- Mad Max: Fury Road
The sweetening roar of a bloodthirsty engine, the howling cries of vicious bandits and raiders alike, and the never ending sandy seas have never been made so beautiful and fearful than that in George Miller's classic film, "Mad Max". If, for some reason, you never have heard of this film (or the subsequent sequels that have fired), I highly implore you to go rent or buy a copy of the film at your earliest convenience. If you're into cars, post-apocalyptic shenanigans, or a touching revenge story, then "Mad Max" should be able to fulfill your desires in one way or another.
However, I am not here to really dive into and discuss past entries in this cult film series, rather, I would wish to address the latest entry in the film series, "Mad Max: Fury Road". Though it has so far met with more than optimistic enthusiasm and praise, this fourth installment in the film series was caught in development hell since the idea came to Miller's mind in 1998.
Originally set to shoot in 2001, it was postponed due to the September 11th attacks followed by other events, such as Miller moving on to work on "Happy Feet", Gibson being recasted in the title role, and further hiatuses due to sensitive politics. You could say that after such a wait, fans of the series soon thought that the film would have all been but forgotten after such a long time.
However, those negative thoughts disappeared after Miller finally announced in October of 2009 that principal photography would begin in early 2011. Four years later, fans and critics alike would be able to feast their eyes on the treat that is "Mad Max: Fury Road". And this has got to be one of the most important action films of the past twenty years.
Fury Road is equally as lavish and stylized as it is thematically encompassing and impacting, delivering a dialogue-quiet, but engine roaring feast of beautiful violence. Fury Road starts the film off as Max (Tom Hardy) is captured after an encounter with the War Boys, the personal army of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). After escaping from their grasp and forming an alliance with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the two along with the despot's five wives lead a chase sequence from the tyrant in a War Rig. And, thus, Fury Road takes advantage of Mad Max's always riveting and strongest suit: cars and armored vehicles built for death and destruction.
It's arguable that fans of Mad Max go to see or watch older films in the series just for the cars in them. With Max's V8 Interceptor leading the show for the trio of original films, it's nice to see many, many new custom built rigs amidst all the chaos. The vehicles within Mad Max have not only acted as their own character throughout the films, but have also added character to the personalities present in the flicks. And, whether it's the huge War Rig that looks like it could easily plow through a brick wall, Immortan Joe's custom built Gigahorse (with two 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Villes sitting on top one another), or even the morale booster of Immortan Joe's war band, the Doof Wagon, each vehicle goes to show just what one man can do with so much power.
However, without people to operate and drive those vehicles, there would be no real definition to the film. And this is where things do get interesting, as well. Tom Hardy takes the helm as the one of the wasteland's most hardened survivors, Max Rockatansky. I will not deny that this wasn't a wonderful casting decision, as Tom Hardy does have the chops and the muscle to take this role, but I do have complaints about the way Max was shown off.
Hardy does a competent and swell job as Max, but to say that the few words he uttered throughout the film were enough would be a lie. I understand that Miller wanted his film to be understood throughout the world without the need for subtitles, and I also know that Max has always been a man of few words, but to bring back such an icon and have him speak so little wasn't the best route to go for. Not only that, but Tom Hardy did seem to bring inspiration from his time spent playing Charles Salvador (AKA Charles Bronson) in the film "Bronson". The reason I say this is that a lot of his grumbles and moans seemed to mimic that same exact character from a different film. It wasn't terrible or cringe worthy, I just would have rather seen Max portrayed in a different, more unique manner.
However, I do suppose that it's a good thing that Fury Road really didn't see Max as the main character. I fully say this as the story didn't really revolve around Max's story so much as it did on Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa. To say that her role was the most important one in the film would be absolutely, one hundred percent true. After all, she is the character that got the bulk of the story moving and was the one who set in motion events that would lead to Immortan Joe's absolute wrath.
Theron's gazing eyes and the looks of confidence within them, as well as her focus on hope in the dried up wasteland was inspiring. Seeking release from the deadly hand of Immortan Joe, she was seeking to lead the Five Wives to safety. And thus enters a defining theme of feminism.
