Monday, August 24, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road - A Short Retrospective on the Then and Now

I saw Mad Max: Fury Road in the theater and left feeling...conflicted. Terribly conflicted. Now, I'm a huge Mad Max fan. For many years, The Road Warrior even topped Star Wars as my all-time favorite film. At age 17 it introduced me to the post-apocalyptic world, and I never left. I even have a soft spot in my heart for Waterworld and Damnation Alley (yes, I know – no lectures, please). It took me a week to get my head around Fury Road. Something was wrong with it - something at its core. Was it that Max spent a good portion of the film in shackled subservience? Was it that when he finally got free, he wasn’t at the helm of his own destiny? Was it that Furiosa had more inner strength, motivation, dialogue and screen presence than Max did? Was it that the only input and direction Max ultimately provided was; ‘Hey, we should go back the way we came.’? Was it that his eyes seemed to exude fear and the edge of insanity through most of the picture? Unfortunately, it was all this, and more. The problem was that at its core, it wasn’t a Mad Max film. The star was Charlize Theron. Don’t get me wrong – she was a great, strong female lead and I enjoyed every scene she was in. But this movie was ‘Mad Furiosa Road’. So going forward, how about giving Charlize her own movie? I’m sure I’d see it. But please give us back the Max we fell in love with 34 years ago.

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