There’s just something about a post-apocalyptic nightmare landscape featuring a lone warrior with a chip on his shoulder, fast cars, scantily clad females, and leather jackets–torn and frayed or not–that are appealing to me, and apparently lots of other folk. I’ve seen all the Mad Max flicks, with Road Warrior the standout favorite. With Mel Gibson now too old to properly play Max again, I assumed the series had run its course years ago and was surprised, pleasantly I might add, to see previews for a new Mad Max movie. The trailers looked intense, so when the opportunity came available, I drove my own sleek metal machine down the darkened roads to my local cinema.
After the interminable parade of previews which demonstrated that yes, people still make horror and slasher flicks, I was transported to the desert world of some not too distant future and a car chase soon ensued. I was then assaulted by the chaotic visual stimulus that would go on for the next two hours. I don’t need a deep, thought provoking plot to enjoy myself and I certainly don’t expect one from this kind of movie. But I will say that the three previous Max’s had a storyline that more or less worked. I can’t say that about IV.
Here’s my down and dirty summary:
- Visually stunning.
- Lots of cars.
- Chase scenes.
- More chase scenes.
- No one eats, or seems to have access to any food of any kind, yet well muscled physiques abound.
- Max is a man of very few words. Like seriously, very few.
- Charlize Theron steals the show.
- A plot twist that made me look at my watch and think, “oh please, not again.”
- A building sensation that one possibly did not spend two hours in a meaningful way.
- The pointless, meaninglessness of life. Oh wait, that’s just life in general.
I’m left with a sense of loss for what was the Mad Max semi-cult phenomenon. Fury Road could have been something if they’d just had a story to tell to go with the bombastic onslaught of gasoline fueled mayhem. 24 hours later, there are handful of things that still come to mind about it, so there’s that, but dammit it should have been more.
I have since watched the movie again, at home, in the comfort of my bed and was able to actually hear most of the dialogue, which was inscrutable in the theater’s overly loud, and apparently distorted sound system. The plot, which seemed so thin without being able to discern the conversations adequately, took a bit more shape for which I am grateful and relieved. My second viewing was a far different experience from the first, and the moral of the story is a message to all cinemas: Don’t cut costs at the expense of your sound system. You will pay dearly for it.