Quick-Thoughts: George Miller’s Mad Max Fury Road (2015)

Screened at Harkins • ?? Viewing

Still the most PURE “action” movie ever made…

…and it’s not even geared to 100%, although, it sure feels like it after being conditioned to the onslaught of mediocrity that straightforward action movies often deliver, until… voila: our new textbook example for simple premised yet diligently crafted action filmmaking. Mad Max: Fury Road beholds the absolute best edited action sequences of all-time in my humble opinion. From the radioactive post-coloring effects (ex., ex., ex.) to the creative CGI add-ins, I have gained the illusional, almighty power to feel like a violent madman for a couple hours. OH, AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE TRANSITIONING; when a handful of your cutaways look like —> this < — then you have truly earned yourself god-status. I love this film’s subtle use of fast-mo and slow-mo too, blending the pacing and glory of the visuals into tonal harmony; it’s little details and quirks like this that subconsciously make action movies more engaging to a viewer. Furthermore, instead of filling in the gaps with 12 different cuts of someone jumping over a fence, the constant quick-cut momentum of Fury Road is complemented by blood transfusions occurring on the front of a f**king moving car, or people getting branded with tattoos by multiple psychopaths, or vehicles ripping cars in half with claw machines, or a classic fuel-spitting race, or these schizophrenic skeletal memory delusions that bog up the perspective of the world we see through Max’s; UGH, my BRAIN! I’ve seen this movie probably almost eight times now, and this s**t still feels like a quick 10-minute steampunk car chase dream despite its over two-hour long runtime.  

Okay, story-time: there was this yucky 50/60-ish-year-old guy in front of me by himself at my showing who started moaning during that showering scene with the wives, and then at one point when the (very young looking) white-haired woman walked up in that full shot, I kid you not, he said out loud “damn that is a nice piece of p***y” — PTSD flashback to when I saw Hustlers in theaters, kickinnn… IN… no… STOP. I can only assume the dude was probably rooting for the wrong side of the coin in his delight, that being one for Immortal Joe — who is a solid villain though by the way! The dude at my theater kinda looked like he could be him too as a matter of fact; I mean, he sure as hell acted like him. 

To bounce off of the Joe talk, it seems as if the post-apocalyptic world has transpired into such a s**tshow that he’s been able to use a made-up prophecy of Valhalla (i.e. a suicidal protection mechanism for himself) to control an army while keeping loyalty over the poor by providing them with petty resources in a landscape mainly composed of sand. Immortal Joe is simply RULING over these War Boys UNLESS, however, they find themselves a girlfriend — social commentary, yo. Speaking of that jazz, this movie somewhat benefits in how short and sweet the arcs are, allowing the action to take over for nearly the entire runtime while giving us the bare minimum (in a good way) of what characters need for us to care: Max is constantly distracted and sometimes even mentally compromised by visions of the lives he failed to save in the past while being in this new journey where he hesitantly comes to care for more of the lawful, Furiosa is altruistically inclined to save the oppressed wives of Immortal Joe, and Nux is determined to execute himself in a worthy sacrifice, but among who will he do it for? The good or the bad?

We need a sequel with Gas Town now though; from a distance, that place looked GNARLY.

Verdict: A- 

“Mad Max Fury Road” is now available to stream on HBO Max.

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