Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

My past familiarity with the Mad Max franchise is what I will generously call minimal — a few minutes here or there while channel-surfing. Near as I can tell the movies are about a dark future where spikey shoulder pads are the height of fashion. Also there’s this guy named Max and apparently he’s rather upset about something.

Tom Hardy as the title character in Mad Max: Fury RoadBut the new movie, Fury Road, has been getting tons of praise, and it’s been a while since I could just go to the theater on a whim, so I decided to give it a shot.

It was an okay way to waste an afternoon, but I’m not sure what all the fuss is about.

The strange and interesting thing about this movie is that, despite the fact his name is on it, Max plays a pretty small role. He’s basically a sidekick at best, and he doesn’t have much in the way of meaningful contribution to the plot.

The real star is a woman with the rather absurd name of Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron. Furiosa is the servant of a brutal warlord, but she betrays him to free his stable of concubines and lead them to safety. Max just sort of ends up along for the ride, and Furiosa is by far the more developed character, as well as the main driver of the plot.

I really like Tom Hardy, and I’m a little disappointed he didn’t get to show off his acting chops beyond a lot of monosyllabic responses and brooding stares, but overall I’m glad Furiosa was the focus. She proved by far the more compelling and likable character.

And there just isn’t much to say about the movie beyond that, I’m afraid. There’s little pretense at plot, and there’s no serious effort made to develop any characters other than Furiosa. Fury Road mostly boils down to a two hour chase sequence full of screaming shirtless men and explosions.

Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury RoadThe action is well done, but these days viewers are spoiled, and I found Fury Road’s endless explosionfest failed to stand out compared to the other endless explosionfests of recent memory, bar a brief but spectacular sequence inside a sandstorm.

The bland scenery was a large contributor to this issue. I gather endless wastelands are sort of Mad Max’s thing, but when nearly every shot looks the same, it sucks a lot of the flavour out, especially with a movie whose appeal is mainly based on visuals.

So, yeah, it’s fun enough, but not especially memorable.

Overall rating: 6.5/10

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One thought on “Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

  1. Pingback: Mad Max: Fury Road, or, Why I should have stayed at home and watched Masterchef | Not Her Real Name

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