A girl who dreams of making it in the film making industry, one day gets her wish when she is accepted to film school. However on the same day as she leaves to begin her new life, a megalomaniacal A.I. called ‘Pal’ decides to start a robot invasion after her creator chooses to discard her for a more advanced version. Think of it as if Apple’s Siri turned evil and suddenly wanted to rid the earth of mankind. Gulp.
From the creative geniuses that brought us the acclaimed Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse, this is an energetic and highly entertaining experience, that blends family drama with a robot apocalypse action movie. Katie, our lead is a plucky, technology-obsessed, typical modern teenager and is reflective of the world we find ourselves in, where anyone with a bit of imagination can create movies and animation, on their phones or laptops. The animation style, like Spider-Man is sort of 2D art brought to life in 3D, is jam packed with ideas and detail and looks gorgeous. Occasionally I think it gets a bit over the top, with things popping up on screen to emphasis and over-emphasis moments … but mostly it works.
Although these kind of movies are not meant to be realistic, sometimes the action gets so crazy any hint of plausibility is thrown out of the window. Thankfully, a genuinely touching father and daughter sub-plot gives this its emotional crutch to rest all of the chaos upon. I get a feeling, being delivered as a Netflix original this could be over-looked, which is a shame because this has plenty of great moments, looks stunning, has real meaning and above all else is a ton of fun. Check it out.
I can’t say I’m all that familiar with the Mad Max series, other than a few memories of catching glimpses of the movies growing up (I’ll always remember the sight of a razor sharp boomerang being flung and slicing off someone’s fingers) and well, that Tina Turner song. However I went into this fairly blind but knew I was getting a fairly high-octane post-apocalyptic action movie. By high-octane however I wasn’t quite prepared for just how bat-shit crazy this film actually turned out to be.
Everyone’s favourite chiselled hard man Brit actor Tom Hardy plays the wondering hero Max, who as we meet him gets captured by a vicious gang and taken to a settlement where a psychotic overlord keeps the peasants in line by restricting the water flow and well, doing unimaginable things to the women (a milking farm?). That is until one of his best soldiers, Charlize Theron’s Furiosa steels a convoy vehicle and heads off into the wasteland, with some of the evil overlord’s finest women hidden inside. Thus sets up the biggest chase in movie history as this guy send all hell after his women of which one is pregnant with his child.
This is a wild and unrestrained viewing experience … from the get-go it’s full on, in your face, chaotic and pretty damn overwhelming. I had a bit of a tough time holding on for the ride as we get speeded up editing that made me dizzy and more screams and nut jobs and cars exploding than I think I’ve ever seen before. The sight of one vehicle with several nutty henchmen beating big base drums on the back, whilst on the front some metal god strums an electric guitar – and I knew I’d been transported to a world truly in the eye of a mad genius. Director George Miller, who also made all the previous Mad Max films, is on blistering form and this is an intense explosion of energy and visual spectacle that rarely lets up. Theron is very good as Furiosa with her cool look, complete with robotic arm and skull-cracking attitude – the whole movie centres around her plight and you do care for her and her entourage of pretty young things. Of course we can’t conclude without talking about Tom Hardy’s Max, which he plays as the grizzled loner troubled by visions of his dead daughter, yet bar a bit of narration and a few words here and there, grunts his way though the whole movie – which makes him a bit sidelined, surprisingly.
The movie’s unrelenting pace and intensity did get a bit much, and the story failed to bring anything to the concept that we haven’t seen many times before. So see this if you want to be shaken in your seat from a roller-coaster of excitement. See it for some stunning visual spectacle. Maybe not so much for everything else. Welcome to the apocalypse.
Acclaimed horror movie director George A Romero makes a welcome return with Diary of the Dead, the latest entry in his zombie saga that started with Night of the Living Dead. After enjoying the most recent entry, Land of the Dead a couple of years back, I am awaiting this latest film with great anticipation…and going by the poster its gonna kick ass!
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