Archive for the ‘Tom Hardy’ Category

Max

There’s this thing, a curse if you like, in the film industry. The curse of age. It’s when a filmmaker gets to a certain point in their lives where they just aren’t making the best work that they could anymore. The fourth Indiana Jones movie, the Star Wars prequels, and the recent output of Clint Eastwood are glaring examples of this. Even Quentin Tarantino has vowed to quit filmmaking once he reaches sixty to avoid the curse’s horrible grasp. But with examples, also comes exceptions. Martin Scorsese has shown that he’s still got the goods after all this time, Akira Kurosawa was still making masterpieces in the years before he died, and now we can add George Miller to that list with Mad Max: Fury Road. At age seventy, Fury Road feels like a movie made by a director in his twenties. One of the many things that I love about the Mad Max series is that each film gives us a snapshot of Miller’s post-apocalyptic wasteland called Earth. With this film, he’s applied classical filmmaking techniques with the big budget of modern blockbusters. And, boy, is it big. The fourth installment in the franchise is certainly the largest. Its scope is absolutely massive. During the day, the sea of sand is painted with burt oranges. While at night, its painted in hope diamond blues. The action is some of the best in cinema history. Every grinding of metal against metal, every fountain of fire that is spewed forth from an exhaust pipe, every engine that roars to life is felt. There’s very little computer work here. Just good old fashioned stunt crews and smooth camera work.

The story is something that every modern action movie wished it could be. Simple. Clear. Precise. It doesn’t need to feel like it needs to play a trick on ┬áthe audience because it understands that the best action films are the best because they are pure. We know exactly what these characters want and why they want it. Make no mistake that this isn’t a “turn off your brain” type film. It’s a movie with real depth and heart to it. Amidst all the heavy metal thunder is a metaphor for the corporatization of human beings and the dominance of the patriarchy. It’s the type of filmmaking that has been missing since the 80’s and 90’s. The type of filmmaking where the people involved actually cared about making the best piece of art they possibly could.

I could talk for hours and hours about this film, but I will say that the summer movie season is over. Mad Max: Fury Road has set the bar for the next few months and, for me, the whole year.

-A.B.

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