If WB‘s new trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road is any indication of the dystopian final product that awaits us this summer, then fans of cyberpunk pulp can breathe easy.
This is what I imagined (and hoped) the Road Warrior reboot might look and sound like, down to the pitch-perfect casting of Tom Hardy as Max himself.
From the brief glimpses of Hardy’s Max above, the spirit of “Mad Mel” smolders on (that vintage “empty-shell-of-a-man” we mid 30-somethings fondly remember). Before this trailer, I couldn’t have imagined Charlize Theron as anything resembling Imperator Furiosa, but her transformation looks pretty wild.
Lore creator George Miller — the father of the post-apocalyptic landscape in cinema — is arguably unrivaled in this peculiar subgenre — one that practically redefined the antihero archetype (a la Yojimbo, Man with No Name, etc.). Miller’s framing, ambitious staging, signature quirks and reckless abandon for action choreography are unmistakable.
In the ’80s, Miller’s Mad Max films inspired a new aesthetic vocabulary for what the breakdown of society might look like (at least as it concerned the desert Outback), and the starved resources that would represent the true currency of trade and warfare between men. These films were the precursor that informed the look and feel of classic Japanese anime curios like Fist of the North Star, Battle Angel and (to some extent) Akira. Mad Max‘s art design has even found its way into Western video game franchises (old and new), such as Rage, Borderlands and Fallout.
Most notable is Miller’s chosen (and deliberate) anachronism: The disciplined austerity of CGI in favor of real-life stunts, explosions and choreographed acrobatics — all at ridiculously high speeds. Truly, nothing beats the real thing.
Stay tuned for IHL‘s full review of Mad Max: Fury Road this summer!