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Mad Max returned in 2015 and got itself an Oscars 2015 Nomination for Best Picture. The film’s sheer presentation for Hollywood’s latest dystopian future definitely deserves its due. But once past the innovative visuals and high octane action, the lack of a story relegates Fury Road to nothing more than a high speed tractor pull to the end of the world
This corner of the outback is ruled by Immortan Joe where he rules from above and below. Set perched above his masses in relative comfort, the source of his power runs deep in the massive drill system that taps the local water table.
Of course, Joe periodically opens the flood gates and gives a taste to his citadel to let them know he cares. But he cautions them not to get addicted to water as they maddeningly flock beneath the temporary cascade as if God himself is leveling forewarning to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Enter Mad Max
Against the back droplets, Max opens the fury by attempting to escape the only game in town. Opting for surviving on his own, the determination of the chase, and the manner in which the action seems set on fast forward, exhibits how far over the edge this world has gone.
Max (Tom Hardy) doesn’t have the prerequisite amount of mad to escape, though. Instead, he is found to be a universal blood donor. This means whenever Joe’s War Boys go into action, they hook him up to Max so the healing properties of his blood can alleviate symptoms of acute radiation syndrome.
Hot Rods Galore
There actually is a scientific basis for the condition, which present neurovascular and cardiovascular symptoms. The treatment: blood transfusions.
No matter, the setup looks really cool as Max is secured to the hood of Nux’s vehicle by an iron goalie mask that funnels the blood back. Once again, the optic shows the depravity that the end of the world has sunk to as the Joe’s call sends the War Boys in hot pursuit.
Harem goes on the Run
The said chase ensues because Joe’s five wives have taken flight, and his progeny encased in one, no resource is spared. Geared up in a make shift respirator, the allusion to Darth Vader doesn’t really offend, and his breathing mask only adds to the window dressing at world’s end.
Hairless, shirtless War Boys, chests clad in the absence of any pigmentation, doesn’t exactly conjure up storm troopers methodically following orders. Instead, fanaticism to their leader flies through the air at points of attack and shifts into overdrive in highly choreograph and hyper-driven fight sequences.
In the offing, Max escapes and joins cause with the women as the “war rig” serves as their vehicle for greener pastures. The chase doesn’t pass the eye test, though.
The Chase is on - not so much
Movie 101 dictates that you either have to possess the Millennium Falcon with the ever present possibility of malfunction, or lumber through with with strong defensive capabilities. Apparently, the urban assault vehicle from Stripes was not available.
So as small speedy vehicles go in pursuit of the 18 wheeler with plenty of firepower, all those onboard can do is go hand to hand or look back and shoot. It didn't seem to occur to anyone to shoot the wheels either. The long view of the assault also looks ridiculous as there are about 50 vehicles in pursuit of the lone, poorly defended rig.
Still, if you suspend the inconsistencies, the individualized confrontations are certainly entertaining and brought to mind Nazis going airborne to derail Indiana Jones in the truck chase scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. The problem is that the rush never seems to end and amounts to almost the entirety of the movie.
In the end, a few strays on the run that subsists, as the plot doesn’t put much mileage on your odometer and fails to do service to the original - regardless of the Oscars 2015 nod.