Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mad Max Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road
2015
**
2 stars - so awful that I can't be bothered looking up the director or actors



Listen, I'm a big fan of the original Mad Max movies and of action movies in general. But, seriously, you have to give me something other than action, action, action, same, same, same.

Zero character development. By that I really mean zero. No attempt to impress the viewer with how real the situation might be in a post apocalyptic world where water is the most precious resource. Not even meaningful changes of scenery.

Are the visuals good? Absolutely. The shame is that after the first hour I was sick of them. Sick of the chasing, the explosions. Heck, the bad guys didn't even seem all that nutty. The heroes, well, who cares?

For the first hour, truck of good guys drives across a barren landscape while bad guys give chase. Then they hang out for a few minutes and decide to drive back. Second hour, good guys drive across the same landscape with same bad guys chasing.

In the middle, there is a pause, signaled by a lowering of the volume, when the good guys reach their original destination. But what had promised to be a green space is just more wasteland, with only half a dozen crones in residence. Pretty resourceful crones, though. Despite being in a place with nothing as far as the eye can see, they've managed to stockpile weapons, keep their motorcycles fueled up, feed themselves, and even construct a wooden tower (not sure out of what since there is only one tree in the entire movie). Now, you'd think they would have a camp and that they'd invite their new pals over for a snack and some R&R. Nope. Everybody spends the night next to the truck. No breaking of bread here. 

The soundtrack is the only device used to break up the action. Without the sound, one would weary even faster of the dull, consistent pace. At least the music is sometimes full orchestra, sometimes scant instruments, sometimes just percussion.

What really makes me mad is the missed opportunity here. I'm not asking for anything particularly deep, but the whole theme of Mad Max is about how people behave in desperate situations and, yes, it gives the viewer something to chew on. That being that maybe they are wrong about what matters in life and that power can be distorted very readily into something sinister. 

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, my boys told me it was awesome from the viewpoint of teen or 20-something dudes, because it was solid "blowing-s**t-up". They also told me to skip it, even though we liked the original Mad Max.

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