Mad Max Fury Road: Cannes Review

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Tom Hardy poses with the press after the Mad Max press conference. (Copyright: Marjolein Keijser)

Tom Hardy poses with the press after the Mad Max press conference. (Copyright: Marjolein Keijser)

On Thursday, Mad Max Fury Road had its world premiere in Cannes. In this fourth installment of the Mad Max franchise, Max is up against the tyrant Immortan Joe and his War Boys. The press reacted enthusiastically to the film, which turned out to be a true visual feast. Personally, I loved it and I can’t wait to see it again and I really don’t understand what all the feminist fuzz is about, because all the women in it kick ass (even more so than Mad Max).

Like the previous Mad Max films, this fourth installment is also directed by George Miller. The first Mad Max movie was released in 1979 and cost about $400,000 but it earned about $100,000,000 and a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

That Mad Max Fury Road did cost more than $400,000 is obvious. The vehicles, costumes, special effects and filming locations (the movie was shot in the dessert of Namibia, a country that very much impressed Charlize Theron) are mind blowing and the cast (Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult) is very good.

After the press screening, there was a press conference with George Miller, the cast, editor and producer.

During the press conference, it becomes very clear that Mad Max Fury Road has not been an easy birth. It took ages for the final production to actually start, there was even talk of Heath Ledger being in it and he passed away in 2008!

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A lot of time was spent on post-production. Editor Margaret Sixel (who previously did Babe: Pig in the City and Happy Feet, something completely different), had to cut hours of filming material back to just 120 minutes. There have been 15 screenings with audiences before the final cut.

An important element of the film is the music. The soundtrack was composed by Dutchman Tom Holkenborg (you probably know him as JunkpersuadeHolkenborg) persuaded Miller by saying: ‘If it aint Dutch, it aint much’. The result is an amazing score that really completes the movie and that even gave me goosebumps.

Tom Hardy plays the role of Max Rockatansky. During filming, there were numerous storyboards, but there was not really a tight script, something Tom Hardy was missing. He found it difficult to take over from Mel Gibson, but eventually it was George Miller who created Mad Max, Tom Hardy is just the new actor who impersonates him.

And yes, Mel Gibson has seen the movie and, according to George Miller, found it very entertaining.

Charlize Theron plays the role of Furiosa, she helps the five wives of the tyrant Immortan Joe escape. Her character is missing a forearm, which didn’t make acting very easy. Still, she wanted to keep it in the movie, because it’s really a part (even when it isn’t) of her character. For now, it looks like Furiosa will also play a major role in the fifth Mad Max film as the working title is: Furiosa. But first, George Miller needs to catch his breath because as he says:

“I feel like I have just delivered a very big baby.”


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