Horror Recommendation: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Posted: by Findlay

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015); Directed by George Miller

In one sentence: An evil post-apocalyptic overlord’s prize wives go missing, leading Max on one of the most ridiculous pursuits ever put on screen.

Why you should watch: Right, stop. Have you seen Mad Max: Fury Road yet? If not, why? If yes, why not MORE?

What hasn’t been said about this beast of a film already? Not much, but fuck it. It’s my party and I’ll swing from a 30ft pole on fire if I want to.

The story begins with a mini-story about Mad Max’s (Tom Hardy) struggle for survival then subsequent capture by evil Immortan Joe and his Warboys, who have monopolized all water in the baron wasteland of the future. This 5-minute opening sequence alone completely sets the tone of the film. A chase, some very weirdly shot/sped up camera shots and that ultra intense, pace-maddening music. You’re hooked. You know it’s got you and you’re excited.

The films main body consists of the amazing Mother Infuriosa’s (Charlize Theron) quest to evade Immortan Joe and his armies of petrolhead savages after kidnapping his forced sex slaves/wives from their life of abuse and imprisonment. This sounds a shade thin, even by action film standards, but its not. Its where world building, writing and acting melds so fucking well that even a single line or hand gesture can completely define a character and bring them from 2d to 3d.

Like, for instance, Max himself. Where Mel Gibson played him stoic, a bit cocky and completely at terms with who he is, Hardy plays Max feral. He’s a rat in a cage constantly looking for an exit. His movements are erratic and untrusting, completely in survival mode 24/7, which just adds an extra scuff to the ferocity of the films breakneck pacing. His reluctance of being part of Furiosa’s plan only dropping guard near the end.

Now, Mother Furiosa. Yes. While the film is called “Mad Max”, it’s Furiosa that makes the core of this movie. She’s the embodiment of the film itself and she’s fucking great. Tough-as-nails, industrious, constantly fighting but with a side that obviously cares for the wives and her own quest of redemption. Little moments of guard-lowering are key to her relationship to the audience but are only brief and well-handled. Theron plays her with such an obvious love for the character and her strong feminist themes that you just buy into it. It’s rare to forget that someone is an actor, but Theron is Furiosa.

Fuck, I’ve not even spoken about the action yet. George Miller is 100% off his head, and for a 70 year-old to make this film, we should all hang our terrible young heads in shame.

The action, pacing and shooting style are crucial to each other and create a spectacle that is so unique, you feel like your brain is melting out your ears. The chases through the desert blaze at 1000mph with crashes, gunshots, explosions and car-to-truck hopping all totally practical, giving it extra impact and believability. This film is truly alive man. Even the storyboards must have been insane. Miller’s strange crashzoom/gonzopunk shooting style just completely refines action scenes altogether giving them an injection of humour aswell as ferocity. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.

The Art/Production design is a masterclass in vision and reconstitutional art. Bolts, rust and harsh industrial textures dominate all the vehicles showing how truly volatile the world is now. Monster trucks have HUGE silly exhaust pipes, old Chevy’s are turned into tanks, huge diggers are covered in spikes are attached to trucks as weapons. Its all amazing looking and just so nuts. Even the finer details make you want to dive headfirst into the world. Like the, heavy metal guitarist that plays a flaming guitar on a truck full of amps (haha), his guitar is made out of bed pans. Why? For what? Its amazing, is there a reason?

I’ll probably cut it here because I’ve still not properly spoken about the amazing soundtrack, or each of the wives, or the core relationships, or the amazing editing, or the incredible costume design, or Nick Holt, who not only plays Nux the Warboy, but will end up being my Halloween costume. This could run into a billion pages but what I will say is this:
See all your action dvds/blu rays? Make a big fire out the back, fuck them in it, then go see Mad Max: Fury Road a hundred times. It’s all you need. It’s all we’ll ever need.

Favourite Line: “You will ride eternal, chrome and shiny.”

Rating: 10/10 – Give a little thumbs up to your glass of water