MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
We finished up our post screening drinks at Crown Casino's awful pokies floor bar around 2am. I slammed this one out the next morning, and then discovered my credit card had been phished and skun for a grand overnight. Never hang at the fucking casino, no matter how high you are on celluloid, guys.
visceral: adjective vis•cer•al \ˈvi-sə-rəl, ˈvis-rəl\
1 : felt in or as if in the internal organs of the body
2 : dealing with crude or elemental emotions
3 : of, relating to, or located on or among the viscera
Yeah, I’m the arsehole bringing the Webster’s to a Fury Road review.
In the interests of complete transparency: Mad Max: Fury Road stomps on your neck, hard, and punches a thoroughbred’s load of adrenaline straight into your pathetically unprepared human aorta for two dizzying, manic, nitro-drunk hours (I’d hate to bury the lede on you).
Visceral: you feel the miraculous, long in gestation Mad Max: Fury Road in your guts, it vibrates your bones,trafficking in raw, elemental truths and revelling in inspired, bombastic mythos, a feral, totemic out-of-body experience, unparalleled.
There’s a lazy tendency, in critical circles, to apply some abstract algebra to the act of pinning a film’s essence to a set of familiar precedents: Z = X +Y (on speed!).
I promise you that you have never seen anything like Fury Road.
By now, you know the beats.
Hugh Keays-Byrne‘s (Toecutter in another life) despotic revhead Immortan Joe is double crossed by his stoic cyborg lieutenant, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron, bringing the noise), who hits the Fury Road with the bastard’s baby-factory Wives (Abbey Lee, Zoe Kravitz, Courtney Eaton, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Riley Keough). Joe and his gibbering, chroming army of War Boys are quickly in hot pursuit.
Tom Hardy’s skittish, manic Max (stepping in for ‘our’ Mel, of course, who is an anti-Semite and serial abuser of women, if you’d conveniently forgotten), again an unwilling participant in someone else’s stoush, spends ample time as a blood bag and hood ornament for War Boy Nux (Nicholas Hoult), before forging an uneasy truce with Furiosa and The Wives.
By now you’ve no doubt clocked the pre-emptive, squealing man baby, Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) fall out from Fury Road. (If you have no idea what I’m on about, very well played. Revel in the ignorance- some things are better left un-known).
I’m here to reassure you: Fury Road is inhabited by a coterie of magnificent, arse-kicking femmes, women taking control and sticking it to their patriarchal oppressors with ingenious gusto.
Sure, Hardy’s Max, once more cast as an unwilling saviour, is nominally the lead. He is a pragmatic Man With No Name hell-bent on moving forward, surviving. But it is Theron’s Furiosa who anchors the film and propels it forward, a woman with a tragic past on a quest to escape the traumas visited upon her and her charges in Joe’s hellish Citadel.
If you’re an inhabitant of the barren universe of the MRA, Fury Road would, in an ideal world, rewire your sad masculinist fantasia and defuse the pitiful tantrums directed at a world quickly rendering you utterly redundant.
The Fury Road itself is a blasted, hyper-saturated canvas, a logical apocalyptic evolution from the desolate outback wastelands of The Road Warrior and Thunderdome.
Maestro George Miller orchestrates his practical vehicular operatics with a maverick sense of lunatic abandon and sheer visual poetry, his break neck destruction derby an over-cranked automotive parable of survival, resourcefulness and perhaps even hope against devastating odds.
Ever been punched so hard your jaw dislocated, but the adrenaline carried you several hours before you noticed?
… that’s Fury Road.
Why are you still sitting there?
* Key art by me.