Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Full disclaimer, I initially had zero interest in seeing this due to the trailers. Emphasizing the action and not really giving any real idea what it was about besides some kind of a massive chase scene the promotion completely failed to sell on the movie. Tom Hardy playing Max had also had me be pretty apathetic towards the movie ever since the initial casting news, because I honestly would have preferred seeing Mel Gibson back. So then the movie came out, had massive positive response and I happened to read about how Miller had initially wanted very much to make the entire movie be about one long chase scene, and my interest was suddenly piqued. So I relented and saw it. And now I have such mixed feelings, it’s maddening.

One part of me wants to embrace the movie wholeheartedly while the other half can’t honestly say that I fully enjoyed it.  I had some trouble getting fully connected with the story, so I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I wanted to. Overall, it truly was a very positive experience. The action is great. It’s a fast paced, loud, rampant fun, and it really does have some of the best, mostly practical effects action sequences in a long time. And I kinda love the audacity of the fact that it is very much just an extended chase sequence that lasts about 2/3 of the movie. On a positive note certain characters even have nice, touching character arcs, so it’s not like the movie didn’t have substance and character development. I just would have liked some more meat to the plot before the chase begins, just to root myself better. That’s really my main issue with this, and it’s a bit nitpicky and dum, I acknowledge that.

Despite some reservations regarding Hardy playing  Max, in the end I have toadmit  he does do a very good job. It’s a bit different from Gibson, but once you get over that hill, it’s very neat and reserved portrayal that works in the confines of the movie. Theron was fine as well as Furiosa, but the actor who really shined was the guy playing Immortan Joe, Hugh Keays-Byrne. Now there was some incredible movie villain acting for you. Joe was such a one note character at his core, but Keays-Byrne managed to carry himself so boldly and with such charismatic presence that he was simply phenomenal. He made Immortan Joe to be a pure force of nature, relentless and unforgiving and every second he was on screen was a delight. I’m glad I changed my mind and actually saw this in theaters, it’s fun if not perfect fit with me personally. We need more competent action movies like this. I hope Miller gets a lot of traction from this and is able to do whatever weird project he chooses to do next with little studio meddling. He’s deserved that chance.

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