Many organizations have spat upon Fury Road, citing is as being misogynistic. However, that is not the case in any form. A band of women are escaping the grasp of a dominating male figure, viciously fighting him off in every way they can for a chance at freedom. None of these women are brought off as weak, but each one fights for their survival. There are even some very feisty, very proud elderly women who come in later on in the film and kick more ass than even Max or Furiosa did. So, for whoever is attempting to state that Fury Road leads into misogynistic territory are dead wrong.
And, continuing on that thought train, a huge focus on survival in the film was also brought to life through Nicholas Hoult, who played as one of the War Boys named Nux. A sickly character (most like due to radiation poisoning), Nux not only shows off traits of the War Boys and allows the audience to understand what fuels their chaotic, Viking like attributes, but also goes through the biggest story arc within Fury Road. Not only that, but he's also one of the characters within the story that can easily be identified with; his pure lust to impress another is something that most, if not all, of us have gone through at one point or another, so seeing him fail and succeed can be just as painful or pleasurable for us as it is for him.
Alas, this leads us into the major bad guy of the film, the big boss of the War Boys himself, Immortan Joe. This character is definitely a fan service, as he is played by Hugh Keays-Byrne. This man's name should ring a bell in the heads of franchise followers as he played the villain in the original Mad Max, the Toecutter. As big and nasty as Immortan Joe seems, it's not the lone villain that makes him so terrifying. It's the way he leads and the loyalist following around him that makes him a force to be reckoned with.
When he first appears onscreen, we see him get ready to move. After being donned a respirator to breathe was well as clear white armor, Immortan Joe is finally ready to get up and speak to his people. Such needs to survive is pathetic, but his order is law to the War Boys. That can most certainly be spoken of Immortan Joe's youngest son, and prince of the wasteland, Rictus Erectus. Anything that his father needs, he makes it his command. And, for much of the film, Immortan Joe wants Max and friends dead, so he makes it his goal to make them dead. Allocate that with Immortan Joe's allies of the mayor of Gas Town (known as The People Eater) and The Bullet Farmer, and you have one powerful villain.
However, as powerful as he is, I would say that Immortan Joe wasn't as strong a villain in terms of storytelling as in previous Mad Max films. He was awesome, don't get me wrong, but he also feels like a sort of re-run from Mad Max 2's Lord Humungus. Still, I give props to the team for making Immortan Joe look and feel much more powerful and hungry than any other villain the series has seen so far.
And then there's the visuals of the film. By God, I will standby and say that I have never seen a desert made out to be so beautiful on screen as Miller has made it. The gigantic, lightning struck sandstorm that takes over the film at one point was absolutely jaw dropping and I could not peel my eyes off the screen while that scene was taking place. But, just as it was beautiful, there were a few moments when the CGI looked completely fake. Perhaps that's because I saw the 2D showing rather than the 3D showing, but some scenes just looked God awful fake.
However, the stunts also captured me like no other movie has before. Miller has stated that ninety percent of the stunts performed were practical, and that's easy to see considering that over 150 stunt performers were involved (Cirque du Soleil and Olympic athletes were among them). And, some of these stunts, again, were absolutely stunning.
And, I would definitely like to give a huge shout out to Junkie XL who composed the score for Fury Road. This guy was conscripted to the job after Miller heard his score for "300: Rise of an Empire", and I don't think there's another composer who could have done a better job. The riveting and thundering roll of drums seamlessly combining with the awesome guitar work coming from the flamethrowing, electric guitar wielding Doof warrior was absolutely inspiring, and has set a huge standard for musical compositions to come.
I went into Fury Road with a bit of trepidation on my tongue. With Gibson gone and such a long break in between films, I was wondering just what Miller could do that would be new to the series. However, upon sitting in a seat at the theater, all my fears went away as fast as cars were blown off and minions were picked off. Miller did not hold back in creating his vision for Fury Road, and I would have it no other way. "Mad Max: Fury Road" has climbed into my heart as not only my favorite Mad Max movie that has been released thus far, but also as one of my top films of the year, and rightly so. 
