Mad Max: Fury Road

 

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Mad Max IV: even badder and madder than before.

 

Mad Max Fury oad

 

The warning is in the title: this is madness turned to the max. In a post-apocalyptic world, the remains of the human race seem to be predominantly bald, obese, deformed or a combination of the above. Except for Max, who would appear to be the sanest person around...

 

The fourth instalment in the Mad Max franchise, Fury Road has been 25 years in development, during which time Max has lost his Australian accent and the director George Miller almost lost the will to live. Indeed, the production was plagued with problems of Terry Gilliam proportions, including budgetary, political, historical and fatal set-backs (Heath Ledger was considered as a replacement for the original Max, Mel Gibson).

 

Still, one can only judge the film one sees on the screen and Mad Max: Fury Road looks like a hallucinogenic, nine-hour Peter Jackson epic crammed into 120 minutes. Thus it is largely incomprehensible and edited to within an inch of its life, while many of the high-end CGI effects seem to have been spray-painted onto the screen. In a bid to be bigger and badder than before, Miller has produced something that looks like a two-hour commercial for someone else’s nightmare. The music, the sound effects, the explosions, the landscapes – everything is too much to take in. It’s the first time I’ve watched a movie where I’ve waited two hours for something not to happen. One wonders how actors of the calibre of Tom Hardy (as Max) and Charlize Theron (as a bald amputee) were drawn to such material, as there’s no creative room to breathe. It is simply the maddest, ugliest film of 2015.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton.

 

Dir George Miller, Pro Doug Mitchell, George Miller and PJ Voeten, Screenplay George Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris, Ph John Seale, Pro Des Colin Gibson, Ed Margaret Sixel, Music Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL, Costumes Jenny Beavan.

 

Village Roadshow Pictures/Kennedy Miller Mitchell/RatPac-Dune Entertainment-Warner Brothers. 

120 mins. Australia/USA. 2015. Rel: 14 May 2015. Cert. 15.