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Mad Max: Fury Road

by on 2015/05/22

madmaxfuryroad_2015“My world is reduced to a single instinct: Survive.”

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Where do I even begin? Mad Max: Fury Road is the Jupiter Symphony of post-apocalyptic films. It is El Greco’s La Crucifixion, Dali’s Soft Construction with Boiled Beans, van Gogh’s Starry Night and Gauguin’s When Will You Marry? – blown up, burned down and crushed into a flaming, oil-smoking ball of brilliant colour and spectacle. It is a great, dusty, violent, beautiful world’s-gone-mad opus.

Which is to say I really liked it. No, I love it. Adore it! Gargle, blargle, drool.

Shiny and chrome!

Why haven’t you seen this movie yet?!

Why did the Mad Max franchise always mean so very, very much to me? I was first introduced to Mad Max at my friend Maria’s house. Her family grew their “tomatoes” in the garage. They had 70’s Conan the Barbarian comics and porn.

There was always predictably little adult supervision at Maria’s. I was able to watch the violent, terrifying but deeply satisfying film, Mad Max 2: the Road Warrior with no adult around wondering what a pre-teen girl wanted with the likes of Max Rockatansky.

It began there – with movies like a Boy and His Dog and Mad Max: Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome. I fell in deep and abiding love with all things post-apocalyptic. I fell, mouth-full-of-sand and head first for the world of Mad Max.

Then beloved Dr. George Miller built me another Mad Max world out in there in Namib Desert, Namibia.

This world is more elegant and assured. There’s less fast-motion absurdity and goofy jokes spat through rotten teeth. This world shows its maturity and confidence by racing non-stop in an unbroken and gorgeous line dotted with flame, explosions, drumming and bungee guitar solos.

This world has Charlize Theron (Reindeer Games) play a woman with a mechanical arm and a determined face caked in axel grease – Imperator Furiosa with her PhD in ass-kickery.

This world showed me craggy, gorgeous old women who race motorbikes over sand dunes and are dead shots. (They can hit the place in a man’s head that, if you shoot it, it will blow up). About a Boy‘s Nicolas Hoult as war boy Nux has a redemptive arc so satisfying it made me feel my own feelings.

Interuptus haircutus Mad Max played by Tom Hardy (Inception) speaks a pleasing few words, even more pleasingly frequent grunts, and is the sort of ambivalent hero I’ve come to expect from the series. Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) from the first Mad Max returns as a scabby, entitled one-percenter with sleep (and wake) apnea – Immortan Joe. Park your CPAP apparata before you drive, folks.

This is a glorious chase movie with a message. It is a world I will visit and visit and visit again. And again.

Compulsive? I say with flashing chrome teeth, “absolutely, yes.”

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120 minutes

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