Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is simply phenomenal. Never let it be said that I have a hate on for the grim and gritty because this movie was chock full of it. But while most gritty films tend to shoot everything in a gray or brown filter, this film has a whole pastiche of warm colors. Your eyes are bombarded with browns, silvers, reds, yellows, occasional blues, and more that lend themselves to the visual wonder that is this film. Even more than the color scheme, the designs are really what sell the visuals, which have a heavy metal aesthetic. This is a world that you can really believe is after the collapse of civilization with machinery cobbled together into ingenious designs and nothing is superfluous or without function.

The main characters themselves are completely believable, if not always making the smartest decisions. Given that they live in a harsh, unforgiving wasteland where only the fittest survive, though, it makes sense that they would make more pragmatic decisions and less compassionate ones. The portrayal of Max in particular is rather intriguing, playing off as a rather disturbed individual complete with visually interesting flashbacks of people that he “let die.” I’ll admit that I haven’t seen the previous Mad Max films so I don’t know how close it is to the original, but it worked for me. Charlize Theron plays a truly awesome character with a cool mechanical arm to boot, though her American accent makes her stand out when surrounded by Brits and Australians. The huge standouts for me were the villains from the minions and vagabonds to the overlords who all have deformities that lend themselves to a distinct and memorable design. They’re like classic James Bond villains on steroids.

And of course, let me address the big selling point of this movie: the women. Despite the fact that the plot revolves around getting a warlord’s concubines to safety, they are far from damsels in distress. Not only do they have their own agency, but they all have enough sense to fight back and come up with clever ideas when it’s smart for them to do so. Admittedly, they aren’t the best actors, but it didn’t bother me next to everything else. While we don’t see any female minions in the enemy convoys, I give that a pass as the warlords are shown to treat their women like dirt, so it makes sense in the context of the film. Plus, there are other capable women gangs in the movie that are no slouches in combat. This, to me, is what true progressivism looks like in an action movie.

Everything about the plot is tightly woven and creates a huge emotional rollercoaster. The first ten to twenty minutes had my blood pumping as hard as the heavy drums in the score — so much so that when the movie finally got to a quiet moment, I realized how out of breath I was and could appreciate the calm before the next storm. I honestly feel like Mad Max: Fury Road could be this generation’s Die Hard. Gone are the boring invincible hero and helpless damsels that plague many of today’s action movies, to be replaced by capable and very mortal protagonists trying to outrun true monsters. Also, I would be remise if I didn’t mention the vehicle with minions banging war drums on its back and a man dressed in a red gimp’s outfit playing an electric guitar that shoots fire. That part alone alone is enough to immortalize this movie in the halls of Valhal-ywood. Also, I have to give this movie a lot of props for working said gimp’s diegetic shredding (meaning the music he played was actually in the movie’s reality) into the score itself. That type of ingenuity sums up the film entirely: a compelling story with a lot of creativity and ambition. Yes, it’s violent. Yes, it’s graphic. But yes, it deserves to be seen.

Posted under Reel Snippets

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