Thursday, May 28, 2015
And what epic visuals they are. Everything here is bigger and nastier and more chromed-up and over-the-top than ever before. The dune-buggies of yesteryear are gone, replaced with monster-trucks, tank-treaded muscle cars, and sedans bristling with insanely huge rusty spikes. Forget all that nonsense about gas being rare after the apocalypse; in Fury Road, every vehicle is covered in so much armor plate, spikey-bits, and iconography that none of them can be doing better than five miles to the gallon.
The people of Fury Road, however, come off like the descendants of the airplane kids. They inhabit bizarre cultures built around survival and apocalypse-shaped religion. Life is cheap, except when it’s pure, untouched by the ravages of the apocalypse, at which point it becomes more precious than gold and gasoline and bullets. The pre-apocalypse world isn’t a memory but a myth, and its death is a point of theological contention.
Charlize Theron is great in this movie, and her Furiosa character does have a more interesting arc than Max does, but that's not saying much. To praise anyone for their acting in this flick seems a bit much. It's all perfect for what it is, but make no mistake: this is a car-chase movie punctuated by bits of dialogue. It's an awesome car-chase movie, but it's no Casablanca, or Princess Bride, or hell, Star Wars.
And sure Furiosa's an awesome kick-ass character, and the way she and Max come to understand one another very much echoes a similar relationship in the last Riddick movie. The atonement thing is cool, and it's a thread they share. But this movie also comes with a literal truckload of defenseless damsels in distress. The Vulvalini are bad-asses... so long as they avoid fist-fights. When it comes to mano-a-mano action, the guys with their massive chests and thick fists dominate the action with all the thuggish brutality of jungle beasts. The Vulvalini are outlaw banditas and ace shots with a gun, but they're also victims to be literally crushed under the wheels of a big-bad's monster truck. If there's a political message in this film, honestly, it's the same message you get from an NRA poster of a smiling 12-year-old girl holding a bright pink AR-15 and captioned "God Made All Men, But Smith & Wesson Made Us Equal."
retro-stupid refuel. This insane film is chock-full of adventure seeds and crazy ideas to inspire the DM in you, from bullet farms to chrome-worshipping neo-viking suicide bombers, to stone-column citadels carved with crazy skull symbols and topped with garden paradises and pleasure domes. The murder-hobos in your life will thank you.