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Mad Max: Fury Road - Blu-ray Review

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Mad Max: Fury Road - Movie Review

4 stars

Now, THIS is how you restart a stalled franchise. Violent, gritty, and powerful, Mad Max: Fury Road is one hell of an over-the-top thrill ride. Imagine the western attitude of Red Dead Revolver mashing with the vehicular carnage in Grand Theft Auto and Fury Road is the name of the game you would be playing. The lone western wanderer and women will survive the apocalypse, according to Mad Max’s creator. The mad pulp of Fury Road, the fourth entry in this series, is the only proof you need.

Thirty long years since last behind the wheel of a Mad Max flick, director George Miller returns to the gritty world that made him a household name among action film enthusiasts. If the original Mad Max was the low-budget film that got Hollywood’s attention, it was The Road Warrior that got the rest of the world to take notice. Fury Road, a film so incredibly gonzo that it’s hard not to appreciate, returns audiences to the car-littered scene of the apocalypse without dropping any of its badass punk-meets-the-western vibe. Let’s just say that the world Miller created hasn’t changed all that much; it has only gotten bigger.

Max Rockatansky is now played by Tom Hardy. And, as before, Max is haunted by the loss of a child. The young girl haunts his every move, re-energizing the angst that keeps him hungry for more vengeance as he finds himself fighting off an entire army for the rights of six women. Cult leader and white-haired fascist King Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played Toecutter in the original film) has Max imprisoned as universal blood donor in his camp where he and his men, along with his enslaved five wives, collect gasoline across the immense salt flats of the dead world.

The robot-armed Furiosa (Charlize Theron) revolts first, taking Joe’s five wives in her heavily-armored War Rig, high-tailing it to the mythical Green Place. In what amounts to a seriously heinous cross-continent car chase, Joe – along with his bikers, freakers, and roman-inspired bodyguards – do everything in their power to return Furiosa and the five wives back into creases of their particular form of breeding. Furiosa is having none of it. With Mad Max fastened to the hood of her enemy’s car, the chase – through sand storms and swamplands – begins regardless of the consequence.

In case you can’t tell, the hero of Fury Road is actually a woman. Max, once freed from his own chains and reluctantly partnered with Furiosa, remains coy and enigmatic and, while he does his fair share of driving, it is Furiosa who OWNS this adventure in a race across a literal death valley. Miller is both brave and wise for abandoning the expected formula. His co-writers, Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris, really dig into the pulpy nature of the material and deliver a rather violent spectacle that shocks with its violence and with its attitude toward pop culture and our own expectations. It certainly made my head spin in a way that I wasn’t expecting.

And it is this switch – this sort of social maturation – that makes Fury Road work as well as it does. A hell of a lot of people die. The vehicular mayhem is seriously off-the-charts. Yet, the female gusto that throttles this movie across the finish line is never once off its course and never once unexpectedly “roadblocked” by the involvement of men doing macho things and then riding off into the sunset. We’ve been there and we’ve done that with Mel Gibson. Hardy, with a sort of undecipherable accent suggesting a possible regional displacement of sorts, takes over the reins of the iconic role and rather unintentionally helps five women escape sexual servitude. I doubt the Mad Max of the previous era – when big hair, Tina Turner, and wacky head bands ruled the day – would have done that.

Fair is fair and whatnot but this is one genre turnaround that we can applaud. Biker chicks. A rockin’ Theron. And then there’s Max, surrounded by it all. Heroes have to change and Fury Road is – even if its cast is far too bleachy white to be as ambitious as the script suggests – presents the best updated version of the Mad Max narrative possible. Miller promised a return to the greasy-headed glory of the original trilogy and he certainly delivers in this blood-stained reboot of pure automotive mayhem.

Fasten those seatbelts. Fury Road isn’t taking any prisoners.

Mad Max: Fury Road - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images | See all certifications.
Runtime:
120 mins
Director
: George Miller
Writer:
George Miller
Cast:
Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
Genre
: Action | Adventure
Tagline:
Only the mad survive.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Oh what a day, what a lovely day!"
Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:http://www.madmaxmovie.com/
Release Date:
May 15, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 1, 2015.
Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic world, in which people fight to the death, Max teams up with a mysterious woman, Furiousa, to try and survive.

Mad Max: Fury Road - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 1, 2015
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Mad Max: Fury Road arrives courtesy of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment and features a stunning 1080p AVC encode transfer that is equally gritty and bold. Stylized to the hilt, the transfer is all about detail and texture. There are nice displays of vivid colors and deep shadows.   Black levels are thick and details are crisp throughout expressively dark backgrounds and equally searing exteriors. Thundering from out of the speakers from beginning to end, the lossless 7.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is the very definition of dynamic sound. Crank it up and hear the walls scream.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Fans chomping at the bit to see the black-and-white version of Fury Road – you know, the silent version – are just going to have to wait and buy it again. It WILL be released, just not now. What you do get is enough to satisfy any Mad Max fan. Up first, is a nearly 30-minute long look at the exciting making of the movie which is nearly as bombastic as the movie itself. It’s full of cool behind the scenes looks and features interviews from the cast and crew. Then, there is a look at the stunts and vehicles of the movie. Characters get their one look in the next couple of supplemental items. Solid release.

  • Maximum Fury: Filming Fury Road (28 min)
  • Mad Max: Fury of four wheels (22 min)
  • The Road Warriors: Max and Furiosa (11 min)
  • The Tools of the Wasteland (14 min)
  • The Five Wives: So Shiny, So Chrome (11 min)
  • Fury Road: Crash & Smash (4 min)

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