Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

I was never a fan of Mad Max. I’m a strong proponent of Mel Gibson’s acting career, but these films… Mad Max was a one-page character at best and the story’s practically posthumous state is like a filer on skin it’s so irritating.

In my opinion, the title Mad Max incurs a thriller type film. Mad Max is not a thriller. Therefore, I’m unsure why we’re calling the films that or saying Max is a mad guy. It’s been a while since I saw the original films, but to my recollection, little emotion was demonstrated and with anger, wrath and hatred being such strong emotions, if Max is truly mad, I shouldn’t have to ask myself where the ferociousness is. It should be apparent.

Mad Max is not a great saga. It’s bearable if you’re really bored, which is how I ended up first watching the series actually, but needs not be visited a second time. I’ve never seen a post-apocalyptic universe this boring and this far removed from themes. If the films had given me something to internally discuss, at least it would have bought the films some time to figure out what it is they were trying to do, but I never had that epiphany of mental discussion.

I wasn’t excited for this sequel. Yes, Tom Hardy should make everything better but it’s still Mad Max and Tom Hardy or no Tom Hardy, Mad Max is boring. Mel Gibson is a better actor than Tom Hardy and he couldn’t make it better. What could Hardy do that Gibson couldn’t?

The answer is nothing. Mad Max: Fury Road ended up to be the thoughtless, directionless, storyless venture I expected it to be.

There’s no rehashing of the previous stories. Fury Road is meant to stand alone, but has only one leg to stand on.

Mad Max‘s characters are scraps. Some entertainment can be had because it’s a post-apocalyptic world built on scraps, but after a momentary chuckle, those scraps aren’t so funny anymore. They’re embarrassing.

That’s probably the best one-word sum up of Mad Max: Fury Road: embarrassing.

If you can be dazzled by the film’s above average stunt choreography and action sequences, you can find entertainment but that’s all that’s going on here. You can only throw boomsticks and shoot fire out of guitars while riding an armored vehicle with multiple bass stereos and a collection of drum thumpers on the back end for so long before even that begins to get old. Seriously though, that guitar shooting flames thing was awesome.

That’s probably the only excessively pleasant compliment you’re going to get out of me during this review because there isn’t much else to applaud here. If Mad Max: Fury Road had half as much creativity as the musician with the flame guitar…

It’s been quite a while since I started this and I usually write my whole review from start to finish in a few hours but this review kept getting pushed back for my job and internship and also because this film is so frustrating to talk about. There are some people, I kid you not, who are saying this will be the best action film of the year. What are you talking about?! Do you have cataracts or are you that stupid?

There is no story to Fury Road. They go from one end of the map to the other and go back the way they came when they find out there’s nothing on the other side. That’s it. Aside from one subplot that holds less weight than a newborn, we have nothing branching out from the trunk of the tree.

The characters are so bad and it sours me to know a great talent like Tom Hardy is having such a rough start to 2015. Child 44 got bashed by critics heavily and this ain’t helping his cause. Arnold Schwarzenegger said less than 200 words in Terminator 2 if my memory serves me right and I think Hardy says even less than that here. If there was such a thing as putting a talented person in a lose-lose situation, this is a prime example. If Hardy were a squirrel, the script for this film would be like 10-foot cinder blocks surrounding him and being roofed by an elephant caught in the hole. If Hardy were a NASCAR driver, the script would be a car with four flat tires and an engine replaced with a punctured balloon. If Hardy was the best sniper in the world, the script would be asking him to headshot a guy on the moon. This movie is freaking stupid and I’m done talking about it. I’m just done.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Sleeping with the EnemyEquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe Family)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (BlitzThe PunisherDrive HardRun All NightRage)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for Mad Max: Fury Road: 58.

I usually return from watching a film and pick a score before writing a review. Rarely does that score ever change from the one I initially put down, but the more I thought about Fury Road and the more I wrote, the lower the score went. I had it at a 67, but have become more disgusted by it the more I think about it. Fury Road flew right over its story like an oblivious bird too dumb to look down at what it was passing over.

A desert that’s deserted and has no life in sight, stunts are all Mad Max: Fury Road has to offer. If you’re looking for mindless entertainment and are okay with paying ticket prices for it, then give it a shot. Otherwise, wait for a rental or better yet, a TV showing, although I’d suggest a third option, a movie where a director doesn’t make a first-class talent look like a paralyzed mime.

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