Thursday, May 28, 2015

11 Reasons Why Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) is Cinematic Gold


Like most film buffs out there, I’ve seen Mad Max: Fury Road more than once already and I've realized one thing: I’m ready for another watch! Actually, I’m seeing it tonight, on the silver screen, where it should be seen! If you haven’t seen Mad Max: Fury Road yet, stop whatever you are doing and watch it! This movie is a masterpiece and I’m using that term in the most literal way possible. Mad Max: Fury Road is George Miller’s best film to date, Miller finally made the Mad Max movie that he's always wanted to make. But why is Mad Max: Fury Road so freaking cool? Well, it’s a spectacle in every sense of the word, it's sensory overload! At times there’s so much coolness happening on the screen that I simply could not take my eyes off the screen! This does not happen often. Usually I’m rolling my eyes back at the stupidity I see in theater screens, but with Mad Max: Fury Road it was like watching a masterpiece unfold, like I was being a part of cinematic history by watching this one for the first time in theaters. So since this film has turned me Mad Max crazy, I’ve decided to count the many ways in which this film kicks ass, just to make sure that you, my dear readers, finally take the plunge and see this one in theaters. So kick back and relax, cause up next, I offer you 11 reasons why Mad Max: Fury road is the best Mad Max yet!



It’s Pure Eye Candy

Normally one doesn’t associate the post apocalypse with color because post apocalyptic movies are usually a bleak and dark looking bunch. Not so with Mad Max: Fury Road! On this film George Miller wanted to create a beautiful and colorful take of the apocalypse. This doesn’t mean that the movie loses its post apocalyptic look or feel. You’re not going to see rainbows and flowery fields on this film, this is still very much George Miller’s post apocalyptic wasteland, but the color palette that was used turns everything into intense reds, yellows, blues. It’s no wonder one of the characters says: “Oh what a lovely day!” Indeed.



The Post Apocalyptic Wasteland is Epic on this One

If you’ve seen the Mad Max trilogy, you probably noticed that the post apocalyptic wasteland grows with every picture. Where the first one only showed us a glimpse of society disintegrating, by the second film the post apocalypse shows its head and the craziness begins to grow. By Thunder Dome we have entire societies forming, trying to reinstate normalcy by adding a form of government with new rules and laws. But this growth is only natural, with each movie, the budget kept growing. For example, with the first film Miller had less than ten million dollars to fulfill his post apocalyptic vision, but for Fury Road Miller managed to get 150 million, so of course the post apocalyptic wasteland we get in Fury Road is more epic than what we’d seen in previous films. The society that we are presented with on this film has actually found a way to survive in the wasteland; a society whose main concerns are feeding, breeding and driving cars. They’ve even created a new religion where heaven is called Valhalla and you have to spray metallic colored spray on your mouth before you die serving your leader! The post apocalypse has never looked or felt more epic.



Say Goodbye to The Interceptor and Hello to Imperator Furiosa’s War Rig

In the first five minutes we are treated to visuals of Max, basking in the wasteland with his trademark Interceptor parked by his side. The Interceptor still looks every bit as cool and kick ass as it ever did, but Miller apparently wanted you to cut ties with the old movies and absorb the new one, so in the first few minutes during Fury Road its goodbye to The Interceptor which gets taken out of commission rather quickly. Of course, you came to see a Mad Max movie; you want more of that cool looking Interceptor. But wait, we are then presented with Imperator Furiosa’s War Rig which is this kick ass gigantic rig that Max drives for most of the flick, it’s just awesome looking. When you see how cool it looks in action you won’t have time to even remember The Interceptor. Of course, The Interceptor can never be replaced, but the War Rig is a fine substitute; at least for this film. And speaking of cars…



The Cars are Bigger and More Elaborate

Since this time around George Miller has a bigger budget to bring his visions to life, this time the cars are bigger and way crazier in design. I loved the cars in this movie! I was watching Road Warrior the other day and really, the cars in Fury Road leave the cars in previous Mad Max films in the dust. They are bigger and way more outlandish! You have to see them to understand but these are monster trucks, gigantic in proportion, with more fiery turbines and gigantic tires than you can shake a stick at! They are awesome to see in action!  Once again, you get the feeling that this is what George Miller always wanted to do with his Mad Max films, and since this is the most expensive Mad Max of all, he really wen't crazy with the designs for the cars. Everything is bigger and crazier! 



It Plays with Interesting Themes.

The first one was a revenge flick, the second one was purely about survival and the third one was about Max the savior. What’s this fourth outing about? Well, on this film Max plays the savior once again, helping Imperator Furiosa and her five lady friends reach ‘The Green Place’. In this sense, Fury Road felt a bit like Thunder Dome. Yet this new film also plays with new themes to the series, namely, it’s all about feminism. On this film, Immortan Joe treats women like breading cattle. For Immortan Joe, women are for procreation and for drinking their delicious breast milk. It is alluded that they are objects to him, which is why the five wives run away with Imperator Furiosa, leaving graffiti all over Immortan Joe’s chambers that read “We are not things!” and "Our babies will not be Warlords!" Also sending a message of peace. So Immortan Joes wives run off in search of their freedom, hopefully to a place where they can be treated as human beings.The film also touches upon politics and religion through the characters of Immortan Joe and his crew of zealot followers. They will do anything to serve the Immortan, but at the end of the day, it's all a facade. Immortan Joe is a sick man, lying to all of his followers. Ultimately, they learn that a god can die.   



