Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Movie with Abe: Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road
Directed by George Miller
Released May 20, 2015

It’s hard to find a film these days that doesn’t belong to a franchise of some sort, and remakes and reboots of classics of all kinds are becoming increasingly popular. An interesting thing that seems to happen more than would seem normal lately is when a director remakes his or her own film years later. Mel Gibson’s Mad Max first appeared in George Romero’s cult classic film in 1979 and two subsequent sequels, and now Miller has made a new film, “Mad Max: Fury Road” that presents a reimagining of the violent, desolate future landscape in which Max exists. The film has received tremendous praise from critics and fans alike, and this reviewer, who found the concept and trailer entirely unappealing, decided it was time to see and judge for himself.

Summarizing the plot of “Mad Max: Fury Road” doesn’t quite do it justice, since it’s a film better seen and experienced than described. Set in a post-apocalyptic Australia, Max (Tom Hardy) is a drifter who is captured and branded by the minions of a brutal emperor who lets his populace have precious small quantities of water to keep them wanting more as the world obsesses over oil, having already destroyed itself enough to be nearly unrecognizable. Max is hardly a good person, but the circumstances of his escape coinciding with a brave attempt at rebellion by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) force him to make some important choices that may just bring back his humanity.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is an unapologetically ferocious, vicious film. The utter chaos is what drives it and gives it a sense of uneven meter and off-kilter rhythm. Its use of a mostly undecorated backdrop and spiked cars adorned with skulls and flame torches makes its every interaction much more intense and electric, in a way far more effective than “300.” The score serves to heighten the brutality and underscore the finality of the film’s events. As it progresses, the film’s story becomes nearly as prominent as the film’s violence, making it more appealing as it nears its finish. It’s still difficult to grasp why this film has received the adoration and adulation that has been heaped upon this film, which will likely be an Oscar nominee for Best Picture. This film, which is sure to spawn sequels of its own, has its merits, but it’s hardly one of the best films of the year.


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