Tag Archives: Zoe Kravitz

Mad Max: Fury Road

At first the signs did not look good for this movie. After all it’s the third sequel to a classic movie, that has been stuck in development hell for years, so how good could the film be? But then strange things started happening. It got a load of rave review and wide acclaim. Despite all it’s problems getting here could Mad Max: Fury Road actually be a decent movie?

Set in the future after nuclear war has made the world a desert wasteland, Max (Tom Hardy) is drifting on his own, haunted by his past. He is soon captured by a group called the Wild Boys led by the tyrannical Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrns). However when Furiosa (Charlize Theron) betrays Joe and takes his five wives away, Max ends up unwittingly involved in the women’s escape. But Immortan Joe won’t let his wives go without a fight.

I have a vague recollection of seeing Mad Max and Mad Max 2: Road Warrior, or at least I remember seeing the end of them. I haven’t seen the third movie, although I’ve definitely seen the Tina Turner music video for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. So while I’m not able to say if Fury Road lives up to its predecesories I can say that on its own merit it’s an adrenaline fuelled movie, that’s absolutely bonkers, and all the better for it. Whether it’s human blood bags being strapped to the front of vehicles or the villains’ crew including men playing guitars and drums on cars as they chase their victims across the deserts, this movie is appropriately quite mad. It’s also hugely enjoyable.

While Tom Hardy is strong and on brooding form as the title character its great that a testosterone full movie like this is not afraid of having strong female characters. Charlize Theron in particular is great as Furiosa. I was worried that the Five Wives (Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) were going to be useless baggage dragging the film down. While they are living McGuffins there to drive the plot along, they are actually interesting and make themselves useful. As the movie goes on you’re willing for them to make it away from Immortan Joe’s grip. Nicholas Holt as Wild Boy Nux is also great in this movie. He manages to be funny in one scene and then pitifully sad in another, even though he’s one of the people chasing after The Five Wives. The baddies are also appropriately grotesque and creepy.

It’s not a flawless movie. Max’s visions of his dead daughter are annoying, while I’m sure they provide the audience with Max’s motivations I still got irritated every time she appeared or heard her voice. But when a movie is as fun as this it’s a small quibble to have.

Rating 4/5 – over the top it made be, but it’s definitely the post apocalyptic-action blockbuster to beat

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Divergent

I just reviewed The Mortal Instruments the other day and now I’ve watched another movie aimed at the lucrative young adult market. But will Divergent -also based on a popular book series-be any better?

In a future dystopian Chicago 16-year-old Tris (Shailene Woodley) is preparing to choice one of five fraction of society to join, Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), and Erudite (the intelligent). When she takes the test to determine her fraction, Tris discovers that she is Divergent-meaning she has qualities belonging to more than one fraction. Being Divergent means her life is in danger and she must protect her secret at all cost.

So it’s no Hunger Games but compared to The Mortal Instruments, Divergent is a masterpiece. Woodley is the main reason why this movie works. She is likeable, sympathetic and interesting to watch. With this and The Fault In Our Stars Woodley is surely becoming a name to watch. She has great chemistry with co-star Theo James, as Dauntless instructor Four (stupid name though). The only thing is that Woodley looks about 12 while James looks like he’s pushing 30 which makes some of their scenes a bit uncomfortable. The supporting characters are mostly forgettable or interchangeable, the only stand outs are Zoe Kravitz as Tris’ brutally honest friend Christina and in particular Miles Teller as Peter, a fellow dauntless transfer determined to make Tris’ life hell.

Most of the problems I had with the film is the same as I had with the book. The Dauntless, the fraction Tris chooses (not a spoiler) their definitive quality is meant to be brave but it comes across more as stupid. They throw themselves off of trains, the transfers are made to beat each other up to, all to prove how tough they are. I wouldn’t trust them to be bouncers of a club never mind protect a whole city. The whole notion of fractions and Divergent is a bit silly as well. After all how many people are determined by one quality, people are a mixture of many different strengths and weaknesses.

Although it’s understandable for the age rating, but I was disappointed that some of the violence from the book is missing, particularly Peter’s violent attack on a rival transfer. I was also a bit distracted by the fact that Tris’ brother Caleb was played by Ansel Elgort, Woodley’s co-star and love interest in The Fault In Our Stars. It could have done with being a bit shorter with the running time. But all in all it’s an entertaining movie that will leave you wanting to know what happens next.

Rating 3/5 – a star turn from Woodley makes this new teen franchise worth watching

 

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