Mad Max: Fury Road
Director: George Miller / Script: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy / DoP: John Seale / Editor: Margaret Sixel / Music: Junkie XL
Cast: Tom Hardy / Charlize Theron / Nicholas Hoult / Hugh Keays-Byrne / Nathan Jones / Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
The future is a different country; they do things differently there…
This might be the best ‘silent film with sound’ I’ve ever seen: 110 minutes with less than 20 pages of dialogue, delivers razor-thin character development, but ample scope for a bravura exercise in Pure Cinema. You COULD watch this with no sound or subtitles and still read George Miller’s intention: to shoot a graphic novel, frame by frame, race by chase; watch the film and you’ll see that’s all there is to it. I’m always banging-on about the importance of story, but on its own filmic terms, all you need is here.
Since the end of his original trilogy in ’86, Miller had been plotting a bombastic, kinetic return for Max, but the money (or the chutzpah to see it through) was never there. But time – and nostalgia – always win out in the end. So we have a delirious cocktail of fizzing stunts, minimal CGI and a physical, evocative post-apocalyptic world that shades Thunderdome.
Tom Hardy’s Max is a resilient foil to Charlize Theron’s turncoat Furiosa and support from other believers such as Nicholas Hoult’s Nux is nicely judged, but this is a kinetic, frenetic rush of a film and all the characters can do, is hang-on for dear life. At times, the art direction is astonishingly inventive as are costumes and the look of this world’s vehicles; ‘Ruined beauty’, indeed.
If only Miller hadn’t OD’d on the teal & orange in post-production…
Yes, it was an artistic decision to get things popping, but even so… Recently, a new de-saturated ‘Black & Chrome’ edition was released which other reviewers have preferred over the eye-melting original. If I manage to get hold of a copy, I’ll let you know if it work on its own merits, or whether it’s just paying homage to Pirelli ads, circa 1995/6.
Still, for him to release a near-B&W version leads me to think Miller’s having second thoughts as well. Oh, and don’t watch with a hangover: You’ve Been Warned…
I had a little baby brother! And he was perfect! Perfect in every way!