When director George Miller returned to his dystopian “Mad Max” franchise after 30 years for “Fury Road,” he wanted to find a visceral way to immerse the audience in his surreal, saturated post-apocalyptic world.
“It felt like going back to something we had done in the past,” Miller told Reuters. “I wanted to make a movie almost like visual rock and roll or opera that just sweeps you up into the screen.”
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The 70-year-old director also wanted to put a powerful woman on the Mad Max map, with Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa.
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” premiering in Australia tonight, follows Furiosa on a mission to rescue a group of beautiful women imprisoned by warlord Immortan Joe.
Lone warrior Max Rockatansky, played by Tom Hardy, is captured by Immortan Joe’s War Boys and finds himself thrown into Furiosa’s plan.
Furiosa provides the biggest progression in Miller’s world:a hardened female counterpart to Max in a society that reduces women to being “breeders” to the warlord.
“I don’t think a lot of filmmakers really truly have an interest to want to understand what women represent not only in the post apocalyptic world, but the world today,” said Theron, who shaved her hair off to play the warrior.
The new film plays out mostly through a constantly moving car chase across the Australian wastelands. Advances in movie-making technology allow Miller to place cameras in positions that give viewers an adrenaline rush by immersing them in the action.
The director said “Fury Road” is “uniquely familiar” to his first “Mad Max” film trilogy released between 1979 and 1985.
Those movies, which starred Mel Gibson, were also set in a world fueled by fire, rage and war.
The Mad Max franchise is considered one of Australia’s best pop culture exports.
Film critic, Craig Matheison said the orginal Mad Max “easily stands as one of the most influential cinematic works in the medium’s modern history.”
The 1979 original was the start of a star career for Oscar winning director George Miller. It also launched the career of Mel Gibson, the original Mad Max who was 23 at the time.
The original low-budget film cost around $350,000 to make yet earned around $100m at the international box office. It spawned the release of a further two successful movies in the 80s.
The second installment in 1981 was Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. The budget for this film was reportedly 10 times its predecessor.
Mad Max 2 is currently ranked the number one Australian film on review aggregator RottenTomatoes广西桑拿,.
The third film, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was released in 1985.
The script of the first film was originally a comic book concept, with no dialogue.
“One of the ideas that drove the first Mad Max was Alfred Hitchcock’s notion about making films that can be watched anywhere in the world without subtitles,” Miller said.
Mad Max: Fury Road to closes Sydney’s Cahill Expressway
A post-apocalyptic procession of tricked-out desert vehicles has caused a three-hour shut-down of Sydney’s busy Cahill Expressway.
SYDNEY CBD: Traffic’s returned to normal after earlier closure of the #CahillExp from #SydneyHarbourBridge to Conservatorium Rd for filming.
— Live Traffic Sydney (@LiveTrafficSyd) May 13, 2015
The colourful demonstration was publicising the latest instalment in the Mad Max movie franchise.
The road between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music was closed between 10am and 1pm as vehicles from the action blockbuster roared into the Sydney Opera House forecourt.
Heavy traffic conditions are expected in the Sydney CBD around Macquarie Street, with buses delayed on Castlereagh, George and Elizabeth streets.
Currently at 98% on the Tomatometer, looks like #MadMaxFuryRoad is one to see! pic.twitter广西桑拿,/YpexLDRf8o
— Superhero Of Steel (@SuperheroSteel) May 13, 2015
The film is on it’s way to rank among the three highest-grossing Australian films of all time.
So far, critics like what they’ve seen.
The creator of the original Mad Max trilogy has whipped up a gargantuan grunge symphony of vehicular mayhem that makes Furious 7 look like Curious George. – Michael Philips, Chicago Tribine
The fourth instalment of George Miller’s punky post-apocalyptic ‘Mad Max’ saga feels like a tornado tearing through a tea party. In an age of weightless movie spectacles, here’s a movie that feels like it was made by kidnapping $150 million of studio money, fleeing with it to the Namibian desert, and sending footage back to Hollywood like the amputated body parts of a ransomed hostage – David Ehrlich for Time Out
Imagine a movie where Tom Hardy is the point of calm. Max’s re-enfranchisement is a triumph of barking-mad imagination, jaw-dropping action, crackpot humour, and acting in the face of a hurricane – Ian Nathan, Empire Magazine Top rated Australian films on Rotten Tomatoes Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior – 100%Breaker Morant – 100%Mad Max: Fury Road – 98%Animal Kingdom – 96%Picnic at Hanging Rock – 94%The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – 93%The Piano – 90%Crocodile Dundee – 89%Gallipoli – 88%Shine – 90%Mad Max – 88%Rabbit Proof Fence – 88% Replacing Gibson
Tom Hardy said he did not try to fill Gibson’s “Mad Max” shoes.
Instead, he sought to further Miller’s vision of the tormented Max, who spends half the film muzzled by his captors and is haunted throughout by visions of his dead family.
“This is George’s world and he’s pushing the boundaries and endeavoring to grow it and develop more the world of the postapocalyptic landscape that it’s set in,” he said.