Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

I'd like to review Mad Max: Fury Road, but I can't. It's only been out a couple of days and most of the things I'm excited about would be spoilers.

All I can say at this time is: I loved it. It is Mad Max. It's not like it was with similarly many-years-late reboot Phantom Menace - which was oh, yeah, I'm briefly excited about this but after seeing it I have to cop to severely lowered expectations. On the contrary, it takes Mad Max: Road Warrior and doubles everything about it, without betraying or undermining any of it. Nobody's mystic union with the universe is ploddingly revealed to be something to do with their SMA-20 blood test here.

I'd like a whole movie about those Terry Gilliam-type things who lived in the swamp.  I want to know how the masses lived in Immortan Joe's world. I want to learn more about the mountain bikers who controlled the pass. I'd love to hear more about the old ladies who evidently had little problem, with, how shall I put this, with disposing of the bodies of those they kill in an ecologically sound and calorifically fulfilling manner. And the bad guys' pawns - the put-upon War Boys - might use those they catch alive as unwilling blood donors, but they're not unsalvageable monsters either. I want to know more about the seeds, about the baby, and about Imperatrix (not going to say Imperator) Furiosa's journey.

But what I got was a story that hinted at all of these things while charging forward inexorably. The bulk of the movie, as I'm sure you know, is a car chase. It's the ultimate car chase, as big, heavy and kinetic as any sequence of vehicles can be. You forget that there is such a thing as ground, as characters can not access it and have to get used to jumping from moving vehicle to moving vehicle in the deadly convoy. Killing, repairing, or even clinging to the hood to blow mouthfuls of fuel directly into the engine air intakes in order to max the revs, are all done at speed.

You may have heard that this is a "feminist" film. If that means women and men get equal shots at heroism, sure. It also has four damsels in distress - if feminism worries you, concentrate on their plight instead. They totally are in distress.

When I first saw The Road Warrior, or Mad Max II as it was then, in theaters, I wanted to live there. The whole world just seemed right. I'm much older now and would obviously prefer it if everybody would just get off my lawn but in Fury Road George Miller put in a biker gang of women at least my age who didn't give Fuck One, and that's inspiring.

Yes, I'd live there. Again.

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