THREE GUYS AND… A MOVIE
series created by Marvin Mercer and Nick Stephenson
“MAD MAX: FURY ROAD”
written by Dominick Cappello
What a lovely day! Okay, this movie is badass. I’m talking about a really awesome movie, but since we live in the “bitch about everything on social media even if it’s something good” era, people have to find something to complain about… unless of course it’s part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Why? Why must we do this? Is it so wrong to just enjoy a movie that has the audacity to not be part of the MCU and not nitpick it to death? Apparently so as the major complaint is that our titular hero portrayed by Tom Hardy plays second fiddle to Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. I can bet this drove every misogynist absolutely bonkers. Girls can’t kick ass. Boohoo. What a bunch of cry-babies. I’m talking to you, Dr. Frisbee.
But, let’s take a look at the original “Mad Max” (1979). Max Rockatansky, played by Mel Gibson, is more passive than his partner, Jim “Goose” Rains, played by Steve Bisley. If the movie wasn’t called “Mad Max”, you’d might think that Goose was the hero. Even after Goose is burnt to a crisp by the Toecutter and The Acolytes, Max doesn’t take action. He goes on holiday with his family. Only after the Toecutter and his gang murder Max’s family does Max get finally mad and go on his kill crazy revenge spree. You know, where he totally inspires “Saw” (2004) with the whole hacking through your flesh will be easier than sawing through your handcuffs ultimatum. The new Tom Hardy version of Mad Max is along for the ride for most of “Fury Road”. He doesn’t really become pro-active until act three when he convinces Furiosa and company to return to Citadel now that it’s mostly unprotected. So, this isn’t all that different than the original version of the character. Though, I will say that Tom Hardy is lacking Mel Gibson’s charisma.
Tom Hardy grunts a lot, but I refuse to subscribe to the fan theory that he’s really the feral child from “The Road Warrior” (1981). Let’s cool it with the fan theories. Even if Tom Hardy looked a bit like Gerard Butler when his face was partially obscured by the mask, I was emotionally invested in these characters. We had three actors from the recent entries in the “X-Men” franchise. Nicholas Hoult, Josh Helman, and Zoé Kravitz. Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played the Toecutter in the original film, returns as Immortan Joe, who has convinced himself and others that he is a deity. Holy crap, Rictus Erectus, amazing name BTW, was played by Nathan Jones. Anybody else remember this guy from WrestleMania XIX? I really didn’t need another reason to love Charlize Theron, but she was incredible in this movie. I was devastated when she was shanked. Spoiler alert. She survives.
And how about those practical special effects? Real vehicles? Real explosions? Wow. I was blown away. A nice reprieve from overdoses of CGI. When you use CGI sparingly, like when vehicles where being sucked up into the sandstorm and exploding in spectacular fashion, it’s damn impressive. I’m not throwing shade at “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015), but I watched it immediately following “Fury Road” and was underwhelmed by the CGI vehicles from the opening sequence after having just seen the real deal in “Fury Road”. Sorry, I know it’s blasphemy to say anything even slightly negative about the MCU, but that was my genuine reaction. That’s how great “Fury Road” was. There was no way that the next action / adventure movie I viewed wouldn’t pale in comparison.
– Dr. Jelly