I went into Mad Max with the knowledge that an unbelievable 98% of all critics on Rotten Tomatoes couldn’t say enough about how much they loved the movie.
Where the critics were most impressed, and where I must give credit to, is that “Mad Max:Fury Road” is a highly impressive conglomerate of non CGI choreographed action. My biggest gripe about all this was that was pretty much the entirety of the movie, put into one extended chase through the desert.
What might help explain the critical praise is the surprising amount of depth and imaginiativity that was seamlessly put into the background. Rather than bog the audience down in the back story of Mad Max, the apocalypse, or grotesque warlods, the writing and directing wisely give the impression of continuity and an ongoing world that goes far beyond what is seen in the movie without being an overwhelming factor. The viewer understands precisely everything they need to know from characters, settings, and culture without needing a lecture on how they came to be.
This runs true with practically the entire cast of characters. Charlize Theron, as a rogue player helping a group of women escape slavery, provides a surprsingly much better character than lead Tom Hardy as Mad Max. While Hardy has a solid career of great roles, in Fury Road he comes off as disapointingly flat most of the time. It’s refrreshing that Mad Max isn’t overly macho, which in turn gives the predominately female protagonists more clout and focus–also refreshing.
The premise of everything is enough to keep interest throughout, but there isn’t any noteworthy dialogue or writing to put the film at a higher caliber of entertainment, for me at least. No, “Mad Max” is aware that it excels almost exclusively as a visual form of entertainment that is intended to be immersing, and which I suspect is satisfying to fans of the old films.
For what genre this is based on, “Mad Max” is a solid action metal film that prides itself on its organic elements within cinematagraphy, raw characters, and setting throughout. This easily distinguishes it from other half baked contemporaries, especially this year, even if its not a masterpiece.