Mad Max: Fury Road

Even after two viewings, I feel as though I’ve only scratched the surface of Mad Max: Fury Road. George Miller’s action fantasy is astonishingly dense for a big-budget spectacle, not only in its imagery and ideas but in the complex interplay between them (Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips has aptly likened the movie to a symphony). In a sense Fury Road has been gestating since the late 1970s, when Miller first envisioned the character of Mad Max and the nightmarish future Australia he inhabits. The movie builds upon motifs from Miller’s original trilogy with Mel Gibson—Mad Max (1979), The Road Warrior (1981), and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)—though it’s not a sequel but a complete reimagining of the world in those films. Miller began planning this fourth installment as far back as 2001 and claims to have generated so much material during the unusually long preproduction phase that he already has a couple more stories ready to go. Continue reading >>