By Dave Montalbano
There is a fine line between comedy and tragedy. George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road walks that tightrope in a big summer blockbuster release. However, this balance between comedy/ tragedy is never more evident than in The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared, a Swedish film which opens tomorrow.
Opening with a picturesque cabin in the snow, the title character lets his kitty cat outside. When the cat does not return, the old man goes outside and sees that his only companion has been brutally killed by a fox.
It is a shocking scene; however, the tone abruptly shifts when the old man gets even with the fox.
Just imagine the Old Man getting dynamite from Wile E. Coyote’s ACME explosive kit.
It has been 30 years this summer since Mel Gibson’s last Mad Max movie, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, co-starring Tina Turner and Angelo Rossitto. While Gibson’s fortunes rose and crashed, there was always talk about continuing the Mad Max series. During the hiatus, writer/director George Miller wrote two Mad Max scripts with Mel Gibson in mind, but the actor aged himself out of the story.
Thomas Hardy does an excellent job stepping into Gibson’s shoes. Like Godzilla’s reveal last summer, George Miller takes his time letting the audience get used to the new Mad Max. By the time Mad Max takes command, the audience accepts the new mad man.
Max is not the maddest one in Fury Road, there is an assortment of crazies in this popcorn-eating flick. The most monstrous mad man is Immortan Jone (Hugh Keays-Byrne – who was “Toecutter Joe” in the original Mad Max), the supreme ruler who tells his dehydrated minions that “water is a luxury.” When the one-armed Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) hijacks a war machine that was on a gas run, the chase is on.
Mad Max: Fury Road is basically a continuing car chase in a post apocalyptic world of a despot society. What elevates these Mad Max movies is George Miller’s attention to detail. In this dystopian world of limited resources, Max uses ingenuity to keep carburetors cool in the Australian desert. He also manages to capture a society that is missing things like radio, television, Internet and wireless communication.
Both Mad Max: Fury Road and The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared provide thought provoking entertainment for the summer heat.