A film like MAD MAX: FURY ROAD only comes around once in a generation. Emerging from the summer action-movie wasteland, a chromium beacon on the hazy horizon. More than a decade in the making, FURY ROAD is the fourth film in Aussie director George Miller’s loosely-connected post-apocalyptic series starring Mel Gibson. Tom Hardy replaces Gibson as the titular road warrior, but Miller is back in the saddle, armed with the intensity of a man who has something to prove.
Thursday, 25 July 2013
The first time Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn teamed with former Mouseketeer Ryan Gosling, the result was Drive, a retro Getaway flick that tightroped between bursts of ultraviolence and blasts of sonic pop. Their latest collaboration, Only God Forgives, couldn’t be more different, and certainly won’t inspire the devotion of scorpion jacketed cosplayers.
Refn has made a career out of crime. He directed an entire trilogy about Scandinavian drug dealers (Pusher), and plumbed the depths of recidivism in Bronson. With the exception of Valhalla Rising, his one-eyed Viking picture, Refn has cultivated a morbid fascination with sociopaths, but has never come close to revealing what actually makes them tick. Until now.
Sunday, 21 July 2013
Everything old is new again. Remakes, reboots and throwbacks proliferate the pop-culture wasteland with alarming intensity. Every 80s icon you ever loved (even the ones you hated) are back in a big way.
Retreads aren’t anything new. Hollywood has always been notoriously risk-averse, more willing to bank on name-recognition than on an unknown original. Nostalgia careens headlong into cynicism whenever another revival is announced. The Expendables, for example, was simultaneously the best and the worst thing ever mainlined into multiplexes. The easiest thing in the world to sell, but ultimately less than the sum of its parts.
Wednesday, 17 July 2013
It should have been a sure thing. A grand-scale Western, based on an enduring pop-culture icon, starring one of the most bankable movie-stars of the modern age.
But The Lone Ranger flopped.
The flick will likely finish its box-office run limping to less than $100 million domestically. Which is nightmarish in this era of billion-dollar worldwide grosses. It’s certainly bloated, and overwrought, and unsettlingly violent -- especially for a PG-13 Disney family film starring Johnny Depp. But not so much for a Jerry Bruckheimer production.
Despite being DOA, The Lone Ranger is one of the most purely entertaining movies of the summer.