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Mad Max: Fury Road seems more about providing quality action, and a foundation for sequels, than a standalone movie which can stand the tests of time.
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
In a post-apocalyptic world, there are many things which are rather scarce. The first being water, the second being food, and the last being women. If a person, or group, holds one of these sources, they have immense power. However, when it comes to having women, it isn’t like the women are held up as goddesses. No, in the case of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), he treats the women in his group like property.
Enter Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who was kidnapped from a world where there was greenery instead of desert and women weren’t treated almost purely for milk and breeding. She tries to free Immortan Joe’s wives, while in the process of making a run, and that is what leads to Nux’s (Nicholas Hoult) captive Max (Tom Hardy) to eventually meet Furiosa and become part of the main plot. For when you steal Joe’s women, you just don’t end up dealing with Joe, but three groups vying to save the few young women left.
The world created in Mad Max: Fury Road makes me so overjoyed that a proper video game is going to be made, and released later on this year. For, in the film, we are provided with a handful of distinct groups and just seeing their home worlds, their attire, and their different weaponry, it all seems to lend itself to building a new multifaceted franchise. But, fully stepping away from how this movie could influence the game, what really is likable about this movie is the fact there is, truly, almost non-stop action.
Of which, Theron, just as much as Hardy and Hoult, is a key part of it. In fact, Max is hardly even the star in my opinion, for reasons listed below. If anything, Furiosa is the star and Max is but part of a chapter in her life. Thus leading to a story which is very female driven. After all, Furiosa is the one saving these girls from being slaves who give birth until all they are worth is giving milk, or raising the next generation of breeders, and while she maybe the one doing most of the fighting and vehicular combat, there isn’t really a damsel in distress among the movie. For even the pregnant girl who Furiosa helps to escape is getting involved.
However, one of the two biggest issues of the film is that there isn’t a whole lot of character development, for either Furiosa or Max, and there isn’t a lot of information provided about just about anything. Take for example the fact Max has visions of a child. By neither flashback or him explaining, we never truly learn who is this child who both guides him and strikes fear into him. Then, when it comes to Furiosa, while we learn she was kidnapped, among other things, her backstory almost feels slapped together, and thrown out there, just for the sake of her being more than this badass who somehow went from potential breeder to now being one of Immortan Joe’s top drivers. Which, considering the lack of women in the major groups who do such a thing, again leads you to wonder why her background wasn’t further explored.
But, at the end of the day, what you begin to realize about Mad Max: Fury Road is that it is purely about action. To the point that, to be honest, half the time I think they made Max’s speaking voice low as it is solely because they wanted us to focus on what he is doing vs. what he says. I mean, seriously, every time he talked I could have used some subtitles.
Overall: Worth Seeing
Despite a severe lack of character development or even a background on the groups and their rise, I’m giving this a Worth Seeing. As for why? Well, it was because it was entertaining, plain and simple. For sometimes, I feel, to expect an action movie or comedy to have everything you would expect from other genres is just ridiculous. And as much as I would have loved for Max or Furiosa to have been fleshed out, and this movie not just seem like a foundation for sequels to come, at the same time I enjoyed every explosion and fight in the film. Leaving me to think that for every negative we are compensated with some quality action. Hence the Worth Seeing label.