Sunday, April 9, 2017

Mad Max: Fury Road

Year 9, Day 99 - 4/9/17 - Movie #2,593

BEFORE: Congratulations if you predicted where I was going with the Tom Hardy link.  I've had this one on the books for a while - but I had a chance to link out of "X-Men: Apocalypse" to it via Nicholas Hoult last year, but then the plan changed, so it was relegated down to the unsinkable portion of the watchlist for a while, but then along came two other Tom Hardy movies to rescue it, allowing me to sandwich it in-between them.  If it wasn't going to be Tom Hardy, it could have been Charlize Theron I suppose, but beyond that, the chances weren't good, with a largely Australian cast.

Just 7 days until Easter, and a future-desolation picture like this seems about as far as one can get from the topic of the Bible, but there is a way there, back through time, illogically as it sounds, that path goes through the Old West, the French Revolution and Shakespeare.  That will all make sense by the time I get to Movie #2,600.

FOLLOW-UP TO: "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" (Movie #487)

THE PLOT: A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in post-apocalyptic Australia, in search of her homeland with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshipper and a drifter named Max.

AFTER: First off, this film is action-packed, which I guess is something you want out of an action movie, but I guess I would have preferred a little bit more exposition, they didn't really explain everything that was going on in this future-world.  And it's been a LONG time since "Beyond Thunderdome", was there something I was expected to remember?  I couldn't wait for the film to end so I could read the whole plot on Wikipedia to figure out what happened.

Most of the action also seems to be repeated from the first two "Mad Max" films, especially "The Road Warrior", which was also mainly about getting a tanker truck past a large gang of marauders, who all have these souped-up patchwork car/tank vehicles, and are willing to do anything to stop the truck.  In this film, that seems to include the drivers blowing themselves up, or driving into or under the truck, sacrificing themselves for the cause.  The drivers mostly seem to be these sickly albino guys, who might be the descendants of their leader, Immortan Joe - again, so much is unclear so I'm speculating.

The title character doesn't fare so well for the first half of the film - he's drafted into being a "blood bag", a constant blood donor for a sick albino named Nux, and then when the truck chase starts, Nux has to bring him along in his car/tank just to be supplied with fresh blood.  But then, of course you know that once Max gets dragged into the fight, he's going to do whatever he can to end it, once he sorts out which side he wants to be on.

There's also a lot of that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" stuff, as character switch allegiances, based on which side they think can offer them the best deal in the end.  Because this is the outback after the Apocalypse, it's not just water that's a precious commodity, it's also blood and other things I won't mention for fear of spoilers.  But life itself is a valuable commodity, Immortan Joe obviously has a way to make a lot of little albino versions of himself, and that process hasn't changed much over the decades, it's only become industrialized.

There are a lot of very cool stunts, especially the biker gang that drops grenades from their high jumps, and a part where the bad guys sway back and forth on these long poles extending from their vehicles, which allows them to transfer between one vehicle and another.  And then there's the stuff that looks cool but just seems very impractical, like bringing a vehicle with them on a high-speed chase that just has four guys playing big drums and another guy on a bungee cord with an electric guitar that shoots flames.  And I know a lot of people in the geek community went ga-ga for this film, I just would have preferred a little more insight into what was going on at the time.

Also starring Charlize Theron (last seen in "The Astronaut's Wife"), Nicholas Hoult (last seen in "X-Men: Apocalypse"), Josh Helman (ditto), Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nathan Jones (last seen in "Troy"), Zoë Kravitz (last seen in "After Earth"), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton, John Howard, Richard Carter (last seen in "The Great Gatsby"), Angus Sampson, Iota, Jennifer Hagan (last seen in "Jack"), Megan Gale, Melissa Jaffer, Quentin Kenihan, Jon Iles.

RATING: 6 out of 10 steering wheels

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