Has Mad Max: Fury road saved or killed the action film?
Up until a week ago, I thought I was prepared for this summers blockbusters. They were all going to follow the same beats but with different characters, have more CGI than most computer games and do absolutely nothing to get my blood racing.
Then I saw Mad Max and I remembered what an action film could actually be.
How this film was financed, I have no idea. The last Mad Max film was released in 1985 and although the franchise has aged pretty well, in recent years Holly has given films rated 15/18 budgets that rarely if ever get above 50 million dollars. (See Dredd, Fury, Gone Girl).
And yet somehow this one got the budget, it wasn’t given the 12a rating that would have toned it down it when it blasted onto the big screen like a beautiful tornado sweeping away all the pretenders. Real stunts, real action, no dry one-liners, no damsel in distress, no sense of heroic invulnerability. It was 2 hours of sheer blissful joy. I finished it feeling like i’d seen a unicorn, eaten at a 5 star restaurant, bought a Picasso at a street market.
And now every other film this summer fills me with complete boredom.
Looking down the list of blockbusters I can just see safe CGI 12a after safe CGI 12a until we hit the dead zone of September.
And it bores me to tears.
We, the public, via this film have a chance. A chance to make sure that we get more films like this. Films with actual stunts instead of cartoons, with wide framing shots instead of jerky close ups, films that exist only to blast you into another dimension.
Go out this weekend (if your old enough) and see Mad Max. Let this be the start of the fightback against safe, predictable 12a’s, let blood and guts and gore flow in the cinema once again.