Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Beaming like a child.

Like John Wick (2014), Mad Max: Fury Road works because it moves.  Director George Miller understands that and keeps the metal barrelling onwards without sacrificing detail or character.  In short it’s a joy to watch and possibly the best thing you’ll see on the big screen this year.

But the real surprise is not the physicality, the sheer artistry of the CGI or the way in which Miller uses action to drive the plot, but the confidence that pours out of the screen.  A confidence that gives us a beloved title character, muzzles him for a good portion of the movie, sidelines him so much that it feels like the film could be named after someone else and yet still remains undoubtedly recognisable and utterly satisfying.  It’s partly thanks to Tom Hardy’s lack of vanity in taking on the iconic role as written (contrast this with Christian Bale’s need to play John Connor and the dismal results), it has a lot to do with Charlize Theron giving us an instant sci-fi classic in Imperator Furiosa but, at the end of the day, it’s all about a director with complete control of the world he created.

Highly Recommended.

Film: Mad Max (1979) / Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max / Mad Max 2 @

So obviously it’s the roads.  The hot, flat, never-ending roads, the cars and the bikes and the carnage.  This is why you keep going back to the first two Mad Max movies and their low-down, widescreen, undercranked mayhem.

Away from the tarmac, what you remember as soon as you start watching is just how off-kilter these films are.  There’s an underlying crazy to proceedings that seeps out of every frame and performance and in the middle of it all is Mel Gibson looking like a man who is trying to hold it all together, as if he can’t quite comprehend what director George Miller is up to or where Hugh Keays-Byrne’s performance as the Toecutter will go next.  Perhaps he’s just puzzled about what happened between movies to move the setting so quickly from ‘world winding down’ to ‘s&m petrol wars’.

Highly Recommended.

..although I now feel compelled to revisit Bartertown, which, well, you know.