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How in the Holy Hell Has it Been Five Years Since 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

By Petr Knava | Social Media | May 15, 2020 |

By Petr Knava | Social Media | May 15, 2020 |


How. How? How?! How in the dusty hell has it been five years since Mad Max: Fury Road came out? Five years. It doesn’t make any sense, does it? Half a decade. It just doesn’t seem right. Surely it was much, much longer ago than that. Or, paradoxically, surely it was far more recent than that. Mad Max: Fury Road is either a siren’s wail that echoes out to us from a distant past already fast receding into myth, or it is an incendiary torrent that tore through our collective psyche yesterday. That’s how it feels. Sometimes as if it’s the former, sometimes as if the latter. Anything but five years. Half a decade. That just doesn’t seem right.

Fury Road was often rapturously described as an ‘impossible’ film upon its release. Released in an age of bloodless studio-mandated CGI weightlessness full of extended cinematic universes devoid of consequence, here was an aberrant miracle of a movie, screeching out of the Namibian desert with some of the most insane stunts ever put to film, cinematography that married the clever and functional to the artistic, writing that could be taught for decades as an example of economical, belivable character development, and a proud feminist perspective that was woven organically into its storytelling and its characters instead of being shoehorned in at the last minute into a single scene in order to cynically erect a simulacra of progress that would entice the fourth quarter projection graph to snake ever higher.

Five years. Five years since this snarling beast of a movie that fully deserves to stand with the all-time greats of the medium from Kurosawa and Scorsese and Denis and Fellini and Varda and Lee and Coppola and all the rest of them. Five years. Isn’t that just some sh*t? Twitter has been commemorating this mind-boggling anniversary over the past couple of days.

‘As the world fell…each of us in our own way was broken,’ intones Tom Hardy’s Max over an opening montage of societal collapse and ecological implosion, his voice heavy, sagging with the burden of experience yet smouldering with some mad fire deep within. How hard does that line hit, looking back at it from May 2020?

‘To die historic on the Fury Road’, indeed. How lucky we are to have been there when this thing graced our cinema screens. We may never see its like again.

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures