Monday, 18 May 2015

Week 20: Mad Max: Fury Road

Director: George Miller
Writer: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris
Seen: Friday 15th May
Venue: IMC Galway
Snacks: Chocolate
Mood: Exhilarated 

Make sure your 3D classes are tightly on if you go to see Mad Max: Fury Road because from the opening frame it is a fantastically fast, non-stop action spectacular and I loved it. Director George Miller, who also was at the helm for the original films, said that he wanted to do the film “as an extended chase” what he described as “visual music” and what he has created is an experience more like riding a roller coaster than watching a film.  

How does Mad Max: Fury Road compare to the originals? Where does it fit in the earlier trilogy? It is beyond the scope of this review to get into that, so I’ll leave it up to fans of the Mel Gibson led films to decide for themselves. For me this is a completely different film but with some similar themes. The world that Miller creates in Fury Road is scarily real yet unrecognisable, the attention to detail is visible, precise and stylish. It is a world that is resource scarce, oil and water are in short supply, not too alien of a concept in this epoch. The world is full of imaginative characters throughout, from the electric guitar playing warrior leading the tribe into battle, to the head warlord Immortan Joe.  

Fury Road can be seen in 2 and 3D, we choose 3D and were happy we did, at times it was freakily good, I even saw a member of the audience close to us flinch a few times. The same guy broke into a round of applause when the credits appeared, something you don’t often see in Irish cinemas, but can certainly be warranted for this film.  3D can be a hit or miss experience, although similar to the 2013 hit Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron) it is brilliantly done. Miller similar to Cuaron didn’t over indulge in it, instead it is used appropriately throughout the film.

The performances are strong and the word coming from the actors involved in this mammoth production is that the process was a gruelling one. Tom Hardy plays Max, keeping with the tradition of a tormented but resilient character and equally as stoic as Mel Gibson’s original interpretation of Max, first brought to the screens 35 years ago. For me though the stand out performance is Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, she is arguably more of a lead than Hardy and it is refreshing to have a strong woman as a central character of an action film.

 The action genre is probably my least favourite, with the exception of the Bond franchise, so I have little to compare it to, however, I can confidently say the action aficionados out there will be more than pleased. Mad Max: Fury Road is a colossal film of mega proportions and to fully appreciate the experience it should be watched on the big screen. Although not yet confirmed, there are rumours of more to follow, possibly another two films, so just in case I have put my 3D classes safely away till then.

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