We live. We die. We live again.
10. Mad Max: Fury Road
A 70-year filmmaker reinvigorates his long dead exploitation franchise with a $150M epic shot in the desert that’s now the strongest contender for a best picture Academy Award. Hollywood loves a comeback story and there’s none greater than George Miller and the film that blew everyone away: Fury Road. Visceral and very, very, very satisfying, the Aussie filmmaker reminded us why Mad Max is considered the pinnacle of genre filmmaking. Further more, he reminded us exactly how good blockbusters can be.
9. Mad Max: Fury Road
No, this isn’t a mistake: there was no other movie released in 2015 that deserved this spot more than Mad Max: Fury Road. So pop a bottle of Aqua Cola and celebrate with us, all shiny and chrome.
8. Mad Max: Fury Road
The fourth Mad Max is a cul de sac of a movie: we spend an hour going in one direction only to chuck a U-turn and head back exactly where we came from. AND YET it remains one of the most original, gripping and truly bonkers pieces of filmmaking this or any year.
7. Mad Max: Fury Road
In a time when every tent pole studio film features copious amounts of CGI and green screen, Mad Max: Fury Road made even the most technically skilled special-effects blockbuster look like a freakin’ cartoon in comparison. Building hundreds of real cars and monstrous motor vehicles only to destroy them with carefree abandon, Fury Road was grounded with largely practical effects performed by real people in real locations (namely: the Namibian desert). By the closing credits, we all wanted to die historic on the Fury Road.
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
The Doof Warrior.
5. Mad Max: Fury Road
Not in recent memory has a soundtrack so perfectly captured the foreboding sense of doom and immense scale as Junkie XL’s work on Mad Max: Fury Road. It gave audiences goosebumps when they got to experience it briefly in the trailers, but when Junkie XL’s score was unleashed in its full glory in the feature it was unforgettable. It was the perfect companion piece to Miller’s largely dialogue-free film and created a silent movie for the Generation Y NOT LISTEN TO THIS ALL THE TIME.
4. Mad Max: Fury Road
The Vuvalini. Because who doesn’t want to see a gang of bad-ass women diverse in age and race not-so-discreetly named after female genitalia and performing their own stunts?
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
Miller and his production cohorts started planning Fury Road before the Sydney Olympics. Then September 11 happened. Then the Hollywood writers’ strike. Then the GFC. Then Broken Hill flooded. Broken Hill, man. In a testament to his endurance and dedication to vision, Miller held on like a gremlin on the wing of a plane and got Mad Max: Fury Road made. He gave audiences explosions over a barren wasteland, bodies flying through the air, War Boys (“Come on crazy War Boys!”) and detail in everything from the set pieces down to the props. Nothing in Fury Road was there by accident: from a lone line of dialogue to an errant doll’s head strapped to the back of War Boy. Everything had meaning. Everything had purpose. And it was, suitably, everything.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
Think about Mad Max’s origins for a minute. Just think about it: the franchise was birthed from the exploitation genre, Ozploitation specifically. Women had existed in the Mad Max universe for little more purpose than to be murdered horribly, raped and women-in-the-fridged more frequently than an episode of Supernatural. Yet Miller reinvented the wheel, spinning the male-titled series on its head by giving us a female road warrior whose sole purpose was to liberate other women. Max washes blood from his face with mother’s milk, a young ‘bride’ uses her growing baby bump as a declarative shield, the surface hero is little more than a shelf to support the feminist agenda of Imperator Furiosa as she fires into the night, right at the centre of the patriarchal heart. A franchise that started out as being for men, by men, starring men, ends up not only passing the Bechdel Test some thirty years on but drives a War Rig through it. Into the pantheon of great film feminists did Furiosa not only go, but so too the dozen complex and fleshed-out women of all ages, races and bodies that made up the cast of Fury Road.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
Yes, it was the best movie of this year. It was the best movie of last year. It’s the best movie of any year. WITNESS!