Mad Max: Fury Road is a high octane thrill ride that shouldn’t be missed. A brilliant post-apocalyptic vision from filmmaker George Miller. I was on the edge of my seat following Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) as he fought to survive on the exploding highway wasteland known as Fury Road. The only thing that really bothered me was the movie’s choices in set design. Don’t get me wrong: I give this movie a glowing recommendation, but let me show you what I’m talking about.


In this scene, Max is strapped to a car that’s burning across the dessert. I really wanted to feel his terror but if you look in the back left, there appears to be a road sign. I remember looking at it and being like “what’s that thing in the back?”


Here’s another one. Charlize Theron was AMAZING as Imperator Furiosa, but in this scene, her bad-ass vibe is undercut by one of those super tall McDonalds signs in the background. I guess I understand that they wanted to fill out the world but I just found it unnecessary. Great scene though!


My hands were gripping the armrests as I anticipated the car jumping on the truck. The truck went over the bend and I thought “here it comes!” But when they cut to this shot, I found myself staring at an “adopt-a-highway” sign sponsored by Honestly, I just wanted to see the car crush the truck and then explode.


No clue why they thought Fury Road required billboards. By this point in the movie, I understand that it’s a highway. They could’ve just spent the rest of the movie showing me cars driving in the dessert and I would’ve been totally fine with it.


I mean COME ON. I don’t care that exit 238 is coming up and I really don’t care that there is (or was???) an Arby’s, Burger King, gas station, and hotel there. All I care about is the insane guy diving onto a moving vehicle with two flaming spears. What a shame. Despite that sign, this scene was one of the most explosive in the whole movie.


And there’s that McDonald’s sign again! Why? And why is it only in shots with Charlize Theron? It took everything in me to block out the super tall McDonalds sign and focus on Charlize beating this road-psycho with one arm. Once I did, it was great. But I don’t think I should have to work that hard while I’m trying to enjoy a movie. Maybe that’s just me.

All in all, Mad Max: Fury Road is an action packed tour-de-force unlike anything I’ve ever seen. This movie could’ve easily been perfect but unfortunately I have to give it 2 out of 5 stars.

John Trowbridge is a writer/performer you can catch regularly at the UCB Theater in NYC. Check him out on twitter at @johntrowbridge or his website
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