From the director that gave us the penguin that danced and the pig that talked, comes the longest and most adrenaline-pumping car chase since the last possible moment you thought O.J. might be innocent. I’ll keep the overview simple: It’s intense, it’s wild, and the action is beautiful. So why did I leave feeling unfulfilled?
The one huge problem I have with this film is one shared by many. You may consider this sacred, unspeakable film info if you have yet to see it, so read ahead at your own risk….
There just isn’t enough Max in Mad Max: Fury Road. We get a lot of Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), and we get plenty of Nux, one of the War Boys involved in “the big chase”, the central plot that drives the movie forward. But the titular Max? Spoilers– He spends quite a bit of screen time muzzled, mounted on a car, and chained to Nux. Then the rest of the time he tries stubbornly to remain an uninvolved, tight-lipped loner. And in the most blueballing scene of all, Max goes off to be the king of badasses…and seriously goes off, beyond a ridge, in the dark, and the “action” happens off screen.
I walked out of the theater emotionally confused. A woman asked me “How was it, was it awesome?!” I was gazing miles away into my mind. I replied: “I’ll have to sit and think on it a while.”
See, as someone who regularly says “I would go gay for Tom Hardy” I had to ponder and decide if I was being biased, selfish, wanting more Tom Hardy because one can literally never have enough Tom Hardy. He’s brilliant, chameleonic, a passionate perfectionist in his craft. And the guy’s hero is Gary Oldman. How can you not love him?
I tried to replay the movie in my head and imagine another actor in Hardy’s place, which was weird since he is my go-to guy for imaginings (another gay joke, Jarred, seriously?); if another actor had played the same part in the exact same movie, would I have cared so much of his seeming to be merely tethered to the plot instead of being its catalytic focal point? I couldn’t answer. To be fair, Hardy may have been the ultimate choice for this because of his brilliance; he has the ability to convey an entire history with just a sound or a look, an attestation of his artistry. And to be fairer still, I should see the movie again to see if more sinks in.
I want to be able to know for sure, do I want more Tom Hardy because he’s Tom Hardy, or do I want more Max Rockatansky because IT’S HIS DAMN MOVIE?? Then again, is that even a question I should be forced to ask?
I love you too. I mean…your work.