Fury Road

I was skeptical about Fury Road, despite all the glowing reviews. This is because I am surrounded by people who cannot be trusted on this issue: people who are so invested in their 25-years-old fashion choices that had the movie contained at minimum one mohawk and one motorcycle, they'd be telling me it was the greatest thing ever.

But, holy crap, it really is great!

In stark (see what I did there?) contrast to Age of Ultron, where after the movie I kept remembering bits and pieces of it and getting angrier about it, with this one I kept remembering bits and pieces and thinking, "Wow, that was insane."

Every time Toecutter Immortan Joe glowered into the camera, I was imagining the director turning to the editor and saying, fuck yeah! This was not a movie composed of compromises.

Everything about Matt Colville's review is right on, and it contains some entertaining production details:

There is so much CG work in this movie, it's hard to fathom. Miller succeeds at what I would have considered an impossible task. He made a movie FOR people who worship practical effects... and he did it all with CGI. And the audience is going INSANE for the results. They believe. He told them "It's all real," he lied to them, and they believed it.

He knew he could lie to them, because he knew what his audience wants. They want to know; when that truck goes flying up in the air, it's real. When that truck smashed into that rock, it's real.

Well, that part is. They really built all those trucks, and they really launched them into the air and they really smashed them into each other. But that's only about 30%-40% of the film. The launching and smashing. The rest is driving. And almost none of that is real.

The vehicles you see in the movie are almost never moving. They're sitting still, propped up on what are essentially airbags. The airbags allow the crew to bounce the trucks around, they are so severely agitated, they can literally throw people off the truck with the force. But the truck is always sitting in one place.

You never notice it because they matted moving backgrounds in and they used CGI to make the wheels move. They used CGI to make the wheels move. 60% of the movie, those wheels weren't moving on the set, that's CGI. [...]

There are scenes where Charlize Theron is talking, and those are her lips moving, but they're her lips from a different shot, a pickup months later, from a different angle and a different distance, matted together seamlessly using CGI.

There are angles, crazy angles you wonder "How did they get the camera there?" They didn't. They filmed it at one angle and used the CGI to pan the camera around into a location it couldn't be in. [...]

They shot all day. They could shoot in any order. They never worried about the light. Well, the DP worried about the light constantly, but Miller kept telling him "Doesn't matter, doesn't matter. We'll fix it in post." And they did. Shots filmed in the early morning desert, the sky white, the ground choked with fog, match the shots from the heat-blasted midday desert. You can't tell.

When the DP worried they were racking up a huge computer graphics bill (which they were) Miller responded sagely "If they want a finished movie, they'll pay for it." He knew the worse it looked in-camera, the more certain it was Warner Bros. would pay for the CG.

He knew exactly how to push the limits of what could be done on-set, and what the computers could do after. And the result is a movie that feels like you're watching movies for the first time. No movie looks like Fury Road. No movie moves like it, is cut like it.

Oh, and his smackdown of Interstellar is good, too:

The movie sort of assumes everyone in the movie saw Contact and so when ALIENS contact Earth with a plan (sort of) to save humanity if only they'll jump through this wormhole they planted, our hero just fucking goes along with it.

He goes along with it because he was created by the script. He was engineered, by the writers, to be someone who just happened to live 10 minutes away from an ultra-secret project that just happened to need an ace pilot of which he is literally the only one left, which is lucky, because he also happened to be the best there ever was. Chris Nolan, fuck you.

Hang on, let me calm down a little. That's not the most insulting part of the film.

Tags: , , , ,

16 Responses:

  1. Andrew says:

    This was the first movie in a looong time that I had multiple "WHAT?! did I just see that?!?!" moments while watching. Probably first time since I was a small child still full of wonder. Fantastic.

    • jwz says:


      "For anyone who denied that “Titus Andronicus” could ever be mashed up with “The Cannonball Run,” here is your answer, and we are only too happy to follow Nux as he cries, “What a lovely day!,” and accelerates into a whirlwind of fire."

  2. Phil Nelson says:

    I saw it 3 days ago and I'm still thinking about awesome shit that happened in Fury Road. The effects really were stellar. Just a triumph of a damn movie.

    • Phil Nelson says:

      and it was such an economical film in terms of story and dialogue. Nothing was wasted whatsoever, nothing felt tacked on. So great.

  3. mattyj says:

    I'm not sure I believe all of the reviewer's words re: CGI. If you poke around the interwebs a bit you can find plenty of on-set b-roll type footage where there are certainly many vehicles careening through the desert under their own power.

    I'm a 3D apologist and usually hate post-converted 3D, but they did a stellar job on this one. Miller spent a couple of years trying to develop a new 3D rig to film Fury Road but eventually gave up. Though it looks like he still shot it with 3D in mind.

    After seeing this, I wasn't even home yet before I preordered the bluray.

    • Perry says:

      I've seen the film in both 3D (first time) and 2D about 48 hours later. I was convinced to see it in 2D very reluctantly. I thought the 3D was fine. I was wrong. It turned out the 3D still was much worse than the 2D. There's so much detail I was literally unable to see in the 3D version because it was too muddy -- some of it even important to the plot.

      I know a bunch of people who have reviewed it (like A.O. Scott) say the 3D is worth it, but I wonder whether they actually saw it both ways in quick succession.

      Anyway, I highly recommend, even for this film, giving the 3D a miss.

      Oh, and yes, the movie was utterly awesome.

    • Colby Russell says:

      There's a tag at the end of jwz's post mentioning the reviewer's take on Interstellar. Yours is the second comment here to use the word "stellar" in describing Fury Road.

      Conclusion: you are not in control of your life, your thoughts are not your own, etc.

  4. "people who are so invested in their 25-years-old fashion choices that had the movie contained at minimum one mohawk and one motorcycle, they'd be telling me it was the greatest thing ever."

    This is why I like you.

  5. Kyle Huff says:

    So... I should go?

  6. Mark Crane says:

    This two hour presentation about the filming is interesting:


    They used Canon 5Ds for weird chassis shots, and destroyed many of them.

  7. Jane Drow says:

    The screen with its empty and stupefying effects is the prime gateway for the true opiate of the masses, which is acceptance and love for the lie made of lies.

    • jwz says:

      O'Blivion was not the name I was born with. That's my television name. Soon all of us will have special names, names designed to cause the cathode ray tube to resonate.