3 Reasons Mad Max: Fury Road is the Most Important Movie of the Summer
We are mere days away from George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road exploding onto big screens across the country and the world. The trailers showcase a gonzo ride of frenetic and consistent energy, with elaborate vehicles and eclectic characters (to say the least). Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron share the spotlight as the two stars of Fury Road, and all signs from these early reviews point to the film being something special.
Summer blockbusters are all too often underwhelming affairs. Typically, they are tired retreads of recognizable materials, loaded with mind-numbing CGI explosions, and limited narrative. While there are exceptions, many big budget blockbusters are able to secure a profit regardless of what they offer their audience. Michael Bay's Transformers franchise is a prime example of this worrying trend in summer movie offerings.
But this weekend, Mad Max: Fury Road, is hitting theaters worldwide, bringing with it the potential for something so refreshing, it inject vitality into the summer blockbuster for both Hollywood, and its audience. Here are just a handful of reasons that we think Mad Max: Fury Road is THE movie to see this summer.
What You See Is Real
George Miller has stated in interviews that the stunt work and special effects in Fury Road are about 80% real, which flies in the face of current Hollywood trends, especially in the summer blockbuster category Every summer blockbuster, from The Avengers and Marvel's films, to Jurassic World, to Terminator: Genisys, use CGI effects to create just about every aspect of their worlds. While some of these films absolutely have to have CGI to tell their stories, the overuse of CGI has created a sheen of inauthenticity, with constant explosions and characters who look only almost real (Star Wars prequal trilogy, anyone?). Computer technology has become the standard for action films, but Mad Max: Fury Road may represent a shift in thought for many moviemakers.
In Mad Max: Fury Road, the car chases, crashes, explosions, and stunts are not only plentiful, they are also practically all real, performed with real people and cars and… fire. This realism is one of the many reasons that the trailers for Fury Road have been so universally celebrated, and that early reviews have praised the visuals. The success of Fury Road might show studios that truly special, real effects are still worth the time and the effort.
17 And Up
The dreaded R rating is almost unheard of for big-budget summer action. It cuts the audience down significantly, isolating the under 17 and family audiences that have proved so profitable for the studios like Marvel. Big film franchises that were born in R-rated debuts have sold out to the almighty dollar and made their newest entries PG-13 in order to bring in more money, sacrificing the franchise's integrity. Not so for Mad Max.
In recent years, franchises such as Die Hard, Terminator, and Alien/Predator have all experimented with the money-spinning PG-13 rating. Even the Mad Max franchise stepped back from ultra-violence for Beyond Thunderdome, but when we think of Mad Max, we think of an R-rated film. The violence and the brutality is as much a part of the Mad Max world as the dusty, bleak landscape, which is why it's such a relief that the team behind Fury Road has taken the bold step to secure an R rating. Perhaps the success of Fury Road will help other studios realize that fans appreciate staying true to the franchise and that money can still be made without a magic PG-13 stamped next to the movie title.
Mad Max for the New Generation
When it comes to labeling, Fury Road has been rather hard to pin down. Some have labeled it a sequel, whereas others are calling it a reboot, but no matter what its relation is to the original trilogy of movies, one thing is for sure….Mad Max: Fury Road is bringing the franchise to an entirely new generation of moviegoers. With re-workings of Terminator, Jurassic Park and comic book franchises dominating the summer line-up, it's no surprise that Mad Max feels so original. People who were born the same year Beyond Thunderdome was released are 30 years old now, which is a bigger gap than any other franchise has attempted to overcome in its revival.
Revisiting a franchise such as Mad Max was seen by many as a gamble for Warner Bros., but as sad as that sounds, this is a gamble that should certainly pay off. If Fury Road can go on to add box office success to its exceptional critical reception, it could be the movie that opens a the doors for directors, visionaries, and filmmakers who want to buck the recent green screen trend in Hollywood and bring filmmaking back into the real world.