I think it’s fair to suggest that I am unreasonably excited about getting a new “Mad Max” film from George Miller. And, to be blunt, I don’t really care if it’s a sequel, a prequel, a reboot, or a kabuki musical version as long as it’s got tons and tons of car stunts staged by Miller, the single best road action director of all time.
No… don’t argue. You can list me other good car chase films, and I’m sure I’m a fan of many of the films you’ll list, but for my money, no one has eve shot car action (or action in general) the way George Miller did in the first two films in the “Mad Max” series. Working with cinematographers David Eggby on the first film and Dean Semler on the second film, Miller created a style of shooting car action that is still unequaled, though oft-imitated. Placing his camera low to the ground and right in the center of the action, Miller made the act of driving seem like an existential expression of self, and not just a mode of transport.
In particular, I would say “The Road Warrior” is the single most kinetic car stunt movie of all time. Things happen in that movie that no stunt team should have walked away from, and every single time I’ve seen it with an audience, the temperature in the room goes up over the course of the film. People engage with it completely, and they react to the big stunts like they can actually feel the impact themselves.
So when I read an article that says “Mad Max: Fury Road” will feature “130 cars and bikes and 298 stunts!”, it makes me want to run around my house beating on a frying pan like Steve Martin in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” It thrills me. It makes me dream of a new film that shakes me the same way “The Road Warrior” did.
Then I think of things like “Lethal Weapon 4” or “Indiana Jones And The Terrible CGI Aliens” and I calm down a bit. It’s good to hope, but it’s also probably smart to keep my expectations low.
I read the story about what is allegedly going to be involved in the film on Moviehole, who sourced it back to the website for Transmoto, which has since taken the story down. My guess is that Cameron Taylor, the rider they quoted, had no permission to spill the beans about the rehearsals that are underway now for the film, and didn’t realize that what he said would turn out to be news.
It is news, though, because we live in an age where almost everything is digital, and stunts aren’t what stunts used to be. Everything these days has a sort of dulled edge, and if it takes George Miller, 130 vehicles, and almost 300 stunts to remind people of the simple pleasures of watching someone risk life and limb on film, then so be it.
The movie starts production early next year, and will shoot for most of next year as they attempt to make two films back to back. It makes me wonder if those 298 stunts are spread over the two films. Even so, count me in, and I hope we get a look at whatever madness Miller has planned as soon as possible.
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