Last year, the release of Mad Max: Fury Road was met with overwhelming praise and acclaim. Who would have thought that a fourth installment of an almost 40 year old franchise would be any good at all? Moreover, the production had been pushed back for years and the lead was recast which generally spells death for the film. Much to many, including myself’s, surprise, Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the best action films in years. The action is very practical and grand in scale, while also being very personal and heartbreaking at times. This film surpassed and defied all odds against it but how could it possibly be as good as you’ve heard? I have compiled a single reason that may convince you to see it or at least explain why it has garnered so much acclaim.
- Modern Action Movies are GARBAGE
The modern action film has suffered almost as much as the modern horror film. They’re filled with stiff, unlikable heroes, generic and boring plots, bad CGI, and ungodly shaky cam. The 80’s action films are held so close and in such high regard because they have so much thought and effort put into them. The action could not be done on a sound stage with digital mussel flashes. It had to be done with well choreographed fights, planned stunts, and practical guns and explosions. This gives a sense of realism and actual stakes for the character and the audience. Speaking of the characters, modern action heroes are missing the point. Nowadays, the action hero is brooding, stoic, and frankly disinteresting. Do you know why people relate to and love John Mclane, Kyle Reese, and Ellen Ripley? It’s because the writers and directors give these characters relatable traits and real personalities. John Mclane who was afraid of flying trying to fix his family problems, Kyle Reese who loved Sarah Conner and his genuine desire to keep her safe, or Ripley with her protectiveness of Newt and fear of the xenomorph. Mad Max: Fury Road provides us not only with Max, who is a lost man, looking for purpose in a wasteland, but also Furiosa, who is desperately trying to save the brides of a dictator and get them to freedom. This makes them both relatable as characters and makes us as the audience want them to succeed. When they jump between cars and duck from gunfire, we care whether or not it hits them and if they survive the ordeal. If I feel like expanding on these ideas, I will return to this page. For now I leave you with this to think about. Also, watch Mad Max: Fury Road. You’ll do yourself a service.
If you wish to learn more about the history of action cinema, I will recommend you to the good people at Cinefix with a link to their series about the matter. https://youtu.be/BlWMf5YA4Oc