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Usually but not often; a director’s cut tends to add and not subtract from a film…and never like this. Stripped of its colour, Mad Max: Fury Road: Black & Chrome doesn’t lessen the effect of this high octane flick but actually makes it that much more intense.
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.
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.
With the added (or subtracted) layer now making this Black & Chrome, this film goes from glorious spectacle to dystopian madness like that. It’s George Miller’s favorite version and it is easy to see why as the movie takes on a more desperate and apocalyptic tone on top of the chase movie frame that it is exists on. The simple removal of colour turned this high octane spectacle into a ride across the plains of hell that these characters can only hope to survive. It makes spectacle into desperation so damn quick that it is a marvel to watch unfold.
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. At its heart it really is 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 and now in Black & Chrome along with the original version in this two disc set we now get the visual pleasure and the emotional pain in this iconic story all in one place. 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 see it…as big, as loud and as often as you can, and it’s now on Blu-Ray. Your neighbours, who missed this on the big screen, might just thank you later.
The audio mix and picture quality are just top notch even while on the small screen. Special features include 6 behind the scenes featurettes and the making of the film as well as three deleted scenes. The only new special feature is an intro the Black & Chrome edition from director George Miller himself as we get one step closer to the Ultimate Edition of this saga that we all unquestionably deserve.
- Release Date: 2/28/2017