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Mad Max: Fury Road Movie Review

Director: George Miller

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Josh Helman, Nathan Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton, John Howard, Richard Carter

Oscar Wins: Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing

Other Nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Visual Effects, Best Picture

I wasn’t really crazy about Mad Max: Fury Road the first time I saw it – and I was even less crazy about it this time. In this apocalyptic world of The Fast and the Furious meets The Terminator, I felt completely lost and disengaged in the story line.

Mad Max: Fury Road is set in the near future. The landscape is dying of thirst and civilizations have gone by the wayside. Essentials in this world, like water and gasoline, are severely rationed and fought over by those few who have survived.

One of those survivors is Max (Tom Hardy), who is captured and enslaved as a blood donor for a warrior named Nux (Nicholas Hoult). When word gets out that a runner for the Citadel, Furiosa (Charlize Theron), has gone off road and abandoned her journey to Gastown to pick up gasoline, Max finds himself strapped to the front of a car with Nux at the wheel to chase her down. What follows is basically an hour and 58 minutes worth of car chases and explosions.

For those who love action movies or post-apocalyptic fiction, I could totally see how you would love this movie – maybe even classify it as one of the best of the bunch…but this is just not my jam. I’ve also never seen any of the other Mad Max films, so take this review with a big ol’ grain of salt. Though, for what it’s worth, I did not mind staring at Tom Hardy for 2 hours!

I can’t even imagine what the CGI budget was for this movie…especially considering pre-production started way back in 1997! September 11th and the Iraq War made it difficult to continue shooting this movie, and other projects pulled director George Miller away from this project a few times. When it was all said and done, film editor Margaret Sixel had nearly 480 hours of footage to edit – which took three months.

It payed off, though – Mad Max: Fury Road won 6 Academy Awards in 2016: Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Visual Effects, but lost in those categories.

When all was said and done, I liked parts of Mad Max, but not the whole. I didn’t understand the point. There were so many opportunities to get in Max’s head and better understand his rage, but I feel like those were just glossed over. For me, this movie felt like someone’s guilty pleasure – like why I might watch Legally Blonde or Rush Hour – for shear, mind-numbing entertainment.


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