Hey guys! I’m new to WordPress, so to get a feel for the site and how it suits my hobbies of reviewing movies, my first reviews/posts will be ones that I’ve already written. In the spirit of the new year, I will be posting only my “Top 10” and “Bottom 5” movies of 2015 (or at least for the ones I wrote reviews for). Enjoy and let me know what everyone thinks. 🙂
Although I was not able to see MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME, the third installment to this franchise, not much of me cared considering how most reviews seem to say that it was even worse than the first movie, which by now most people know I wasn’t a fan of at all. In the end, it seems like THE ROAD WARRIOR is the penultimate MAD MAX movie that people remember fondly the most and that’s the cue that FURY ROAD seems to take from.
Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) is a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world of people who have gone insane. Unfortunately for him, he gets captured by one of the crazed factions of the wasteland and brought to their place of residence, the Citadel, where even more survivors live. The peasant-like folks living below, starving, thirsty, and struggling just to stay alive. They are reliant on this white-dyed-skinned cult that Max has been brought to, ran by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his war boys, who hordes the water all to himself and his war boys. Ready to send his trusted lieutenant Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to fetch oil from a nearby town, Furiosa instead high-jacks her tanker and heads in another direction entirely. Quickly catching on to her treachery, Joe sends the entirety of his war boys after her, one of them bringing Max along as a hood ornament for a car. The chase is brutal and intense, but Max is eventually free of his capture and meets up with Furiosa, whom reveals that she isn’t just leaving Joe to get away from him, but she’s smuggling out Joe’s five favorite slave-wives, one of whom is pregnant. Max agrees to help them escape and so begins a long fight against Joe and his war boys.
Remember all that hype? Seems like everywhere was saying that FURY ROAD was shaping up to be not just a good movie, but a great one. I think I even heard talk that it might be an Oscar contender. You know what? FUCK YEAH, IT SHOULD BE!!! Dear lord this movie was about a million kinds of awesome.
Getting this out of the way, Tom Hardy, great performance. Charlize Theron, no duh, great performance. Everyone was great, spectacular, woo hoo!
Let’s get to the real reason why this movie is so great. It’s got thematic shit up the asshole. This film is basically about a woman who saves a bunch of other women who are treated as little more than breeding things. Strong women seeking independence and a better way of life, away from their oppressive men. Kinda sounds like this story is a big middle finger to Hollywood in general to me, and despite the dust in the chipped and cut fingernail, it’s a glorious middle finger. These wives, as beautiful as they are, they aren’t afraid to fight back against Joe’s men, and they aren’t afraid to be afraid. But there aren’t any Kate Capshaw “Willie Scotts” in this movie (INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM reference, in case you didn’t catch that); there’s no female character whose sole purpose is to scream and make our ears bleed to the point of hoping the bitch will die. No, the movie gives you the opportunity to know that these women aren’t going quietly and they’re ready to make a stand against those that would forget who the real badasses are. I empathize, and I hope for a happy ending for these women. A wonderful piece of work showcasing something that isn’t shown nearly as effectively as this. Aside from the MAD MAD franchise, George Miller’s work includes producing and writing the screenplay for BABE (1995), then directed its sequel, BABE: PING IN THE CITY (1998), and produced, wrote, and directed both HAPPY FEET movies (which, seriously, is anyone else’s brain exploding as much as mine right now???), he doesn’t seem to have much else worth noting in his career as far as “feminist” movies are concerned, so this is a VERY welcomed departure and return to the norm.
Can I also make a note of how Hugh Keays-Byrne is in this movie? The man was Toecutter in the original MAD MAX movie and now has a faceless role in this MAD MAX movie. That’s pretty awesome, to be honest. Is there some kind of inside joke with Miller on this one? Bruce Spence was in both ROAD WARRIOR and THUNDERDOME as essentially the same character, but isn’t the same character. I digress, it’s still cool to see that he and Miller have a strong working relationship to bring him back for a contemporary movie.
Also, I would like to note that despite how I am not a fan of TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, I am indeed in love with Rosie Huntington-Whitely. I mean, she’s only got these two movies to her resume, and she wasn’t particularly great in DARK OF THE MOON (in her defense, it IS a TRANSFORMERS movie. No one can be good in them), but I thought in four years she’s come a long way as far as acting is concerned. Shame her role was so small, but I thought she was a standout for as long as she was in it. I really hope she acts more and is given equally good material to work with and not more Michael Bay shit. More George Miller, that’s a good bet.
As much as I love this movie, I do have one complaint. Max hatches a plan to turn the women around back the way they came to overtake the empty Citadel for themselves by going through Joe’s army first. Um… seriously? That’s… a very simple plan. No one else thought of that? Let me recap: Max, who is a stranger to Citadel and has only been there so long, not knowing much about the day-to-day operations and goings-on of this place HAPPENS to know that bit of information? I doubt Nux took Max out of his cage and gave him a dime tour of Citadel and shared crucial and vital information of how Immortan Joe’s mind works. Hell, Nux is a young and amateur war boy whom I doubt would know how Joe thinks. So how the hell would Max know that the army that Joe sends after Furiosa is in fact his ENTIRE army? How did you deduce THAT one, man? And why was it YOU that deduced that? Why not Furiosa, one of Joe’s most trusted lieutenants? Why not ANY ONE of the five Wives who spent the most amount of time with Joe (albeit for grotesque reasons), and THEY wouldn’t know how his mind works? Hell, I would have accepted Nux knowing that kind of information considering that he’s PART of the army and would have some vague idea about how many men Joe would have in his arsenal and guess that, “oh yeah, Joe kind of sent everything he had after Furiosa. Hey guys, lovely idea-thing I’ve just come up with…” Not those that are closer to Joe, but it’s MAX that comes up with the idea. And speaking of all of this, Joe seriously sends EVERYTHING he’s got after Furiosa?? Okay, sure, his Wives are clearly important to him, but… EVERYTHING??? Holy shit, man, no intelligent military force would send EVERYTHING they have after a single vehicle. I would believe they’d send a lot, but not EVERYTHING. Did the notion of a rival settlement coming to overtake your stronghold NOT occur to you while you were gone? You gotta have SOME enemies out there. Hell, I’m surprised your denizens didn’t rebel and overtake Citadel themselves, considering that you’ve sent your ENTIRE military force after ONE truck. I’d say that was a huge plot-hole right there that needs to be addressed.
On the whole, this is truly the best of the MAD MAX franchise. Single plot-hole aside, this was a royally entertaining film with a crap-load of badassery to boot. It’s great, it’s fun, it’s hard-hitting, it’s a lovely time.