Hi all, Randy here, back from seeing something I almost thought I would never see, something that would never see the light of day… or a darkened movie theater.
I never thought I’d once again venture out into the Wasteland once more.
But I have. I have returned from the Road.
Mad Max Fury Road
But this is NOT a movie review.
…this is a rough cut of the film, clocking in at just over 2 hrs (w/o end credits)
…this is a work in progress, that will have added sound, music and f/x (and likely be 3D).
…this is a first screening before an audience, not due out til May 15, 2015.
…there will likely be some changes made before release.
What IS this then?
This is my impression.
What is Mad Max Fury Road?
It isn’t NOT the first Mad Max.
It isn’t NOT the MM-Beyond Thunderdome.
It is not the movie that 1985 Randy walking out of a movie theater in Plymouth, MA, having been only slightly sated after waiting so long for sequel.
This IS the kind of Mad Max II/The Road Warrior on steroids, go-big-or-go-home, bug-nuts crazy, toss-you-in-the-deep-end mythology and put-it-all-out-there-in-case-we-never-make-another-one Mad Max Fury Road.
In fairness & full disclosure, I am very much, in case you’ve never read my column before, a HUGE Mad Max fan. I go so far as to say that director George Miller is one of the six directors that made me want to make movies… and that was The Road Warrior. I have forgotten how many times I’ve seen it.
So now ya know.
This movie feels like thirty years of Miller holding in passion for a world that he built so long ago, exploding on the screen. You, remember the third act of The Road Warrior, the bad-ass truck chase that is still hailed as a masterpiece of filmmaking?
You do? Good.
Because that’s what this whole movie pretty much is-and it works! A chase that goes long and deep into the heart of Miller’s post-apocalyptic world, trying to get out of the Wasteland. It opens up and hardly slows down.
You want groovy cars? By the car-carrier load!
You want auto combat? Parts strewn for miles!
You want practical f/x and stunts? I wonder how many on the stunt team died making this madness?!
Its beginning feels like part Miller’s burning passion bursting forth after so long and part a gift to those who’ve waited so patiently for a “real” Mad Max movie. You could watch only the first act as a die-hard fan and you feel like the wait has been worth it.
From Tom Hardy’s Max to Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa to Nicholas Hoult’s Nux to Hugh Keays-Byrne’s Immortan Joe, they are all characters of the world, there to move Miller’s world into all-new ground.
This is movie designed for anyone to step into, neophyte or stone-cold Bronze. In a world of movies, tv and videogames that have used, borrowed, homages and/or stolen from the dark world of Mad Max, this film is informed by that media and incorporates it into this new vision three decades later.
There are nods back to all of the trilogy throughout, organic and purposeful, rather than placating a die-hard fanbase. Where does it play within the trilogy? Somewhere between the first and second… and off-to-the side.
Too long has passed to do a straight forward sequel. The iconic elements are there-its just how they are presented to you. But it isn’t a re-imagining, it isn’t a reboot. It’s simply its own model of vehicle.
But the parts are all there, the engine runs nicely but could use some tinkering and the new additions and paint-job are almost done. I look forward to seeing this honed down slightly, some ideas cleared up and something mythic & binding to the trilogy-that-came before appear at the beginning and end of the film.
So this is NOT a review of Mad Max Fury Road.
But I will be more than happy to review this film – in 2015!
…who also got to meet, shake his hand, and thank the man who introduced me to the Main Force Patrol, the Toecutter, Fifi, Jim Goose, Mad Max and the black-on-black V-8 Interceptor- Mr. George Miller. And dammit to the Suits that they made us put away our phones because now I have no photo with him. But I can live with that-I met one of my heroes… and he has more stories to tell.
And it you want to know how the studio describes the film…
“MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is the fourth film of George Miller‘s Road Warrior/Mad Max franchise co-written and directed by Miller. The post-apocalyptic action film is set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and most everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life.
Within this world of fire and blood exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order… There’s Max (played by TOM HARDY from The Dark Knight Rises), a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos.
And… Furiosa (played by CHARLIZE THERON from Prometheus), a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.”