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Mad Max: Fury Road movie review

jay-sherman-the-critic-to-the-multiplex

When I heard about Mad Max: Fury Road, I immediately went into my standard “Why does everything have to be a remake or a sequel, doesn’t anyone have any new ideas blah blah blah” diatribe. Then I caught wind of the movie’s shiny 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and thought, “OK, I’ll check that out at some point.”  But when I heard crazy people were calling the movie a “feminist conspiracy,” I knew I could delay no longer.  

For a nearly perfect movie called Mad Max: Fury Road, there is one curious things about this flick:  Max doesn’t have much of an arc (or many lines), but then, nobody else does, either.  The heroes just kinda learn to trust each other and work together, and that’s enough.

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

The characters learn things about themselves, I guess… Max realizes that he can’t run from the good man he is and maybe hope is a good thing after all.  Furiosa learns there are some men you can trust and Nux… well, his arc isn’t as interesting as I thought – he really just goes from sacrificing himself for one cause to another.  It’s just nice that the new cause is noble.

The movie doesn’t have much in the way of surprises; for example, there’s never a “green place” – we’ve seen these types of movies before, we know this.  The good guys win, the bad guys get punished, reformed characters must pay for their past misdeeds… that’s just how it goes.  That doesn’t mean the movie isn’t good (it’s actually great), I’m just pointing out that they didn’t exactly reinvent action movies with this flick – and in some ways, they reminded us that we’ve actually gone too far from doing something simple (bad guys chasing good guys) and getting it in under three hours.

But is the movie feminist propaganda as some have claimed?  Fury Road literally spells out that women are not, in fact, things, and I think anyone living on earth with any sense of culture or history can understand that women have been and continue to be objectified, mistreated and worse.  The bad guy states that women are his property and, given what we know as human beings on earth (IE, tyrannical a-holes think women are property), this isn’t exactly coming out of left field.  Now, one could say that the movie makes the argument that there are no good men or men can’t be trusted with power, and yet again, I must point to history, which backs up this argument.  Also, it’s only through Max’s actions that the plot is pushed forward to help the women achieve the ultimate goal, so I’m not sure that idea holds up.  I argue that Fury Road is telling us that gender roles don’t necessarily need apply and that all good people need to work together against the bad people regardless of their sex or where they come from.

Essentially, I’m saying that if you think Mad Max is some sort of dupe tactic to get men to watch feminist propaganda, you probably have never read any history, watched the news or have any connection to an experience outside of your own.  (Also, if there is such a thing as feminist propaganda, it’s not working.  Most positions in government all around the world are still held by men, rapes and sexual assaults in even the developed world are still staggeringly high, etc.)  If you’re an advocate for men’s rights  and you’re going around organizing boycotts of this movie… well, that’s like being pro grocery store.  (In case that analogy is unclear, I’m saying everyone needs food, the grocery store industry doesn’t need you to take up their cause.)  And if you’re wondering how that boycott is going, Fury Road is at $165M internationally, so yeah, not so well.

So endeth the rant concerning knuckleheads.

Anyway, Mad Max: Fury Road has excellent photography, practical stunts blended with digital effects… there’s so much to look at!  Don’t wait for home video, this is one of those rare movies that is fun to watch on the big screen.  You’d think that car crashes would get old after the first hour, but you’d be WRONG.  The movie comes up with new and interesting ways to do pretty much everything is does more than once, and it is glorious.  Another big help is the music – the orchestra blends with the rock/metal perfectly.   The visual part of the movie blends perfectly with the audio (the sound design is also great) – the melodies aren’t strong, but it still works well.

I also enjoyed the performances; Tom Hardy doesn’t say much as Max Rockatansky, but he makes some hilarious faces (especially in his last scene).    Charlize Theron is amazing in this flick, I immediately forgot it was her – I can give no higher compliment.  This is Nicholas Hoult’s best role (as Nux) that I’m aware of (X-Men First Class and Days of Future Past) – he has a lot to do, so I imagine this could be the movie that takes him from featured player to big time leading roles.

It’s fair to say that I loved Mad Max: Fury Road – the movie gives you everything you could want, including stuff you’d never think to ask for – see below.   I’m giving it a 9 out of 10 and plan on dragging Dr. MyFiancee back to the theater for a second viewing before the movie rides off into the sunset.

Mad-Max-Fury-Road-flame-guitar

This. This guy should be in every movie. Write him into the next Smurfs movie!

 

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About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on June 2, 2015, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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