Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mad Max: Fury Road

Spoiler-free.

What this intense, non-stop action thrill ride of apocalyptic proportions lacks by way of meaning, it makes up for with style points. Style points for days. This film's fuel is style points, and it came prepared for a very long road trip. With style.

Visually, 100% epic and 100% beautiful.

Okay, I think I overdid it now. This movie's plot requires too much explanation to explain and isn't exactly important anyway, so I'll just go with this: is Max, and he spends a lot of time with , , and some hot girls, during what is essentially a two-hour-long car chase through the open orange desert of post-apocalyptic Australia.

And seriously, the style is the best thing about this film. It was nominated for every academy award it qualified for except those for acting, scripting, and scoring. And it won 6 out of 10, so that should tell you a lot. Scoring I almost never really notice, but I didn't think this one was particularly good or bad. Acting was not Oscar-worthy in any way, but that hardly means it was bad. But the writing was certainly this flick's downfall -- comparatively, anyway. Since it's a huge action film I seriously doubt it was trying to achieve a whole lot on those fronts it doesn't make much of a difference, but they're worth mentioning all the same.

Nicholas Hoult had the surprise best character of the movie. "What a lovely day!"

For the leads, the acting was just underused. I actually really enjoyed Nicholas Hoult's performance quite a lot. He was unexpected, amusing, and, as Hoult's characters always are, charming. However, he wasn't written as interestingly as he might have been when it came down to the end. Really, the only character who makes it through the third act without diminishing their interest was Max himself. And that was because he had no actual drama until then in the first place. Tom Hardy did a great job with the action side of things, but never got a chance to try anything more. Therone made a good lead for the emotional side of the film with her hardcore and stoic one-armed woman, but never goes beyond that. Still it's an action film with a huge emphasis on action, so it really was more than good enough.

His movie in name only.

Writing also slacked a little in the plotting of the drama. The overly-dramatic and serious drama didn't annoy me or anything -- it worked for the tone and rating of the film -- but at the same time it was never able to bring me to truly care. I wasn't invested in the lives or the success of the endeavors of the characters. And honestly, that did matter a little. I was still able to appreciate the style points that were everywhere, but style can only get you so far.

But, because of this film, we now know exactly how far style can take you -- because this film set the new standard. Everything that is required to make a great, thrilling action flick, this barreling fireball has in spades. It really says a lot about the action when it can hold your attention for a whole hour-and-a-half with a grand total of only two brief pauses and never breaks a sweat. This is no Michael Bay or Zack Snyder film where the longer the battle goes the more bored you get; and Fury Road knows how to intertwine the plot into the action to keep the momentum going, and mix things up without ever applying the brakes. On that score, the writing is impressive.

His guitar shoots flames, and that is everything.

The best quality though, is the visuals. Constantly, consistently, dazzlingly brilliant and sharp, the special effects, the visual effects, and just the whole look and way the action was presented here is striking, and extremely memorable. It was filmed very cleanly, so you always know what's going on and don't get left behind with the fast pace. The coloring is incredible and the world equally shiny as it is gritty. And the stunts -- all the moves and tricks are all so unique, there was multiple times when I just burst out laughing out of sheer enjoyment of the craziness going on onscreen. Sometimes a movie doesn't need anything besides an excuse to go for a thrill-ride, and the means to make it a memorable one.

6 comments:

  1. Excellent review Sarah! I can't agree more! :) The style and action in this movie is absolutely stellar. It's just a really cool movie and that's all it really needed to be. After action flicks like Mad Max, Kingsman, The Force Awakens, and any of Marvel's incredible films, the bar for action sequences has risen so high in the last two years. A lot of recent action flicks seem a bit underwhelming compared to the greatness of the best. But that's not really a bad thing but boy, are we in an era of awesome action! Anyway, my tangent is finished. lol Great post!

    -James

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    1. Thanks James! I have never seen anything quite like it! If any movie deserves to be nothing but action, it's this one. :D True! It's a great time for the action movie! And in the few films where the action so high, yet still finds balance with plot and character, it doesn't get any better. :D

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  2. Great review! Mad Max: Fury Road is one hell of a ride. It sorta just jumps off the screen and doesn't let go until the end. The pacing is wonderful with the action as well, especially with the chaos that happens during the escape and on the race back.

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    1. Thanks Katy! It certainly is! It does basically everything so perfectly, and it's really neat that it just a straight up action movie but was crafted with such high quality unlike most normal actioners. :D

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  3. Nice review Sarah! This is already on my watchlist, but you've made me want to watch it more. :)

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    1. Thanks! Awesome, I hope you have a blast with it! :D

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