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"This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
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The Silver Scream
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E.C. McMullen Jr.
Head Production Designer
JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
Special Effects Make-Up
A SIERRA NEVADA
(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).
My name is Max. My world is fire and blood.
THE ROAD WARRIOR began and proceeded with stock footage and opening monologue.
George felt MAD MAX FURY ROAD needed it because this is 30 years after the last movie. The story is only an indeterminate time after BEYOND THUNDERDOME. Max Rockatansky isn't a 30 year older man, but he is a lot harder. He's a Max pursued by demons: memories of those he failed. He lives through debilitating flashes of those under his care who died and how they died.
I am the one who runs from both the living and the dead.
All Max wants to do now is survive, for reasons probably unknown even to him. What he never wants to do is lead. He's a failed leader. But in the Great Australian Outback, those who don't belong to a group are pursued by groups for whatever they can get.
Max is pursued, captured, and turned into the property of one Immortan Joe: A powerful warlord of the wasteland whose very presence harkens back to the beginning of Great Britain colonizing Australia with criminals. Living within a castle of natural rock, he controls the massive machines that hold and release water from the springs below.
Many miles away, Joe has brothers within eyesight. One controls fuel, Gastown, the other, armament, Bullet Farm.
The three brothers keep far from each other, each with their own sundry kingdom, and work together by truce and need.
Between them all, raiders still roam the wastelands.
Today, Joe's Imperator, Furiosa (Charlize Theron: THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE, ÆON FLUX, PROMETHEUS, DARK PLACES), drives out to both Gas town and Bullet Farm, covered by a protective army of Half-Life War boys, young men who won't make it far into adulthood.
The land is poisonous. Throughout this movie, a rhetorical question is often asked, in accusing tones directed toward men, "Who Killed the World?"
The answer, of course, is whoever was in power to wield that ability. That's not the answer the movie implies.
Immortan Joe frugally rewards the people of his kingdom, all in various states of disease and age, with water, though always with a speech of religious fervor.
Covered in painful pustules and forced to wear a breathing apparatus, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne: MAD MAX, THE CHAIN REACTION, LORCA AND THE OUTLAWS, THE BLOOD OF HEROES) keeps reasonably healthy humans as slaves, mere livestock. His genes are damaged. His two sons have their own genetic health issues. Joe depends on his slave brides to deliver children in a miss-or-hit attempt of producing one perfect son to continue his lineage.
On this day, however, Furiosa is an Imperator gone rogue. She is saving the Brides of Joe by taking them far from him.
Once Joe realizes the betrayal he calls all his War Boys to bring his slaves back: he must have an heir!
His War Boys, in various stages of disease, are eager to die for their faith in Immortan Joe, who they believe holds the keys to the afterlife in Valhalla where they will ride forever chrome.
One War Boy named Nux (Nicholas Hoult: CLASH OF THE TITANS , X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, WARM BODIES, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, DARK PLACES), on his last days, doesn't want to die in the dark, but on the fury road in service to Joe. For that he needs a Type O Blood Bag. In this world, that's a healthy human slave. That's Max.
So begins the chase in a series of the hardest of the hardcore science fiction dystopian movies that have defined the car chase action thriller like no one in the history of cinema.
"All this for a family squabble. Healthy babies!"
This being 2015, Over 35 years since the shooting of the original MAD MAX, actor Mel Gibson can no longer play this role. Exit Mel, enter Tom Hardy (STAR TREK NEMESIS, LD 50 LETHAL DOSE, MINOTAUR, THE KILLING GENE, INCEPTION, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES).
By the time of the chase, Tom becomes Max and it's all great from here on in. Back by a score that suits the moment - at times Orchestral at others, Heavy Metal - MAD MAX FURY ROAD in story, sound, action, and visuals, is an eye-popping, heart-stopping thrill ride that deserves it's name.
This is the best! Super hot!
Five Shriek Girls!
This review copyright 2015 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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