• Lynn Neumann

Review: "Mad Max: Fury Road"

What struck me is how much the film embraced spectacle. It reminded me of similar responses people have made to "Avatar," where they excuse the lackluster characters and non-complex plot by saying it’s about the visual experience, the aesthetics, the sheer thrill of it — and yet that movie devoted a great amount go time to harping on personal relationships and plot points that were supposedly not important. I appreciated that in "Fury Road" they really do just let all of that take a back seat to ‘the ride,’ and make it truly about the visceral experience.

The moments in which there is a pause in the action for characters to explain their motivations to one another didn’t really work. It would take far sharper writing to merit inclusion, something that would offer deep insight rather than a vague mention of redemption.

There are some universal human motivators, mainly survival, that a lot of crap writers use in lieu of showing actual personalities and internal motivations. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible to form an effective story using base human urges. It simply means that such a story is more mythic rather than personal. When you have a lot of action going on for the audience to focus on, streamlining certain aspects of your story can be a good choice.

It’s much in the same way "Aliens" didn’t need a romance in order to be good, and that there wasn’t enough room to squeeze one in. Cameron merely hints at it a bit and lets the rest play out, similar to how "Mad Max: Fury Road" hints at relationships and motivations and then gets to the business at hand.

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