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After decades of waiting for a follow up to the Mad Max saga, the patience of the fandom has been rewarded with Mad Max: Fury Road. While we won’t take up any time here telling you how awesome this film is (or isn’t,) you can read what we thought of the film in our review. However, we’ll gladly tell you whether you should be spending some hard earned money purchasing a 3D ticket - or if you should be buying a bottle of precious, life-giving water, instead. Buckle up folks. It’s time To 3D or Not To 3D.
If you can think of a reason a Mad Max movie doesn’t belong in 3D, then more power to you. However, from the moment the first 2D trailers for Mad Max: Fury Road popped up on the internet, it was clearly a film that was born for the medium. A chaotic wasteland of rusted vehicles, desperate people, and explosions galore belongs in a 3D theater.
At one point in the development of Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller planned to film the entire picture in native 3D. Those plans fell by the wayside, but you can tell that Miller has always intended this madness to be in the third dimension, and he has no problem using that aspect of the film as a symbolic and artistic tool. They didn’t just convert Mad Max: Fury Road into 3D, they actually had fun with it!
As far as before the window thrills go, there is a lot that gets believably thrown at you in this film. People, vehicles, debris, even a climactic shot of a steering wheel, which take us into the ornamental metal skull mounted on it - all of it pops, and it pops spectacularly. The unofficial test of "Did the 3D make me flinch?" passed with flying colors, as there are a couple of truly surprising moments of excitement in the movie.
Mad Max: Fury Road deliniates very clearly between the three main fields of 3D vision: characters, objects, and backgrounds. The depth of picture throughout the film is uncanny, especially considering how crowded any random frame of this movie can get. The best indication of the film’s prowess beyond the window is during the many sequences where one vehicle is trying to ram or cross another’s path. It's spectacular.
When it comes to the 3D conversion process, the only factor that I can fault Mad Max: Fury Road on is the brightness. Now, this is a problem for most films projected in 3D (and it might have something to do with the theater in which I screened this), but this issue particularly hampers this film in particular. The reasoning behind this critique is that there’s an extended night sequence that relies on a dark and murky blue-and-black color palette. This sequence is a little harder to see than the rest of the film, and the colors pop much more effectively once you take your glasses off.
There is one other film this year that matches the level of blur Mad Max: Fury Road has in its canon, and it’s fellow Warner Bros. release Jupiter Ascending. Raise your glasses at any point during the movie, and you’ll see that it’s extremely blurry in the background, indicating a lot of detail in depth being synthesized. Over all, the blur without the glasses helps the blur of action with the glasses on stand out all the better.
It would be easy for a film like Mad Max: Fury Road to be a dizzying ordeal that could make you queasy, but the film’s visuals are solid as a rock. While the action is frenetic, it isn’t paced so recklessly that it hurts the eyes. In fact, the motion of the 3D on this puppy doesn’t feel weird at all. You can watch without fear of generating your own projectile spectacle on the theater floor.
Planning & Effort Score
Before the Window Score
Beyond the Window Score
Glasses Off Score
Audience Health Score
3D SCORES RECAP
P & E
Before The Window
Beyond The Window
Glasses Off Test
Final Verdict: Mad Max: Fury Road is another stellar Warner Bros 3D conversion, following in the footsteps of Jupiter Ascending and Godzilla as a film that truly takes advantage of the medium in ways that thrill and excite. Besides some lighting issues with parts of the film, it’s a spotless conversion that epitomizes what studios could -- and should -- be doing with their 3D money. It also shows how, after all of this time, George Miller understands 3D like he does post-apocalyptic storytelling.
How Will You See Mad Max: Fury Road
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