June 2nd, 2015
So, Mad Max: Fury Road lived up to the hype and then some.
You like The Terminator?
This is that good.
You Like Aliens?
This is that good.
You Like The Road Warrior?
This is as good as that too.
People who are criticizing it--all because of the baggage they are bringing into the theatre. None of the critiques I've heard had much to do with the film itself as an entertainment--just don't get it.
Imagine what it was like to be 16 years old and seeing The Terminator for the first time...
Well that self would have been turned to a joyous, synaptically-fried puddle by this movie.
It's full of style and imagination and excess and it is so obviously the work of one man. That is a rarity in today's Hollywood. George Miller controlled every aspect of this film and it is all the better for it. No movie-making by committee here. If the committee had been involved they would have said, "Where's Mad Max?? There's far too little Max!" Giving us a character like Charlize Theron's Furiosa is an incredible gift for the audience.
She is personally invested in the outcome of the plot of this film and its other characters.
So many action films (I'm looking at you Waterworld!) ask us to believe a "hero" is going to emerge from a murderous, apocalyptic wasteland to save a child or a group of women. This would not happen in real life.
As I watched Waterworld (in the theatre, no less!) and Kevin Costner's lone wolf sailor-man rescued the little girl and her mother, I put myself in his shoes and thought, "Chuck them both overboard and keep their stuff."
I'm not proud of that, but that is the reality of a survival minute-by-minute world where it's kill or be killed.
I hope I never face it so my empathy and courage are not tested and I won't have to face a cowardly self that does not fit in with who I think I am.
Max is a mercenary. A survivalist haunted by his past who cares nothing for anyone or anything but himself. That's a dead end picture. Enter Charlize Theron's character. She lives and bleeds with the people of the slave-hell that the main villain oversees. She has every reason to rescue her sisters and hope for a better world for her neighbours. She is the humanity so needed but presented with believable motive and, ultimately, aided by Max, setting him up to be a more interesting character in future films. A man who's been given back his soul.
I said it.
Thanks for reading,