Re-watching Fury Road after so long it’s apparent to me that this is one of the best movies of the entire year.
Every moment feels perfectly formed. Every shot is a painting, and every color on screen feels meticulously chosen. The entire time you feel a directors’ vision. He’s telling a story about the apocalypse but he’s also telling the story of today. He’s telling a story about the arrogance of modern culture. He’s telling a story about how war and selfishness lead to your own undoing.
That’s all dressing, the sauce that flavors the meat of this movie.
The plot is simple. Something detractors have pointed out as a flaw. The thing is – that’s not a flaw. Gravity which came out and took over the October box office its year was a ridiculously simple film. The space station gets hit – Sandra Bullock has to get home. Other things happen along the way but aside from (SPOILER!!!!!!) ……. George Clooney dying nothing else completely altered the plot. Gravity depended on Bullock performance and the immersive nature of the film. It’s still one of the most disorienting and distinctive experiences I’ve ever had.
Fury Road takes that beat completely. The design and unique feeling of George Millers wasteland and the interplay between Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron carry the movie. If you don’t like it, it’s because one of those performances isn’t working for you.
Also you’re a monster person.
Not to say that the other performances are bad. Every actor in this movie is doing something amazing. From Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe – a character you would think muzzled into being MEDIOCRE by the breathing mask stuck on his face. Byrne – the Shakespearean actor that he is – manages to portray so much much with just his eyes. Every scene the emotion of that character leaches into other actor’s performances. Their work is elevated and multiplied by his character. Something I’ve only seen done, before by his costar Tom Hardy. Speaking of, Tom Hardy is not only predominately silently in this movie but at points he’s forced to have a Bane like mask, again. Of course Hardy – who think is going be seen as the one of the best actors ever – does so much with so little. The caveman like grunting some have made fun of tells you everything you need to know about Max; he’s been in the wasteland alone and cutoff so long he’s forgotten basic language.
Abbey Lee Kershaw as Dag plays the best of Immortans runaway brides. Every moment she’s on screen is strange and even absurd. The lines “He’s a crazy smeg who eats schlanger!” and “Angharad, is that just the wind or is it some furious vexation?” will forever be burned in my memory. I do not know what either line means but they both capture my imagination in the best way possible. They all have moments that add to the crazy tapestry of this movie. Nicolas Hoult as Nux will hopefully be forever associated with the line “Oh, what a day… what a lovely day!” but the war boys will probably always be known for introducing into our pop culture language
If you don’t think Fury Road will have a lasting effect on culture you are wrong because I can easily see “You will ride eternal, shiny and chrome.” being just as iconic and as butchered as “No, I am your father”.
I’m not even done.
The fight scene between Hardy and Theron or Max and Furiosa, might be one the most well choreographed and exciting fight scenes in movie history. Every turn, every time the balance shifts you wince and feel the gravity in every moment. These are two killers, two wolves hungry and desperate trying to kill each other and for no moment to you believe that they would not do it.
This is what makes the fact that these two killers eventually come to respect each other and work together all the more exciting. By the time they are shooting in synchronicity and simply looking at each other to communicate the movie is moving full speed ahead with a momentum that cannot be described with words.
I could talk about how Riley Keough as a redhead is my dream woman for a whole paragraph but all redheads are my dream women.
Now I think I might be done, the problem is that there so much to write about that every month for the next year I could write a new piece about how great Fury Road is and cover new ground each time. I think I will because there’s no way to say in one review, how great Fury Road is.