Since the genre of remaking older, or even current, great Hollywood movies does not appear to be dying the least it can do is get it right. It did not seem possible, but director George Miller’s remake of his own post-apocalyptic film “Mad Max” is actually better than the original. Visually, the movie is a piece of brilliant modern art.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is the first big summer movie released for 2015, and it delivers the ultimate guy’s movie experience: Noise, explosions, senseless violence, guns, drummers on the back of a car, a guy blaring an electric guitar on the front of the same car, smokin’ hot girls, minimal dialogue, cars straight a muscle car show, and a story line a chimp could follow.
It is the ultimate date movie.
In an obvious attempt to get my name on a ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ commercial with one of those glowing reviews, here goes ... “The Big Mac Blog says ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is an instant classic! Ten stars!”
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The story: Max (Tomas Hardy) is an ex-cop (I think) who has been imprisoned in this hellish environment where natural resources such as water, oil, and bullets are scarce. The leader is the weirdo old dude who wears a skull mask, treats his people like prisoner peasants, and turns hot women into baby makers. Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is an enlisted soldier turned rebel, who goes rogue and tries to free five hot girls.
When the evil leader sees that Furiosa has broken free in one of his trucks, all hell breaks loose and the movie morphs into a dramatic series of chase scenes played out on the Australian desert. Max breaks free of his shackles, and teams up with Theron to escape, and then dethrone the weirdo leader.
Fight scenes: This is what you paid for, and Miller delivers multiple car chase scenes that seemingly top the next. Once they start, they don’t stop. The action sequences are so well choreographed, filmed and exciting that this is where the remake separates itself from the original. Miller uses the stark, limitless backdrop of the desert as a canvas that allows the action scenes to pop on screen.
Some of the scenes are brutal, but that is the idea - in this world, everyone is numb to violence, and ugly.
Eye candy: Charlize Theron once again goes out of her way to show that a South African professional model is just as ugly as the rest of us. She has a crew cut, and is still beautiful. It is convenient the cast of women that Theron is saving all appear to be super models, too. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is part of her crew, as are Riley Keough, Abbey Lee and Courtney Eaton. Look ‘em up.
Hardy is just about as good looking as the original Max - Mel Gibson - and equally quiet, and necessarily menacing.
Hidden Message: In an effort to keep all girls as sex symbols, Hollywood normally drops the ball when turning women into action stars. Even if the woman can shoot lasers from her eyes, and turn her opponents into dog mush with her thoughts, the primary function of a Hollywood female are boobs and butts, no matter the genre of the film.
In “Mad Max: Fury Road”, Theron is Hollywood’s best tough-girl since Sigourney Weaver’s run as Ripley in the Aliens movies. Theron actually adopts Ripley’s haircut from the third movie in that series. Theron’s character is missing part of her arm, and is as tough as Max Rockatansky. Theron is completely convincing as a rebel soldier.
Holes: Start with a post-apocalyptic world that still offers cool cars and the refined oil necessary to get them running. And no mechanic in sight.
Should you see it: Today.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760