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Overall Rating
4.21

Awesome67.61%
Worth A Look: 14.08%
Just Average: 1.41%
Pretty Crappy: 5.63%
Sucks: 11.27%

7 reviews, 29 user ratings


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Mad Max: Fury Road
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by Rob Gonsalves

"It's very good. But folks hyping it as BEST EVER are a little...excited."
5 stars

And so we return, after a full three decades, to the post-apocalypse as rendered by George Miller.

Same as it ever was: Miller’s beloved original Mad Max trilogy, fronted by Mel Gibson, was a frenetic hell of sand and blood and lawless freakazoids, and the tradition continues in Mad Max: Fury Road. Gibson’s Max, one felt, was mad in both popular senses of the term, angry and insane. The rather more soulful Tom Hardy, inheriting the role, conveys only the insanity. Someone else holds the anger this time. There it is, right in the title, evoking “Nor hell a fury like a woman scorn’d.” Even the heroine is named Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). This Mad Max is about female rage in the face of warlike male dominion.

I don’t think Miller sat down intending to craft an action-flick SCUM Manifesto; he probably considered it a cracking good yarn, which it is, one that deviates from what he’s done with Max before, which it does. The plot is simplicity itself: Furiosa rescues five young women from the grandiloquent warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). They had been kept for breeding purposes, and one of them bears Joe’s child; now they are on the move in Furiosa’s massive war rig. Joe’s minions, a pack of powdered baldies called the War Boys, take off after them, and one of the Boys, the sickly Nux (Nicholas Hoult), is hooked up to Max, feeding off his blood. Joe and his people — his whole way of life — are premised on using people like disposable product. Furiosa is conceived in opposition to that.

Much of the action is real, not sculpted in a computer, and Miller gets a properly caffeinated vibe going by speeding up the frame rate — some of the motions look jerky, impatient. Where the pacing is more jagged, the images, courtesy of veteran cinematographer John Seale, are rich and bronzed and fierce — the hues pop, the compositions have rock-solid clarity. Technically, as pure cinema, Fury Road is masterful, unimpeachable. It deals in the lost art of readable, exciting set pieces; the editing is a hell of a lot more “cutty” than it was in Max’s prior outings, but Miller still manages to root everything in plausible physicality.

The movie is getting slightly overpraised for this very reason; by doing what action cinema should be expected to do, it has earned shiny gifts of rhetoric from a grateful nation of movie geeks. Expect fun, excitement, thrills, and surprisingly relevant subtext; ignore most of the hype telling you it’s the sun and the moon. Besides, some of the action is rather obviously computer-enhanced — a dust storm so chaotic, with multiple tornadoes, that we wonder how anyone survives it — and some of it is a bit samey and repetitive, which has been a problem with this series from the beginning; the constant roar of engines becomes almost a lullaby.

The freakiness elevates the film. Maleness is represented mostly by cultish deformity, death’s-head zombies looking like Kurtz’s Montagnard spectres near the end of Apocalypse Now. Femaleness, when not roughly used for reproduction and milk, seeks to get back to an idyllic sisterhood in the greenness of nature. In the middle of this is Max, and the hyper-masculine Mel Gibson wouldn’t have worked as this particular in-between avatar — Tom Hardy, with his full lips and yearning eyes mitigating his punchy features, carries enough femininity to place him naturally opposite Immortan Joe and his despoilers.

Hardy is content to hand the movie over to Charlize Theron, who gives a no-nonsense performance eloquent in its silences. Talk is bad in these movies, as if language were as scarce as water and petrol, and were to be hoarded as violently.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=26973&reviewer=416
originally posted: 05/18/15 14:23:12
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Cannes Film Festival For more in the 2015 Cannes Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/22/17 Mark Louis Baumgart So shiny. So chrome. I live! I die! I LIVE AGAIN!!! 5 stars
5/29/17 Danny Embarrasingly bad, feminist propaganda. 1 stars
10/29/16 morris campbell the plot was messy but still the best action movie of 2015 5 stars
9/08/16 Yaz What was the point of practical stunts if everything was sped up and looked videogame like? 1 stars
6/18/16 Oz1701 Stunts were amazing. Charlize was terrific. Plotting was terrible. 2 stars
1/21/16 DVM Absolutely terrible. An insult to my intelligence. 1 stars
10/26/15 Johnnyfaye Often called a masterpiece, for how simple it is, it's refreshing lack of CGI, fantastic. 5 stars
10/17/15 christefan26 Best movie I've scene in a long time and I watch movies constantly 5 stars
10/04/15 G. Best action movie this year. 5 stars
8/27/15 Billy34 Mad Max minus the screen presence, charisma and his balls. 1 stars
8/24/15 DillonG Incredibly fun from beginning to end! Everything I want out of a blockbuster. 5 stars
7/26/15 jd shit review, shit comments, great movie 5 stars
6/24/15 Cal L Mundane Max tags along with Mad Maxine and glamourous models 1 stars
6/23/15 wfibcdxjl USA 5 stars
6/08/15 TonyK The baddies chase the goodies ..thats it! 2 stars
6/07/15 Lisa H I can't remember the last time I got so bored with an action movie. 2 stars
6/05/15 mr.mike Good, not great, remake. 4 stars
6/01/15 Charles Tatum Throws you in and never lets up 5 stars
5/29/15 Nancy Love! Adrenaline-rushy, cool imagery, action-packed. 5 stars
5/28/15 Joey C The Road Warrior is still the best. This sucked and Tom Hardy was terrible. 1 stars
5/25/15 Damien240 Spectacular, exhilarating action, stunning visuals. Falls just short of a masterpiece. 5 stars
5/24/15 David Marsden Too much repetitive action, too much CGI, and Tom Hardy sucks. Mel is Max. 1 stars
5/21/15 David Hollingsworth An action thrill ride that actually delivers 4 stars
5/20/15 Toni Peluso Awesome. A spectacle in every wonderful way. 5 stars
5/20/15 Meep Good solid action film, but far from the masterpiece some want you to believe 4 stars
5/18/15 KingNeutron Unable to understand dialogue and I honestly got bored with it. 3 stars
5/16/15 Bob Dog Too much of a good thing... 2 stars
5/16/15 PAUL SHORTT EXHILARATING EXTRAVAGANZA 4 stars
5/15/15 Slayer Feminist propaganda bullshit 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  15-May-2015 (R)
  DVD: 01-Sep-2015

UK
  14-May-2015 (15)

Australia
  14-May-2015 (MA)
  DVD: 01-Sep-2015




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