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Mad Max: Fury Road Poster Released

Five years since this masterpiece came out. FIVE YEARS.

Recently I've been rewatching a lot of my favourite films, particularly ones I might not have seen for a while, to see if they're as good as I remember them being. I'll rewatch Fury Road too but not to see if it's as good as I remember the last time I watched it (last year) but, well, because it's Fury Road.

A lot of my favourite films have endured from when I was a kid. Stuff like Aliens, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Dirty Harry, Predator - these are all films I rewatched religiously as a kid and I still do, really.

As I've gotten older, I've become a lot pickier about what becomes a favourite, or what I'd give five stars too. Even something like The Nice Guys, which I've watched about 15 times now, wasn't a total success first time round. It took a few watches before I realised how great it was and how much I loved it.

But there was rarely any doubt with Fury Road. In fact there was no doubt from about as early as this point.

Why? IRHasDiabetes911 explains:-

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There's so much in Fury Road that I never thought I'd see. But I haven't seen it in anything since and while, yes, it's only been five years, cinema doesn't stick around. If it hits on something that looks great, it's no more than a year before the clones and derivatives start coming.

That hasn't happened with Fury Road. Why? Because it's the work of a madman.

One of my favourite quotes about Fury Road is this from the critic David Ehrlich:-

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It's really no surprise that attempts to make a sequel or sequels or spin-offs have stalled. Fury Road wasn't a huge box office hit and actually made a slight loss but even despite the universal acclaim it immediately garnered, instantaneously acclaimed by some as one of the greatest action films ever made, I can sort of understand why a studio would still be nervous about making another one.

Because what would George Miller do next? Something more mental than blokes on poles vaulting across speeding, exploding cars, that's what. The insurance would probably cost $150 million by itself.

Ehrlich is not just right about films as "products", but there's little risk taken in movies anymore. Since Jackie Chan passed his prime, the danger had gone out of action film making. But we've seen a revival of it recently, mainly through Tom Cruise dragging his half-hanging off leg across London and hanging on to the outside of planes, but also because of Fury Road.

It's no coincidence that the danger and borderline lunacy in making those films has translated to some of the best the genre has ever seen. The 2010s saw a sensational revival in action cinema and the key has been in taking risks.

Get this though. Fury Road was so good that even the Oscars couldn't ignore it. They don't matter a shit, of course, but they *never* put up the big nominations to action films.

It should have won, but they were obviously never going to go that far. It excelled in all departments, in ways no other film did that year. Its pacing, plot, character, themes, dialogue, action, sound and effects. And the acting.

This amazing thing happens about halfway through Fury Road. It's no longer a Mad Max film, it's a Furiosa film. It's her story and her destination and those women under her wing that become the story here. Charlize Theron is the key to this.

There's a lot of talk at the moment about Tom Hardy and whether he can actually act, but he's not outshone in this because he's no good. He steps into Mel Gibson's shoes effortlessly and steps aside when Theron comes to the fore, a situation she then uses to elevate it still further.

Everyone is comfortable in their own characters though, taking what could have been daft, nonsense dialogue and making it make perfect sense in its own world.

Then there's the ending.

An exchange of nods and Max is on his way. That's all it needs to be but that's how it almost never is in any film.

It's a good film imo.

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Brilliant film and one of the best I have seen on the big screen. Just loved it, non-stop from start to finish, just pure action all the way through the film. 

I was so blown away by it after watching it with a mate that I went and saw it again the next night and dragged my misses along (this time in 4DX if I remember correctly).

I'm not even convinced I understood the film either (first watch especially) as it was just non stop chaos and I haven't seen the originals. 

Edit: I saw the film in 3D IMAX, not 4DX. 

Edited by Briefcase
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Posted (edited)

Wonderful post @Devon Malcolm. I’ll never forget the feeling I had five years ago (five years yesterday, in fact, because Facebook reminded me) of watching Fury Road on an IMAX. An incredible cinema experience like nothing I’ve had before or since. Action beyond belief, the nonstop propulsive thrill of it all is truly special. I remember leaving in some strange transcendent buzzing state and the whole drive home had to stop myself imagining I was on the Fury Road and not the A1. What a lovely day.

A work of art, is Fury Road. I think I’d be afraid to watch it on a screen smaller and less surround sound-y than a multiplex one because I wouldn’t want to dilute the impact by my lack of quality AV equipment.

Nathan Jones’ best film, too, it’s worth adding.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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6 minutes ago, Briefcase said:

I'm not even convinced I understood the film either (first watch especially) as it was just non stop chaos and I haven't seen the originals. 

You really don't need to have seen them but you should, especially the first two, as they're superb.

