Rating: 10 stars
Seen 7 times
An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and most everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.
Rated R | Length 120 minutes
Lee Perry | Abel Hofflin | Hiroshi Kasuga | Christian Fane | Callum Gallagher | Whiley Toll | Noddy Alfred | Jackson Hengombe | Ferdinand Hengombe | Fletcher Gill | Gadaffi Davsab | Nathan Jenkins | Hunter Stratton Boland | Maycn Van Borssum | Albert Lee | Riley Paton | Ripley Voeten | Riley Paton | Cass Comerford | Shyan Tonga | Crusoe Kurddal | Darren Mitchell | Sebastian Dickins | Rob Jones | Greg Van Borssum | Ben Smith-Petersen | Elizabeth Cunico | Judd Wild | Russ McCarroll | John Walton | Vince Roxburgh | Richard Norton | Stephen Dunlevy | Chris Patton | Coco Jack Gillies | Quentin Kenihan | Jon Iles | Antoinette Kellerman | Joy Smithers | Megan Gale | Christina Koch | Gillian Jones | Melita Jurišić | Jennifer Hagan | Melissa Jaffer | Angus Sampson | Iota | Richard Carter | John Howard | Courtney Eaton | Riley Keough | Nathan Jones | Rosie Huntington-Whiteley | Abbey Lee | Zoë Kravitz | Hugh Keays-Byrne | Josh Helman | Nicholas Hoult | Charlize Theron | Tom Hardy
Drove in to Denver after work with Tonia to see this in 35mm at the Sie Film Center as part of their limited return engagement of Oscar-nominated films. This was a newly struck 35mm print. Despite that, it already had more scratches and dirt than I would have expected. The reels were also slightly off at the splices resulting in noticeable jumps when it would kick over to the new reel. All of that was minor and frankly it was fun to see it imperfect. The focus was good but the print was a little bit softer than on my recently watched Blu-ray.
All of that, combined with the texture of the film grain an the moderately more washed out colors made this screening feel like a step back in time 30 years. It really made the movie feel a lot more like the first two honestly. The warmth and graininess made it feel more raw, more real. Perhaps that’s only a thing for those of us who grew up primarily watching movies on actual film.
Regardless, it was a really fun experience to see this particular movie on actual film. The score really comes to life with a proper theater sound system. It really helps underscore that it’s an essential part of creating and supporting the sustained tension during the long action scenes. It drives home what an amazing job Miller did in sustaining that throughout the film. Building up tension is one thing, but being able to hold it, raise and lower it, during those long action set pieces is a masterful achievement. The only other movie in the series to get to that level is the second film with its long, climatic road battle scene. It’s obvious that much of Fury Road’s action was patterned after that.
I love that Fury Road is so much its own story, so firmly set apart from the first three films. Yet it also has a number of little callbacks that evoke moments from the earlier films. The most obvious is the tiny hand-cranked music box one of the wives plays with in the War Rig. It’s the same thing Max throws to the Feral Kid in the second film. Things like that serve as a reminder that Fury Road does indeed share a lineage with the previous films no matter how much it stands alone.
Having watched this five times now: twice digitally in theaters, once rented on Blu-ray, once from my owned Blu-ray, and now on actual film in a theater; I have to saw I’m particularly keen for Miller to make another. And as much as I love the Furiosa character I honestly want the next movie to be just as much an isolated story as this one was from the rest. It’s one of the things I appreciate about the series in general and it’s one of the things that sets the series apart from others.