Mad Max: Fury Road Review

If the measurement of success is accomplishing your goals, than Mad Max: Fury Road can be considered one of the most triumphant releases of 2015. This two-hour chase scene manages to re-introduce audiences to the post-apocalyptic world already established in Road Warrior, ensure every set-piece is stylistic (read: wacky and punky) and create a story that demands non-stop explosions.

Mad max MaskIf success is lasting enjoyment than Mad Max: Fury Road is a forgettable film that manages to kill time, asks nothing of the audience and stretches a five minute plot into two hours through some absurd character choices.

What You’ll Like

The world building in Fury Road acknowledges the past but isn’t burdened by it. Fans of the Mel Gibson era will pick up on nods to the earlier releases, but these aren’t overly distracting or slow down the pace of the film. Newcomers won’t notice their inclusion and there is never an interaction where previous knowledge is required to follow the plot, because there is very little plot.

The concept of a war torn civilization on the brink of extinction is showcased in each character, vehicle and snapshot of society displayed. There is a constant litany of details and visuals reminders of the hopelessness of this world. It manages to be a fun-house mirror look at society where everything is heavy metal, despair and selfishness.

Except when absolutely necessary to adjust the current objectives of characters, the film is all out action. It manages to keep the fisticuffs, bullets, explosions and battle going for 90% of the runtime. There is a large cast of eccentric heroes and villains but no time is delved into their backstory or individual motivations, because it honestly doesn’t matter for this adventure.

What Might Frustrate You

Mad Max JumpDespite being the title character, Max is actually the least important to the journey. His character starts and finishes the film in relatively the same place, but others go through a slight character arc. Max isn’t the catalyst that leads everyone on the chase and he is more a bystander of events than actually driving them forward. Max does have some awesome action sequences and pulls off plenty of superhuman feats, but as a story character he is pretty much an empty vessel, so much so that I think he might say a total of 100 words of dialogue throughout the movie.

The choreography and conflicts are all good within Fury Road…which is an odd thing to throw in into the meh part of the review, but when you are hit with the same type of sequence over and over again it starts to wear thin and lose its impact. There is no scene which stands out as being better than the others, no feeling of escalation or payoff at a job well-done. Quieter moments in-between the explosions would have helped highlight the importance of the task and given weight to the seriousness of the struggle; instead, the film rushes from one narrowing multi-villain escape to the next.

No questions are answered. If you want to know the lore behind the world; how these deformed men came into power, what happened to all the water, how are the war-boys are created, why are there still old people in such a harsh unforgiving world, what are Max’s goals, why is there only one female driver or anything other than can cars drive fast and gasoline burn, this film can’t help you.

Mad max WarlordYou can’t help but think that if characters made slightly smarter, more tactical or less rash decisions that the major conflict would have resolved quicker. Everyone just seems to be lashing out and following their beliefs blindly.

Status Summary

Mad Max: Fury Road commits to its spiky, steampunk vision of the future with dynamic set pieces, tragic characters and adrenaline-soaked explosions. The reason why these don’t add up to a fantastic and memorable experience is because Fury Road lacks heart. There are no characters to care about, situations to generate empathy or moments where the audience relates to the heroes. These characters have the same value as the cars they drive; they are merely a means to follow the action and another object that can be maimed and destroyed.

Max himself is an empty vessel that only knows how to deal death and can’t relate to people. Fury Road echoes this sentiment with a constant string of good, but senseless scenes of destruction that never really tell a complete story.

Hardcore Only

+ Good Action
– Too Much Action
– Empty Characters
– No Pace Changes
– Rushed Ending


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