Fury Road is changing blockbuster cinema? – Movie stories

2016’s Mad Max: Fury Road opened up so many new avenues for action cinema – and yet no one seems to have really tried to follow its path.

Mad Max: Fury Road felt refreshing and different in 2015, and it still does seven years later. Director George Miller’s post-apocalyptic action sequel goes against so many of the staples we’ve come to expect from great summer movies now: its story is simple where most of it is mired in character and understatement. -intrigues. It’s a sequel, but it doesn’t require encyclopedic knowledge of lore or previous events, nor does it serve as a jumping-off point for other films (although there is a follow-up to come, to which we will come back later). Its action was augmented with CGI, but its wealth of physical stunts gave it a compelling sense of reality.


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Mad Max: Fury Road was so different from anything that hit theaters in 2015, it felt like a turning point. Maybe not at the level Jaws Where star warswhich helped define the modern “blockbuster”, but perhaps in the vein of The matrix Where The Bourne Identity – movies that have influenced the look of action sequences for years. road of furysurprisingly, did not: certainly not in the minimalism of its plot, nor in the tone or aggressiveness of its chaos.

The fast furious The series, which has long specialized in the slamming of cars and trucks against each other, has continued much as before. Mad Max: Fury Road came out of. The eighth and the ninth Quick the films, released in 2017 and 2021 respectively, continued with their huge casts of characters and subplots, and action scenes where gravity-defying CGI often eclipsed impressive real-world stunts.

Since the Terminator films have long been extended chase sequences, it’s also worth noting that 2019 Terminator: Dark Fate didn’t take a road of furyback to basics approach. Instead, he seemed determined to recapture the past glories of Terminator 2: Judgment Daywith action scenes that become increasingly green screen heavy and detached from reality as the film progresses (the frictionless combat in the back of a moving cargo plane is a great one example).

The James Bond franchise, meanwhile, which is often quick to jump on trends, doesn’t seem to take too much notice of Mad Max: Fury Road a singular approach to cinema either. no time to dieThe plot was anything but streamlined. Compared to road of furyits action scenes actually seem quite modest, though a car chase and gunfight in the Norwegian countryside has a raw quality that George Miller might appreciate.

So why Mad Max: Fury Road remains such a singular moment in the cinema? There are several possible reasons, all closely related.

Mad Max Fury Road

One is practical: despite the heat and the logistical problems of getting all your gear in, Mad Max: Fury RoadThe desert setting of made it a great place to smash lots of vehicles and set off explosions. Admittedly, it’s hard to imagine being able to pull off such elaborate stunts in the middle of a city without resorting to a massive amount of CG trickery. In short, there are waterfalls in road of fury it would be difficult, if not impossible, to recreate anywhere but in desolate places like the Namibian desert.

Another consideration is sheer skill: it takes an incredible level of planning, craftsmanship, and ingenuity to stage and execute scenes like those in Mad Max: Fury Road. Miller’s film required the perfect alignment of several disciplines to pull it off: it needed the keen eye of director and cinematographer John Seale to create images as distinctive as those white-painted Warboys clinging to the side of ramshackle vehicles. or whirling through the air in a plume of fire and wreckage.

But then it took expert stunt coordinators to plan these sequences so they could be shot safely; and it took the genius of Margaret Sixel to pull it all together into a cohesive whole (Sixel was well-deserved of the Academy Award for Best Film Editing she received for her work here).

All of this combined could have created a kind of shock and awe in the minds of other filmmakers. In 2017, director Steven Soderbergh may have crystallized the feeling many of his peers had after watching road of fury. In a interview with The Hollywood ReporterSoderbergh said: “I just watched Mad Max: Fury Road again last week, and I’m telling you that I couldn’t achieve 30 seconds of it. I would put a gun in my mouth. I don’t understand how [George Miller] the fact, I really don’t, and it’s my job to figure it out. I don’t understand two things: I don’t understand why they aren’t shooting this movie yet, and I don’t understand how hundreds of people haven’t died. »

Soderbergh talked about the level of precision that went into road of furythe apparent chaos: every shot was scripted and planned in such a way that the action was easy to follow. It’s a level of craftsmanship, argues Soderbergh, that is beyond the reach of many filmmakers.

Mad Max Fury Road

“We’re talking about the three-dimensional ability to break down a sequence into a series of shots where, no matter how fast you cut, you know where you are geographically. And each one is a real hit where a lot of things had to go right,” Soderbergh said.

“[Miller’s] off the board. I guarantee you that the handful of people who are even within reach of this, when they have seen road of furyhad blood gushing from their eyes.

With the quality bar set so high, it’s understandable that a good percentage of filmmakers balk at capturing an ounce of road of furyburst themselves. It takes courage – and persuasion in the studio – to make a film with a minimal plot like road of fury‘s. Dragging real vehicles, actors and equipment across a desert to shoot complex and lengthy action sequences, and somehow cut it all together, takes skill, bravery and maybe even a flash of madness.

Thankfully, while few other filmmakers have managed to do something like Mad Max: Fury Road over the past seven years, Miller still hasn’t called it a day yet. Now 77 years old, he is currently doing Furiosa: a prequel to road of fury. If no one else can make action movies like Miller, we can at least be thankful he’s still out there in the desert, showing the rest of us how it’s done.

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