9/10
5
Brutal Resonance

- Mad Max: Fury Road

9.0
"Amazing"
Released 2015 by
The sweetening roar of a bloodthirsty engine, the howling cries of vicious bandits and raiders alike, and the never ending sandy seas have never been made so beautiful and fearful than that in George Miller's classic film, "Mad Max". If, for some reason, you never have heard of this film (or the subsequent sequels that have fired), I highly implore you to go rent or buy a copy of the film at your earliest convenience. If you're into cars, post-apocalyptic shenanigans, or a touching revenge story, then "Mad Max" should be able to fulfill your desires in one way or another.
However, I am not here to really dive into and discuss past entries in this cult film series, rather, I would wish to address the latest entry in the film series, "Mad Max: Fury Road". Though it has so far met with more than optimistic enthusiasm and praise, this fourth installment in the film series was caught in development hell since the idea came to Miller's mind in 1998.
Originally set to shoot in 2001, it was postponed due to the September 11th attacks followed by other events, such as Miller moving on to work on "Happy Feet", Gibson being recasted in the title role, and further hiatuses due to sensitive politics. You could say that after such a wait, fans of the series soon thought that the film would have all been but forgotten after such a long time.
However, those negative thoughts disappeared after Miller finally announced in October of 2009 that principal photography would begin in early 2011. Four years later, fans and critics alike would be able to feast their eyes on the treat that is "Mad Max: Fury Road". And this has got to be one of the most important action films of the past twenty years.
Fury Road is equally as lavish and stylized as it is thematically encompassing and impacting, delivering a dialogue-quiet, but engine roaring feast of beautiful violence. Fury Road starts the film off as Max (Tom Hardy) is captured after an encounter with the War Boys, the personal army of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). After escaping from their grasp and forming an alliance with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the two along with the despot's five wives lead a chase sequence from the tyrant in a War Rig. And, thus, Fury Road takes advantage of Mad Max's always riveting and strongest suit: cars and armored vehicles built for death and destruction.
It's arguable that fans of Mad Max go to see or watch older films in the series just for the cars in them. With Max's V8 Interceptor leading the show for the trio of original films, it's nice to see many, many new custom built rigs amidst all the chaos. The vehicles within Mad Max have not only acted as their own character throughout the films, but have also added character to the personalities present in the flicks. And, whether it's the huge War Rig that looks like it could easily plow through a brick wall, Immortan Joe's custom built Gigahorse (with two 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Villes sitting on top one another), or even the morale booster of Immortan Joe's war band, the Doof Wagon, each vehicle goes to show just what one man can do with so much power.
However, without people to operate and drive those vehicles, there would be no real definition to the film. And this is where things do get interesting, as well. Tom Hardy takes the helm as the one of the wasteland's most hardened survivors, Max Rockatansky. I will not deny that this wasn't a wonderful casting decision, as Tom Hardy does have the chops and the muscle to take this role, but I do have complaints about the way Max was shown off.
Hardy does a competent and swell job as Max, but to say that the few words he uttered throughout the film were enough would be a lie. I understand that Miller wanted his film to be understood throughout the world without the need for subtitles, and I also know that Max has always been a man of few words, but to bring back such an icon and have him speak so little wasn't the best route to go for. Not only that, but Tom Hardy did seem to bring inspiration from his time spent playing Charles Salvador (AKA Charles Bronson) in the film "Bronson". The reason I say this is that a lot of his grumbles and moans seemed to mimic that same exact character from a different film. It wasn't terrible or cringe worthy, I just would have rather seen Max portrayed in a different, more unique manner.
However, I do suppose that it's a good thing that Fury Road really didn't see Max as the main character. I fully say this as the story didn't really revolve around Max's story so much as it did on Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa. To say that her role was the most important one in the film would be absolutely, one hundred percent true. After all, she is the character that got the bulk of the story moving and was the one who set in motion events that would lead to Immortan Joe's absolute wrath.
Theron's gazing eyes and the looks of confidence within them, as well as her focus on hope in the dried up wasteland was inspiring. Seeking release from the deadly hand of Immortan Joe, she was seeking to lead the Five Wives to safety. And thus enters a defining theme of feminism.
