Fury Road in a nutshell.
I decided I would at least try to do this in the order of the story, rather than the order in which the films were made. But it is still pretty unclear how the story lines up. Here’s one timeline, but it only covers the original trilogy. The new film fits in somewhere. So far, my best information has come from the massive, compulsive overthinkers of reddit, and they seem to think it happens anywhere before Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, so there we are.
I could have put it in between Mad Max and Mad Max: The Road Warrior, but it made more sense to put it here. Because this is the culmination of a vision that Miller had really only started to flesh out in Mad Max: The Road Warrior. If not the end of a long journey, then the end of the beginning. Because now the Mad Max franchise is well into its stride, and can really get started. And that makes this a great time to be an action movie viewer.
Just lovely. And I didn’t even recognise Beast from X-Men: First Class. He was that amazing.
This movie was, simply put, beautiful. It was also grotesque, but that grotesquery was artful in a way 300 aspired to (and in some senses, in my humble opinion, achieved), and with far more effective and consistent results. It’s had a few years of additional development to help it mature, of course, but all in all, this was an absolute treat to watch.
Another – I could go on like this.
And considering that this was an eye-candy film first – and second, and third – and a film about characters and plot a distant fourth, there were some astonishingly nuanced and engaging performances in there.
There were others that were just plain ghoulish or meat-headed, but they were supposed to be. So no problem there.
You often see movies described as “a non-stop roller-coaster ride of action and excitement”, but you so rarely see this boast fulfilled. Well, this is one of those that delivers. It’s full of explosions and car-crashes and BSTs and whizz-bangs and – and – and this:
Yes, this again. Because it’s glorious.
That is, this:
And all of this:
But there really isn’t much more to say about this movie. It looked great, it was well-made, and it even had some good acting in it that it really didn’t need even slightly. So it came out well ahead of the field. There was some Australiana thrown in, with some classic actors appearing for the first time as well as others reprising their roles from Mad Max and Mad Max: The Road Warrior, the slang and landscapes and sounds and everything was spot-on.
And it was absolutely infectious.
I think – if I absolutely have to point out something a little negative – they wimped out a bit on Max’s character. Just having re-watched the original movies, I think the “new” Max was far more of the Spartacus– or Gladiator-style straight-up hero this time, rather than the antihero he was in the original trilogy. Less self-interest, more good-man-caught-by-monsters. Less of the scavenger on the corpse of the old world, more desperate-times-call-for-desperate-measures-but-trying-to-do-the-right-thing.
Still, even that can’t really be seen as bad, because the original Max character wasn’t all that likable. You sympathised with his torment and tragedy, and you cheered his vengeful spirit, but he wasn’t your do-gooder. He was the embodiment of “two wrongs make a right”. He wasn’t a hero. Tina Turner got that much right (see the next movie). When he took his payment and drove away, you knew that was in character for him, and when he only came back because he had to, that was not him being a good guy.
The “new” Max had a similar arc, of course. He nearly left the other characters behind, and arguably would have if it hadn’t been for the kill-switches and stuff. And he only learned to look out for them and fight with them by necessity. So maybe that wasn’t such a detour from the original character. He just … seemed to have more of a soul to him.
And Max Rockatansky’s soul was supposed to have been burned out.
There’s more good news, according to Wikipedia: “In 2011, Miller and McCarthy found during the writing process for Fury Road that they had enough story material for two additional scripts. One of these, entitled Mad Max: Furiosa, had already been completed, and Miller hoped to film it after the release of Fury Road. In March 2015, during an interview with Esquire magazine, Hardy revealed that he was attached to star in four more Mad Max films following Fury Road. In May 2015, Miller told Wired magazine, “Should [Fury Road] be successful, I’ve got two other stories to tell.” Later in May, Miller revealed that plans for the sequel had changed and the working title for the next instalment will be Mad Max: The Wasteland.”
More? Yes please.