Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Movie #378: Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth installment in the Mad Max series, but don't let that fool you. It starts Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nathan Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keogh, Abbey Lee, and Courtney Eaton. And it's completely fucking amazing.

So, we're in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and following Max (Hardy), a wanderer grappling with visions of people he failed to protect. He's captured by the Warboys, the cult-like servants of Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne), who rules his own scrap of wasteland by controlling access to water. Max is promptly plopped on the front of the car belonging to a Warboy named Nux (Hoult) as they go chasing across the desert after Imperator Furiosa (Theron), who has taken Joe's wives with her in order to free them.

The movie is effectively one long car chase. The action scenes are phenomenal, and mostly done with practical effects. The acting is amazing and minimalist; I've mentioned before how much it impresses me when actors have to convey a character with very little dialog, and just about everybody here, because especially Hardy and Theron, do exactly that.

And then there's the world-building, oh my goodness gracious. How often do you get a sci-fi movie that trusts the audience, doesn't bury you in exposition, and just shows rather than tells? The effect of that is that the world seems rich and real, but the secondary effect is that upon repeated viewing you see just how layered everything really is.

And then there's the fact that Max is our POV character, but it's really Furiosa's story; she gets the character arc (so does Nux, but he doesn't survive), she gets to be badass onscreen, and she's unquestionably going to be the leader at the end when all is said and done. And we've got the five wives of Immortan Joe who each have their own personality, look, and moment of being amazing, all while they're insisting "no unnecessary killing."

I have literally nothing negative to say about this movie. It's one of my favorites of all time and one of the best to come out in years.

My grade: A
Rewatch value: High

Next up: Madagascar