Many organizations have spat upon Fury Road, citing is as being misogynistic. However, that is not the case in any form. A band of women are escaping the grasp of a dominating male figure, viciously fighting him off in every way they can for a chance at freedom. None of these women are brought off as weak, but each one fights for their survival. There are even some very feisty, very proud elderly women who come in later on in the film and kick more ass than even Max or Furiosa did. So, for whoever is attempting to state that Fury Road leads into misogynistic territory are dead wrong.
And, continuing on that thought train, a huge focus on survival in the film was also brought to life through Nicholas Hoult, who played as one of the War Boys named Nux. A sickly character (most like due to radiation poisoning), Nux not only shows off traits of the War Boys and allows the audience to understand what fuels their chaotic, Viking like attributes, but also goes through the biggest story arc within Fury Road. Not only that, but he's also one of the characters within the story that can easily be identified with; his pure lust to impress another is something that most, if not all, of us have gone through at one point or another, so seeing him fail and succeed can be just as painful or pleasurable for us as it is for him.
Alas, this leads us into the major bad guy of the film, the big boss of the War Boys himself, Immortan Joe. This character is definitely a fan service, as he is played by Hugh Keays-Byrne. This man's name should ring a bell in the heads of franchise followers as he played the villain in the original Mad Max, the Toecutter. As big and nasty as Immortan Joe seems, it's not the lone villain that makes him so terrifying. It's the way he leads and the loyalist following around him that makes him a force to be reckoned with.
When he first appears onscreen, we see him get ready to move. After being donned a respirator to breathe was well as clear white armor, Immortan Joe is finally ready to get up and speak to his people. Such needs to survive is pathetic, but his order is law to the War Boys. That can most certainly be spoken of Immortan Joe's youngest son, and prince of the wasteland, Rictus Erectus. Anything that his father needs, he makes it his command. And, for much of the film, Immortan Joe wants Max and friends dead, so he makes it his goal to make them dead. Allocate that with Immortan Joe's allies of the mayor of Gas Town (known as The People Eater) and The Bullet Farmer, and you have one powerful villain.
However, as powerful as he is, I would say that Immortan Joe wasn't as strong a villain in terms of storytelling as in previous Mad Max films. He was awesome, don't get me wrong, but he also feels like a sort of re-run from Mad Max 2's Lord Humungus. Still, I give props to the team for making Immortan Joe look and feel much more powerful and hungry than any other villain the series has seen so far.
And then there's the visuals of the film. By God, I will standby and say that I have never seen a desert made out to be so beautiful on screen as Miller has made it. The gigantic, lightning struck sandstorm that takes over the film at one point was absolutely jaw dropping and I could not peel my eyes off the screen while that scene was taking place. But, just as it was beautiful, there were a few moments when the CGI looked completely fake. Perhaps that's because I saw the 2D showing rather than the 3D showing, but some scenes just looked God awful fake.
However, the stunts also captured me like no other movie has before. Miller has stated that ninety percent of the stunts performed were practical, and that's easy to see considering that over 150 stunt performers were involved (Cirque du Soleil and Olympic athletes were among them). And, some of these stunts, again, were absolutely stunning.
And, I would definitely like to give a huge shout out to Junkie XL who composed the score for Fury Road. This guy was conscripted to the job after Miller heard his score for "300: Rise of an Empire", and I don't think there's another composer who could have done a better job. The riveting and thundering roll of drums seamlessly combining with the awesome guitar work coming from the flamethrowing, electric guitar wielding Doof warrior was absolutely inspiring, and has set a huge standard for musical compositions to come.
I went into Fury Road with a bit of trepidation on my tongue. With Gibson gone and such a long break in between films, I was wondering just what Miller could do that would be new to the series. However, upon sitting in a seat at the theater, all my fears went away as fast as cars were blown off and minions were picked off. Miller did not hold back in creating his vision for Fury Road, and I would have it no other way. "Mad Max: Fury Road" has climbed into my heart as not only my favorite Mad Max movie that has been released thus far, but also as one of my top films of the year, and rightly so. 
9/10
May 26 2015

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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