FURY ROAD, with guest star NICK CLEMENT!
As CHRIS HEMSWORTH heads towards the sequel / prequel, we look back at the movie that brought MAD MAX: FURY ROAD back!
It is an honor and a privilege to have NICK CLÉMENT back here. As you may remember, Nick was one of the visionary, kind, decent, inspired and inspiring writers who donated articles to this site when I took over publishing a few years ago. It’s nice to see his career continue to grow and now to see him teaching his beloved son the joy of movies from day one. Take it off, Mr. Clément: Tony Scott would be proud!
“Where should we go, we who wander in this desert, in search of ourselves. “
Now playing on HBO MAX POWER! Road of fury is the greatest physical action movie I have ever seen in my 41 years of living on this planet, sitting right next to Raid 2 as a benchmark for the genre of action as a whole.
The two films really have nothing in common thematically or aesthetically, but they both possess a relentless urge to pulverize audiences with visceral intensity.
Road of fury is a complete fusion of a blockbuster, designed to shatter the highest expectations, and that’s because Georges miller is a genius and a madman. Flat. It is quite certifiable. The same goes for his crew, who clearly did not care about their personal well-being. The film, in its entirety, defies any sense of security or logic; I will never understand how no one was killed on this set.
It is the action image as an art film. There’s a lot of intrigue, it’s just refreshing with no spoken exhibition. Dialogue is kept to a minimum, with an emphasis on the stunning visuals used to tell the story. It’s quite a forward swing, stripped of any narrative fat, made without pretension and filled in sudden after another with visual vibrancy so that the whole piece really begins to feel like a long movie. gasme.
It was the kind of big astonishment that deserved to be nominated for Best Picture and earn a billion dollars at the box office, and while none of that self-righteous bullshit means anything in the long run. , it’s downright puzzling why this movie hasn’t been an even bigger hit across the board.
This movie felt like an amalgamation of everything Miller must have fantasized about over the past 30 years; he let everything fly Road of fury, with one completely crazy set after another. I absolutely loved the guitarist and his band – the inclusion of this track takes the whole production up a notch for me.
Tom hardy wears this metal mask for the first 45 minutes and when he pulls back you feel as invigorated as his character. He does so much with his eyes and those fantastic growls that you don’t realize until the end that he probably has 50 words of dialogue spoken throughout the movie. But the film belongs squarely to Charlize theron, and as usual, she’s totally engaged, fearless, never caring about anything, throwing her slender body into the physical harshness of production with utter abandon and joy.
It’s the most disciplined summer movie I can think of, not a hair’s breadth of more than two hours, knowing exactly when to stop it, ending on a satisfying narrative note that doesn’t require a sequel to be fully satisfied. The edit is amazing, never sacrificing spatial geography during any of the extended action sequences, which is remarkable considering how many individual cuts there are in this movie.
And while never being free with violence, Miller maintains the R-rated integrity of the original series and adds some seriously nasty subtext for good measure, while the overall level of energy and impact of the picture is maxed out beyond belief, resulting in a lean, timed blockbuster at a tight two hours rather than the usual inflated two-and-a-half-hour length that has been imposed by so many other less disciplined filmmakers.
It is also, without a doubt, one of the finest (and most overt) anti-religion statements to come out of Hollywood in a long time; Miller clearly shows a disdain for the notion of blind cult, and it’s exhilarating to see all the pieces crumble around Immortan Joe, a brilliant creation that resembles a hybrid of Darth Vader and Bane with all kinds of internal psychological logics. who have disappeared. greatly askew.
It’s one of the weirdest movies to ever carry such a high price tag, and the contempt it showed for mass worship was empowering and thematically impressive for an unbeliever like me.
And I loved how the relentless energy of the whole movie spreads from scene to scene, even when the story is clearly trying to catch its breath, which is an almost impossible task. that of John Seale radiant and breathtaking cinematography sometimes recalls the work of David Lean, shoot sights with a masterful touch, then get up close and personal with the vehicle destruction and carnage that was lovingly displayed in real time with real stuntmen and real explosions and real debris and real sand and real smoke , by people who apparently could have cared less about their safety.
Miller artfully used CGI only in absolutely necessary places (the sandstorm, body replacement, crowds of extras), while the stunts and acts of body madness are absolutely fascinating to watch.
Even during the big sandstorm scene, there is a surreal quality to the visuals that negates any sense of artificiality; It’s here that Miller embraces the pop-art aspects of comic book-inspired cinema and pushes it to the extreme, surpassing the next level, practically inventing new destinations along the way.
But Miller doesn’t just slam us on with crazy action scenes – he demands that we pay attention to the kinky subtext and surreal flights. These lactating and obese women chained to produce gallons upon gallons of “breast milk”; the Crazy Electric Guitar Guy who serves as a version of a War of Independence-era bugle boy wearing a mask made from the skin of his late mother’s face; the slender, sad “people on stilts” who are seen in this bizarre sequence in the middle of the film bathed in varying shades of nocturnal desert blue, suggesting years of forgotten famine; extracting a dead fetus from her recently killed mother, a woman who would have preferred to be killed (along with her unborn child) if that meant she would have to spend more time under the power of Immortan Joe – that is a filmmaker who threw it all in there, and it all adds up to a wild explosion for the eyes, ears and brain.
The final 30 minutes amounted to the best extended action scene ever, inviting a sense of awe and maddened insanity into the proceedings that seemed to be hewn from the same rambunctious fabric as Miller’s master. Babe: Pig in the city native; the villains swinging back and forth on those long pogo sticks are a lookalike for Babe and all of her animal friends swinging off the rafters of the Grand Ballroom during the wild climax of Pig in the City.
Editing by Miller’s wife, Marguerite Sixel, is more than incredible to see, as thousands of cuts rush before your eyes while maintaining a coherent fluidity, not to mention the extreme importance given to geography and the spatial distance between characters and objects. Exposure is almost non-existent, the backstory is visually conveyed, the hokey dialogue is kept to a minimum, and Hardy’s primitive and internal styles brilliantly counterbalance the rampant ferocity and fuck attitude of Theron’s Furiosa, which will remain in the story as one of the action heroes of all time. There’s Fury Road, and then there’s everyone.
Nick Clement is an independent film producer and film scriptwriting consultant, as well as a reporter for Variety magazine and We are cult. He wrote the introduction to Double functionality: big ideas in the cinema (2017), wrote cover notes for Arrow Video Blu-ray releases, and is currently working on a book about the life and work of Tony Scott. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.