Saturday, 9 May 2015

Trailer Check: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

© Warner Bros. | Source: YouTube screenshot

When George Miller's feature debut Mad Max was released back in 1979, it became the film with the up to that date highest profit-to-cost ratio of any movie. This record could only be broken twenty years later by the horror classic The Blair Witch Project (1999). Still, Mad Max, the film about a vengeful policeman set somewhere in a futuristic Australia, has managed to maintain quite a legacy for itself. With two successful as well as popular sequels, Mad Max: The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985), Miller's franchise has left a mark in the dystopian genre and in stunt-orientated storytelling. Additionally, it catapulted a young Mel Gibson in the title role to overnight stardom.   

Now, over thirty years after the release of the first film, Miller will continue the cinematic journey of  Max Rockatansky in the upcoming fourth part Mad Max: Fury Road, set to premiere on 14 May at this year's Cannes Film Festival. And let me tell you, the trailer makes the whole thing look quite promising.


Okay, I'll admit, after watching the little preview above there were basically two things roaming around in my mind, each one battling for the upper hand. It was either: "Yay! I can't wait to see this. The whole thing looks perfectly crazy and out-of-this-world!"; or: "Oh, wow, this is probably going to be one of the most relentless sensory overloads I've encountered in a while." Whatever it's going to be in the end, I can't help feeling excited for this film.

Miller certainly has heightened the overall Mad Max experience. The trailer shows highly aestheticised images of violence, road rage and sheer frenzy. The look of the vast and barren desert setting perfectly underlines a gritty, post-apocalyptic atmosphere, and it's lovely to see how the overemphasized warm earthy tones of the soil work against the bright blue hue of the sky. In addition to this, the memorable and even slightly creepy make-up and costume design help to form a captivating visual concept for the film. 

While all the previous parts have also relied on a fair amount of stunt work, it is here that Miller really unleashes a firework of delicious action sequences. Refraining mostly from computer-generated special effects, the stunts shown in this trailer convey, in midst of all the craziness, a certain kind of heightened realism and thus evoke a sense of thrill and adventure far more exciting than any purely CGI-animated sequence could ever be.

To top it all off, the whole thing is accentuated by a truly epic, engaging musical score composed by Junkie XL, the artist who already collaborated with film soundtrack ledgend Hans Zimmer on movies such as The Dark Knight Rises, Inception and Man of Steel.

Since visually and acoustically we're most certainly in for a treat, the only thing left to say is that the acting staff doesn't look too shoddy either. A well-tanned Tom Hardy as Max takes over from Mel Gibson. Other major cast members include Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoë Kravitz and Hugh Keays-Byrne, who already appeared in the first part of the franchise.

So, yeah, let your engines roar. It's time to go mad!

Release: 15 May 2015

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