Title: Mad Max: Fury Road
Country: Australia, USA
Genre: Action, Adventure
Director: George Miller
Music: Junkie XL
Cinematography: John Seale
At last, I get the chance to watch this much-hyped action-er in the local theatre, squeezed in a third-rate screen-room with a pretty small screen, this is what I can find for a current movie enters its third week run in Cairo, the hardware facilities are inferior, but we should all make the best of what we can acquire.
This reboot of the cult brand of MAD MAX from the mastermind behind its original trilogy is a felicitous remedy to the generational fatigue of CGI-rampaged action tentpoles the world is overloaded with presently. After decades of immersion into animation filmmaking (paid off with an Oscar trophy for HAPPY FEET 2006 with his co-directors), George Miller’s grandiose return to live-action feature, the first one after LORENZO’S OIL in 1992, detonates the genre film enthusiasts with its cutting-edge visual spectacles which counter-act the current trend with the majority of its staggering set pieces accomplished with blood-and-flesh stuntmen and authentic objects other than virtual fictionalisation aided by computers, more pleasingly, the film has already conducts a profitable box-office trajectory worldwide, albeit it bears a hefty budget of $150 millions.
Strictly speaking, the entire picture is a long-drawn-out wheels-chaser, it starts with Furiosa (Theron), an imperator who betrays Immortan Joe (Byrne), the tyrant of a post-apocalyptic world in the vast desert, driving an oil-tank truck back to her homeland (e.g. the Green Place) with Joe’s five young wives on board, and Max (Hardy) joins the chase passively as a captive from Joe’s war boys. After a string of white-knuckle experiences en route, from foes to friends, Max, Furiosa and one of the war boy Nux (Hoult) successfully outrun Joe’s relentless pursuit and reach the land of hope, but hope is a luxury in this world as humans are on the brink of extinction, it only weakens one’s most primal instinct, to survive, under any circumstances, which Max abides by firmly. Together, they embark on a more perilous journey to fight back, to topple Joe’s reign and take over the source of water, and officially initiates a new chapter for the remaining humanity.
At long last, we have a female heroine can face-off with the main villain without sidelining to combat sidekicks, or being cast as a convenient love interest for our hero during the break, in this case, the film is exceedingly refreshing, Theron’s Furiosa, is a brave warrior, not once her female identity is used as a defamation or tease for cheap laughters, in the battle, sex is purely irrelevant, we have a posse composed exclusively of women, mostly grannies, but they are no less combatant than the war boys here. Feminism is a word now has been unfortunately garbled by some very vicious intent, but come what may, I am absolutely in agreement with that this is a revelation and a tremendous progress of our society when we can treat woman as a veritable equal as man, more essentially in the mainstream media, for that reason only, George Miller and his team is worth a big ovation.
Tom Hardy’s Max, although upstaged by Furiosa most of the time, is the definitive example of masculinity we should rightfully extol, a man of action instead of vain words, doesn’t go all flirty with women (especially, the hot super model kind) whenever he has the chance, it is also a homage to Hardy’s other well-known character Bane in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012) when he is curbed with a metal mask. Nicholas Hoult, on the other hand, represents another virtues reside in a man, the good-natured innocence veiled with blind idolatry, and finds redemption in the audacious sacrifice.
Apart from its gallant stunt team, the originality of its eye-opening visual parade is also superbly boosted by the unique dystopia aesthetics from the art production and Junkie XL’s adrenalin-driven score, only if I could re-watch it on an IMAX screen, it would be a paramount experience to drench one’s frustration of our stereotyped blockbusters with stocky character settings and mind-numbing earth demolitions, so, it means a resolved “No” to SAN ANDREAS (2015), and this is a film truly earns its entitlement for a sequel, or a prequel, since we haven’t know much about Max’s background yet. Hardy has already signed on for the next chapters, now let us hope Theron can return too, and more blissfully, with an equal pay-check to prove that we are not living in a retrogressive civilisation.