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Now that the summer has officially ended, movie fans are already amalgamating their best-of lists. And while the likes of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Inside Out, and The End Of The Tour each enthralled and wowed for a variety of reasons, nothing quite made the critical impact of Mad Max: Fury Road.
Already hailed as one of the greatest action films ever made, Mad Max: Fury Road is now available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray, which means you can now be blown away by George Miller’s bodacious spectacle in the comfort of your own home. To celebrate this release, and for those of you who haven’t already been convinced that Mad Max: Fury Road will make a worthy addition to your shelf, here are five reasons why you should purchase it immediately, and why it was the best movie of summer 2015.
It Took Massive Risks, And Still SucceededGeorge Miller was given $150 million to create Mad Max: Fury Road, and it still boggles the mind that Warner Bros. actually entrusted him with so much money to create his sensational garish blockbuster that is completely unlike its peers. The previous Mad Max installment was released all the way back in 1985, while Miller’s recent successes had only come in the animation genre. Plus it was R-rated, was shot in the Namibia desert, and took over two and half years to edit together.
All of this possibly should have given the folks at Warner Bros. pause about funding the film, but they continued to throw money behind it, and Miller’s full vision is up on the screen. Given how many reports we hear about studio meddling, kudos must be given for allowing the writer/director space to create Mad Max: Fury Road, and one could argue that it bodes very well for their work on the DC catalog.
It’s A Sequel That Actually Builds Upon Its PredecessorsBack in 1981, George Miller’s Mad Max: The Road Warrior did a spectacular job building upon the world created in its lower budget 1979 predecessor, Mad Max. The same could even be said for 1985’s Beyond Thunderdome, which, despite its many, many foibles, had moments of rich storytelling and legitimately showed a different side of post-apocalyptic society. It’s truly in the tradition of this series for each sequel to add something more to the legend of the titular character, and the most recent chapter is no exception.
Taking what was seen before to extreme new levels, Mad Max: Fury Road built upon George Miller’s efforts in a more visceral and pulsating fashion, while it both semi-rebooted the character and alluded to Mad Max’s mythos. It also did all of this while taking advantage of technological advancements in cinema, which made it look slick, poetic, and luscious.
It’s Gloriously Over-The-TopMost modern mainstream directors try to make their characters and heroes as realistic and human as possible, but with Mad Max: Fury Road George Miller threw this approach out of the window and let it get trampled by Immortan Joe’s war party. Not only are the film’s characters wonderfully over the top and exaggerated, but their actions, interactions, and fashion are all delightfully distinctive and spectacular too. It all matches with the unbelievable and brilliant aesthetic that the filmmaker created more than 30 years ago, an it all pops thanks to truly amazing cinematography and terrifically bright and unique palette.
In what other film/world are you going to see a cavalcade of oddly shaped weirdoes wasting water in their barren world while guzzling up fuel despite there being a shortage? And, of course, all of this is soundtracked by a deranged guitarist with fire sprouting out of his instrument!
Simple Plot + Rounded Characters = Cinematic TriumphThough its visuals and deranged characters may be wild and complex, Mad Max: Fury Road is still a wonderfully simple bit of storytelling. The plot is only instigated after Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa decides to turn left, and then it’s just a two-hour live action version of Catch The Pigeon.
In that ride, though, we’re brought up to speed with Imperator, Max, Nux, Immortan Joe and the five wives’ ambitions and desires – all helping movie-goers engage with the film on a deeper level and appreciate what’s going on. Each performer keeps their character both mysterious and relatable, and the increasingly bodacious action scenes are heightened because our uncomplicated rapport with them. It’s very simple storytelling that it outfitted with outlandish design, and the end result is beautiful and, in a word, mad.
It Proves There Is Still Room For Originality In The BlockbusterAdmit it: you’ve been growing weary of the superhero machine for quite some time now. Don’t be ashamed, we all have been. That doesn’t mean that the genre still can’t prosper, but it also means that films like Mad Max: Fury Road are all the more refreshing.
Mad Max: Fury Road not only proves/reminds us that summer, action spectacle can be created in a fresh, exhilarating, and relentless fashion, but that it can still be terrifically original too (despite the fact that it is itself part of a larger franchise). The film unquestionably looks like nothing that we’ve ever seen on the big screen before, and that element trickles down to the characterization and story and makes us really feel like we’re watching something special. It’s not exactly common for Hollywood to deliver movies that can be accurately described as just a two-hour chase scene – but that’s exactly what George Miller’s film delivers, and we’re incredibly thankful for it.