Also, there’s all this hullabaloo going around about how feminist this is, when I really think people have that confused with it just featuring a capable female protagonist; don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good thing, but there’s really nothing about this that screams “feminism”. I feel that I appreciated this more than I actually ended up liking it, and I think I’ve reached an age where this brand of insanity doesn’t appeal to me the way that it potentially could have, had I been a decade younger.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) ***
– Critic for Hire