So I went to see Fury Road last night with some trepidation – mainly because I have been let down by movies that people rate as “5 star!!!” and also the fact that the action movie genre has been a bit stale of late – Taken 1 was great and then there was the gradual slide downhill to Taken 3 (who knows what the potential next installments will look like…)
The movie is a visual feast, this isn’t one of those movies that packs the best into the trailer and then under delivers on the rest. Who hasn’t gone to see a movie that has an awesome trailer, but plodding character development in the middle, and a lot of nothing else. This definitely isn’t the case with Fury Road, and that isn’t to say that there isn’t character development. For a film that follows on from a film 30 years ago, Miller could have been excused if he just ignored character development and left it as an action schlock-fest. Instead we get a rich building of characters – Theron’s Furiosa and Max in particular, but not only that there is a sense of world building – from the Citadel of Immortan Joe to the Bikers canyon, not mention the rest of Immortan’s allies. You can watch this movie on it’s own merits as an awesome action blockbuster, or you can also view it in building your understanding of the Mad Max universe.
So why blame George Miller for the torrents? This movie is so polished and well executed that I am left feeling that everything else pales in comparison. In it’s execution it almost highlights the poor state of the movie industry and it’s incessant pumping out of mediocre drivel. This is the kind of film that people will pay for, and not just wait for the HD screener to be dropped on torrent sites. I’m a big believer in ensuring that the original artists get their cut of the profits, however the celebrity culture seems to perpetuate a cycle of overpaid actors produce rubbish movies (anyone seen Transcendance..) and then studios try to recoup profits. Ticket prices rise, DVD prices haven’t dropped in relation to increased access and demand, cable television is exclusive and pricey and streaming services are only in their infancy. Surely, part of the issue with piracy is that with lower content quality and more films being released, the general public will choose the easiest option (free, low risk, lack of a ‘victim’). I’m not saying that content quality is the only problem, but producing art that people are passionate about and tell others “It’s must-see on the big screen” must be a factor in the piracy debate. What about less movies releases in a year, but higher quality. This is one of the only movies that I have ever said that I would happily spend the money to go again at the cinema.
Anyway, to continue, Max is a broken man, uttering a few words here and there, suffering from aural and visual hallucinations, which could be a PTSD response, a psychotic illness, or more likely a combination of one of the above and the extreme terrain and stressful environment that he finds himself in. The character of Furiosa is definitely the focal point here and it is a great focus, we get to see Max in action, but also we see another story arc develop without it being a spin off movie. The action is plentiful, and a bathroom break will leave you missing significant action.
The fragility of humans is definitely emphasised in this movie, there is no uber villain with super powers, every person is broken and weakened in some way. Despite any current circumstances, the individual is only tenuously hanging on to any advantage that they may have in life. It is a story of hope and redemption, but most importantly, a story of facing demons to seek resolution – rather than glossing over issues.
This film is so shiny, so chrome, that I just have to give it a 10 – and would recommend to anyone with a love of cinema. I intend on revisiting the previous Mad Max installments and will provide an analysis of Max somewhere in the near future.