May 20, 2015

Desert stormed

Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015). A pagan city built on slavery (Vehicular Valhalla, Temple of Vroom), Jawas on motorbikes and a motorcycle matriarchy, spiky cars that ate Paris (homage to Peter Weir), slave wives who could be in beer or burger commercials, armies that travel with their own heavy-metal guitarist and grotesque old Australian men still running the world, or what’s left of it. After a gap of more than 30 years, George Miller locates the very same exciting, funny and lurid Mad Max sensibility, just bigger, louder, faster, wilder – in every sense, better. Max (now Tom Hardy, more sidelined in his own story than he ever was before) is still nearly mute and the entire thing is told almost without dialogue, such is the elemental nature of it (part-western, part-sci fi). The desert is brighter and wider. If anything, Miller’s original scenario has become even more topical and plausible since the 1980s: these are myths of the near to immediate salvage-punk future. Ridiculously great, either way. Who would want to bother with the heavily-CGI’d and intellectually vacant Marvel blockbusters after catching a whiff of this?