Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Director: George Miller
Running Time: 2 hours
Rating: R

I've been working on my "pop culture classic" movie list. You know, films that I'm embarrassed to say I haven't seen - Space Jam, Caddy Shack, even Star Wars (I KNOW, I KNOW). The 1979 Mel Gibson cult classic Mad Max is on the list, and I'll get around to it eventually, but while I can see Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron on the big screen in the 4th installment/continuation, I'll do just that. But brace yourself, "Mad Max: Fury Road" is incredibly stylized and fast-paced. Actually, those are both understatements. Tom Hardy does his best, which may still not quite be good enough, as Charlize easily outshines him. It's worth seeing even if you aren't typically into futuristic action flicks, if not for the eye candy and adrenaline rush.

You jump right into this film. There's very little dialogue during the first 20 minutes, and you'll barely be able to catch your breath after what seems like the film's climax. But alas, the opening credits begin to role. It's post-apocalyptic, it's dystopian, it's a frightening world in which these people live. Furiosa (Theron) is introduced to us driving a War Rig on what appears to be a simple gas run. Unbeknownst to Immortan Joe (the leader), the Rig is actually transporting his 5 wives away from their hellish society, and towards the "green place." Once it's discovered they're missing, the disturbingly pale War Boy Army sets out into the desert to retrieve them. My favorite moment in the entire film was the introduction of the army band, most notably the guitarist, whose sole purpose is to play heavy metal music for them to get pumped to during the desert chase. Utterly hysterical.

Enter Max, a prisoner being used as a blood source for one of the sickly War Boys (Nicholas Hoult). Max goes on the hunt with the army, but as you can imagine, things go awry. Max separates from his leech and he joins forces with Furiosa and the 5 stunning wives. They don't have many lines but they're gorgeous and include Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough (Elvis' granddaughter!) and Zoe Kravitz. Naturally I worried about the lack of visible eating and sleep time for these people, because it seems like they were constantly being chased by one group or another.

This is simultaneously a basic and detailed overview of the film. They are chased. They fight. They drive through the desert. Repeat. You kind of get the point. I have a few issues with the casting of Tom Hardy as Max. He's as hot as the desert, but he got a little Bane-ish, and Charlize's piercing blue eyes and kick-ass attitude totally steals the spotlight. Nicholas Hoult has come a long way since his "About a Boy" days. He made us feel sympathy for a hopeless, brainwashed puppet. His star will continue to rise. I enjoyed it this film, though I'm glad I sat close to the back row and would consider taking a Dramamine if viewing it again.

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