4 minutes ago, HarmonicGenerator said:

Wonderful post @Devon Malcolm. I’ll never forget the feeling I had five years ago (five years yesterday, in fact, because Facebook reminded me) of watching Fury Road on an IMAX. An incredible cinema experience like nothing I’ve had before or since. Action beyond belief, the nonstop propulsive nature of it all is truly special. I remember leaving in some strange transcendent buzzing state and the whole drive home had to stop myself imagining I was on the Fury Road and not the A1. What a lovely day.

A work of art, is Fury Road. I think I’d be afraid to watch it on a screen smaller and less surround sound-y than a multiplex one because I wouldn’t want to dilute the impact by my lack of quality AV equipment.

Nathan Jones’ best film, too, it’s worth adding.

It was actually the first time I'd ever been to the cinema on my own, and the first time (aside from The Lego Movie), I'd been to the cinema in five years. It was a good occasion!

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I was thinking about this movie recently as I was trying to put together my top 10 of the decade 2010-19. Not 100% sure yet if this is number 1 but it's one of the main contenders.

By all rights this movie should have turned out awful, long long time in development hell followed by a long and nightmarish production, reports of Hardy and Theron not getting on to the point they could hardly stand each other. Ages in post production followed by the eventual release and lo and behold it turned out to be a masterpiece.

I don't hold my breath for the "Wasteland" follow up to ever get made, George Miller is getting on in years and as stated above it didn't bring in enough money but damn do I wish we could get one more trip to this world.

 

Why movies like this and Dredd never make the required millions at the box office I will never know......well I probably do but sill 😠

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Posted (edited)

I rarely rewatch anything these days, but I've seen Fury Road a bunch of times, and it's never not incredible. It absolutely shouldn't have worked. A recast sequel to a franchise that ended 30 years ago, by an elderly director who'd been off making kid's movies for two decades? And yet, the greatest movie of the century, up there with Raiders and Predator as the greatest action movie ever made. It's a mark of how good it is that for a film which is almost completely non-stop, at no point do you grow weary of it. It somehow manages to find those peaks and troughs of pacing while being fucking mental the whole way through.

Edited by Astro Hollywood
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25 minutes ago, Herne's Son said:

Why movies like this and Dredd never make the required millions at the box office I will never know......well I probably do but sill 😠

Dredd's really good and, coming from me as someone who never normally watches that sort of stuff, I think that's saying something.

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Not much to add to OP, but was I alone in originally going to watch it expecting the worst (burnt too many times by remakes)?

Which made the end result so much more satisfying - can't say its my absolute fave film ever, but when it comes to exceeding expectation nothing comes close

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Posted (edited)

Great work, Devon. That David Ehrlich review is fantastic.

I went into the cinema slightly baffled by the universally great reviews, feeling there was surely a swindle afoot. As Astro mentions, this ticks every box for a miserable failure of a reboot except one, and that's George Miler having a staggering amount of freedom to just try mad stuff. It reeks of a man going out swinging.

I was reading the other day Miller wants to do a Furiosa prequel next. Hopefully it can get made. Mad that's 5 years passed already.

Edited by ColinBollocks
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I think acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh sums the film up perfectly:

"I just watched ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ again last week, and I tell you I couldn’t direct 30 seconds of that. I’d put a gun in my mouth. I don’t understand how [George Miller] does that, I really don’t, and it’s my job to understand it. I don’t understand two things: I don’t understand how they’re not still shooting that film and I don’t understand how hundreds of people aren’t dead."

Additionally I loved hearing Tarantino saying that he was initially against the movie because Gibson wasn't in it and he had no interest in Mad Max without Gibson but first time he saw Fury Road he immediately rewatched it 3 times in a row because he was so blown away.

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I think Fury Road is the only film in about 15 years I went in knowing absolutely nothing about. I'd seen Mad Max yonks ago, never saw the sequel, and random bits of Thunderdome. I've still got no idea how I missed any hype or reviews for it. The wife and I were struggling to decide what to go watch for date night and one of her friends suggested Fury Road. I asked some of my work mates about it and was met with a sea of shrugs and blank expressions, except one guy whose eyes popped out of his head. "You're going to fucking love it." I don't even think I knew it was a Mad Max.

But he was right.

I don't think I've been as viscerally excited in the cinema before or since. Every frame is a delirious, hellish work of art. The storytelling and world building is deep and rich without characters spieling reams of exposition, pure show don't tell. The frenetic pace of the foot chases as well as the cars, with meticulously, painstakingly cut frames to ramp up the unease and chaos, but still being geographically clear and consistent and masterfully shot (Besson, take note).

Once it was done, me, the wife, and half the audience that night I'm sure, looked at each other and said, "I want to watch it again."

I don't know how Miller did it. I don't know how he convinced anyone else to do it. I don't know how I didn't know anything about it. At the very least, I would've expected to hear about suspected acts of terrorism going on in the middle of Namibia.

A masterpiece.

Edited by CavemanLynn
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I saw it at the BFI IMAX and when I came out my legs were shaking for about half an hour I was buzzing so much. Never experienced that from a film before and doubt I will again.

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