It Isn’t Centered Around Max, Yet the Movie Still Manages to Grab You

This is probably the only hiccup I found in this film, that it wasn’t really centered on Max, it's Theron's Imperator Furiosa who takes center stage. But, on my second watching I realized this really doesn’t matter. Aside from the fact that Theron's character is great, and their story a good one, this wasteland is such an interesting place, filled with so many crazy characters and cool looking cars that I realized that the real star of these films is the world that Max inhabits. It is so rich, so well constructed. Sure Max is the driving force at the core of these films, but the world he inhabits is really what wows us. I’m sure Miller will give us more of Max in future films, but the star of the show will always be The Wasteland Miller has created. Even the title of the proposed next film lets us see what these films are all about. The next films title is: Mad Max: The Wasteland.



It Is George Miller’s Best Film to Date, Period.

I’ve seen all of George Miller’s films and he has a pretty solid repertoire. First of course there’s the Mad Max franchise, but then we have the ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet’ segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie (1982 ). Millers segment was so good that they used it to close the film with a bang. The Witches of Eastwick (1987) is a great film about Satan (played by Jack Nicholson) falling in lustful love with three witches played by Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer and Cher. It’s an awesome comedy, from the bygone era when they made comedies for adults. Its script explored the nature of men and women, relationships and sex. The film also has some excellent visual effects. Then Miller went with a dramatic film called Lorenzo’s Oil (1992), a story about two parents who never gave up in trying to find the cure for their sons decease. Then he made three children’s films one after the other: Babe: Pig in the City (1998), Happy Feet (2006) and Happy Feet Two (2011). I’m of the mind that Miller made these in order to make the studios happy so they would give him the money to make Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). To me Fury Road is the culmination of all of Miller’s cinematic knowledge. Mad Max: Fury Road is without a doubt in my mind Millers most amazing, escapist fantasy. The cinematic wizardry displayed in this film and the sheer understanding of what makes a film amazing could only come from a master with the knowledge and experience that Miller has acquired through the years.  



Computer Generated Effects Do Not Take Over the Film!

This is something we hardly see today. A film that was actually shot in front of the cameras and not inside of a computer! Do you know how I’ve longed to see a movie like this one? Only a handful of directors have resisted giving into using computer effects extensively, Tarantino and Scorsese come to mind. These are directors who understand that a film simply looks better when it’s actually shot on film in front of a camera, with actors and sets. Nothing can replace that realistic, tangible feeling you get from capturing visuals through the lens of a camera. Of course Miller uses computer generated wizardry as well, but he uses it to enhance what he has already filmed, to paint a landscape, a vast colorful wasteland. In no moment do you feel that you are watching minutes upon minutes of entirely computer generated images. Nope, on this film the cars blow up in your face and the fire and brimstone feels and looks real. Thank you mister Miller for that! Lovers of film were missing that real, tangible cinema!



Intensely Evil Maniacal Villains are Back!

Yes! Finally! This is something I loved from films that came out of the 80’s the villains where insane and maniacal! Absolutely psychotic! Memorable! Hell, sometimes the villain would steal the show and become the main character of the film. Remember those days when we’d get villains like Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989)? How about Clarence Boddicker, the crazy bad guy from Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop (1987)? Still remember them don’t you? That’s what you call a memorable villain. Sadly, Hollywood’s current idea of a villain is a banal one. Today’s films are filled with lifeless villains you could hardly tell apart from the good guys. For an example of this watch the Robocop remake, blah. Invisible villains seems to be the order of the day at Hollywood. Thankfully, truly evil bat shit insane villains have always been one of George Miller’s specialties. Remember The Toecutter from Mad Max (1979)? That guy scared me as a kid! How about Lord Humungus from Mad Max 2 (1981)? Totally insane, that one even went for sadomasochism! Immortan Joe is another fine addition to the list of insane villains and it’s the kind of villain I love. Over the top, crazy looking and relentless! Boy, I had truly been missing these kinds of memorable villains in my movies. Thank you George Miller for bringing that back!



It Feels Like the 80’s Again!

The ideas in this film are so crazy that they bring to mind the 80’s, a decade when the craziest films would get made. I mean, who the hell green lit Dead Heat (1988) you know what I mean? But suddenly, there you are, watching a zombie cop, fighting a re-animated dead cow and you’re left wondering just how the hell did this movie get to the silver screen? Who the hell said sure, here, take 5 million dollars and make that zombie buddy cop movie you always wanted to make? I don’t know, but it was the 80’s and crazy movies like that one would get made left and right and get released in theaters! Nowadays seeing a movie of such a crazy nature released theatrically is a rare thing. Machete (2006) and MacheteKills (2013) are two rare exceptions. Want to make a movie about a baby crazed, milk drinking villain who runs a post apocalyptic society with an iron fist and likes to chase heroes through the dessert on monster trucks? Sure, here you go Mr. Miller! And you say you want a truck with a rock and roll stage on it, with flame throwing guitars? Sure, here’s 150 million! Do your best! Make your masterpiece! And thank the movie gods, Miller did just that!



Mad Max: Fury Road is Why We Go to the Movies!

We go to the movies to escape our reality, to let our minds go for a while and escape the every day life. We want to see something grand, something amazing and Mad Max: Fury Road offers us that and then some. It's non stop action from beginning to end, now go and watch this masterpiece before it leaves theaters. This kind of film only comes around once in a blue moon. It’s a special kind of film, the kind that is crafted not by a studio but by a filmmaker who truly wanted to make it. Mad Max: Fury Road is the reason why we go to the movies, now go watch it where it’s meant to be seen: in the theater!



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

GREAT REVIEW! I WASNT SURE IF I LIKED THE MOVIE OR NOT, BUT YOU GOT ME THINKING HERE....

Francisco Gonzalez said...

I will say that Mad Max Fury Road isn't for everybody, but in my opinion, even the casual viewer should recognize it's greatness. Glad I got you thinking at least! :) Thanks for commenting!

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