Spectacle Incarnate: A Review of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - May 12, 2015
Spectacle Incarnate: A Review of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Saying something like “Hyperbole is common place on the internet” is like asking if a bear does its ‘business’ in the woods…it’s a stupid question but one you always have to wary of, if only so you don’t step in anything unpleasant.  While there are times that the buzz for a movie can get overwhelming, you always have to keep that ear to the grindstone when something spectacular happens.  Opening this week with Thursday shows almost everywhere, Mad Max: Fury Road is that…damn…good.  Bow down and pay homage to one of the single greatest feats of cinematic spectacle that has ever…you heard me…EVER been put on the screen, it is the new standard bearer for action on the silver screen.

The wastelands are everywhere and humanity is a shattered shell of anything that it ever hoped to be.  In this chaos, the best that anyone can hope for is to simply stay alive, but there are those who are hoping to find a little order in the madness.  Max (Tom Hardy) is looking for the same thing that he is always looking for, a little quiet and peace of mind to mourn the loss of his wife and child and Furiosa (Charlize Theron) a no nonsense woman of action who believes that if she can blaze a trail across the Fury Road she may find some salvation in the land in which she was born beyond the wastelands.  With the Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays Byrne) a mad man hot on their trail and in control of the only water source for a thousand miles, these two have a choice.  Do they run in hopes of survival, or do decide that their very humanity is worth getting Mad over?

Quite simply put, Mad Max: Fury Road  is the most dominant action movie ever made.  It will beat you into submission and demand your respect for what is unfolding in front of your eyes.

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It doesn’t want you to love it, it immerses you in it until you become a part of it and can only ask for some more.  It’s a two hour car chase through a dusty hell and we aren’t just in the passenger seat, we are strapped to the hood of the truck screaming our heads off as the adrenaline pumps through our faces.  An absolute master stroke as writer/director George Miller returns to this world with such scope and scale that it puts any of the action/fantasy filmmakers of the past 50 years to an absolute shame.  Miller brought us back into this amazing world and strapped us to a rocket flying into the middle of it.  He maintains a frenetic and insane pace from the minute go and never lets us go while giving us solid character development for the heroes and villains for us to get behind as this chase takes us into the maw of the wasteland.  A masterstroke in pacing and timing, there isn’t a single frame out of place or misused as he builds to an over the top spectacle that not only has to been seen to be believed but we never for a single second question this gonzo ride that we are being taken on, one filled with so many practical effects I am quietly amazed that no one died while shooting this picture and is a testament to everyone involved who wanted to do something brave.mad-max-fury-road-charlize-theron

Tom Hardy saddles into the title role exceptionally well.  He says very little, and quite frankly he doesn’t need to, we know the characters motivations and he wears them in his eyes with aplomb.  Charlize Theron carries the bulk of the character exposition with ease as her Furiosa oozes with that all important bad ass vibe of someone you simply don’t want to fuck with.  Hugh Keays Byrne is delightfully crazy as Immortan Joe and Nicholas Hoult buys into the role of Nux with gleeful abandon while Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Riley Keough add some necessary flavour to the chase proceedings.

Make peace with the fact that the game has now changed, Mad Max: Fury Road is an ode to the art of the moving image.  A simple story, with so much awe inspiring spectacle that you can’t help but shed a tear in awe of what is truly capable when you set out to tell as bad ass of a story as possible.  JJ Abrams, Joss Whedon, Michael Bay you are all on notice as George Miller finally brought the spectacle back to cinema in a way that only the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have managed to accomplish.

Just go see it…as big, as loud and as often as you can.

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This post was written by
David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.