Mad Max : Fury Road

Mad Max : Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in post apocalyptic Australia in search for her homeland with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max.

In this tale of survival, Max (Tom Hardy) is in a dystopian future where a nuclear war destroyed almost everything on Earth except some ressources, read here; water, gas, lots of guns and ammo, and cars. The Humanity is almost back at the stone age, survivors are in clans led by a few lucky ones and plenty of slaves starving and working for their leader Joe and his court that has water, plants, and luxury. Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) drives a convoy to exchange water for gas but she decides to rebel and tries to go back to her homeland where she can live free.

The fact that Mad Max : Fury Road was highly praised by respected cirtics and magazines doesn’t do justice to the film itself. It is one of the best action films of all time. The mastery of the storytelling and the shooting of the action sequences shows how great action can be filmed. George Miller is a true Akira Kurosawa fan and the late Japanese master was his inspiration working on the Mad Max franchise. The action sequences of Seven Samurai are still today some of the most influential sequences ever filmed. A real tour de force without CGI or any real special effects. It is not only the technique of these action sequences but how they feel real and impress the viewer. A reaction at such a stimuli is quite something and George Miller at almot 70 years old matured and mastered his craft at making action films. Mad Max : Fury Road is the culmination of this brilliant career.

Speaking of influence, Henri-Georges Clouzot's The Wages of Fear is another obvious classic action film that surely been in the mind of Miller when making his Mad Max franchise.

As a action film fan but a virgin of the Mad Max franchise it was a pure delight discovering it with the 2015 entry. Added to that, the film has a total of 10 nominations for the 88th ceremony of the Academy Awards. Most of them are technical (Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Costume Design) but they have two in the most important categories : Best Director and Best Picture. All 10 are deserved and the film is so far my personal favorite to win statuettes.

It’s been a long time since I had such a great time watching a recent action film and not just for the action sequences but also for the entire aspect of it all and the great use of symbolism and pure storytelling that at some point reminded me of Howard Hawks’ great films like Hatari!. Miller just like Hawks know how to make great studio films and this is something that is getting difficult to find nowadays.

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