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Mad Max: Just Good

Mad Max Fury Road is getting rave reviews. So expecting the ultimate action movie I was “just” treated to a good action movie.

70% of the 2015 Mad Max remake feels like the constant chase that the trailer promises. At most 30% of the movie is slower paced. It’s a visual feast, the stunts (apparently overwhelmingly practical instead of CGI) are great.

The fact that the stunts are just augmented by CGI instead of completely replaced by CGI grounds the movie in reality. Cars and trucks feel like they’re actually weighing what they are weighing and the camera – while moving around constantly and extensively – feels like it’s physically there. Cracked recently had an article about CGI in movies that touches on that by the way.

Moreover the movie is a visual feast and I was constantly amazed by the whacky ideas they had for a post-apocalyptic world that craves for gasoline and water. Yet, in my opinion it lacked certain elements you might expect from this year’s highest-rated action blockbuster. I didn’t feel at the edge of my seat a lot. And there was never a moment where the whole theater erupted into laughter because of a joke or because an evildoer met his demise in a hilarious kind of way.

That shouldn’t stop you from watching the movie though. The film is a special action movie. Its characters are far from cardboard cutouts. And the world-building that Miller has done makes you want to see more of the Mad Max universe. Theron’s character, for example, is called an “Imperator” without explaining what that entails. There’s a well-developed cult of personality about evil warlord “Immortan Joe” with gestures and religious exclamations that simply feel “given” and which make the society of Mad Max incredibly believable (unlike post apocalyptic duds like Elysium).

8/10 (the “great movie – an easy recommendation” level)