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.

John Wick (2014)

So here’s a surprise.  John Wick is a fantastic movie.

It’s a clear sighted genre movie that hits all the beats it needs to hit whilst offering up enough discord, oddness and sad Keanu to lift it up to something quite special.  At times almost Point Blank (1967) special.  It’s one of those movies where scenes and moments jump into your head days after watching it when you are least expecting it.

What I like most is the simplicity.  The plotting is A – B – C with nothing needless and the action is clear.   Post-Bourne, the simple notion that the viewer should be able to see what is happening, place people in the space of a scene and follow movement is a revelation.

Highly Recommended.