You can smell the petrol in the air and feel the acrid heat on your skin in George Miller’s bravado reboot of his 1979 classic of punk film-making, Mad Max. This is not, it should be said, a “reboot.” It’s the same Mad Max, post-Thunderdome, though now played by Tom Hardy (instead of Mel Gibson).

There is, of course, another hero. Heroine. The story proper kicks off when Immortan Joe’s top raider — Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron with a shaved head and one steel arm — sets off on a mission in a ramshackle War Rig before suddenly changing course. Joe checks on his breeders, but they’re gone. He screams to Heaven and orders up his army. The chase is on!

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George Miller shot and cut together some of the best car chase scenes in movie history in Mad Max: Fury Road. Now, Car chase scenes are fantastic, but they are probably one of the most difficult things to capture. Miller used a ton of brilliant trickery to make for a fantastic film.

For example, Miller uses neutral shots to reorient the viewer, rather than just breaking the line or switching back and forth with some sort of reckless abandon (looking at your Micheal Bay).

The car scenes in Mad Max Fury Road aren’t at all confusing, probably because George has his camera department keep important information in the center of the frame at all times. When you have a ton of imagery flying at you at high speed, you can only register a portion of the action, so don’t make things harder on the viewer by making them search around the outskirts of your frame.

Miller kept all of the action and camera placement as logical as possible while maintaining the fast-paced and kinetic energy generated by the events. He uses a combination of screen direction, camera movement, stability, and cutting-on-action to guide us through the chaos.

The film always makes use of an eye-line of a character to either establish or at times shift the viewer’s understanding of screen direction within a scene. This is simply excellent use of build screen direction and informs orientation through the use of actor eye-lines. When an actor looks in a certain direction, he takes this as an opportunity to cut across the line to where the character is focused.

Mad Max Fury Road is the most heart-pumping car chase movie yet, science confirms it. A small-scale study conducted by Money.co.uk included 100 volunteers watching these 20 movies with heartbeat monitors, tracking the effect of on-screen action in terms of an elevated heartbeat. The average resting heart rate in the test group was 64 BPM, and the top number one film, Mad Max: Fury Road marked a 33 percent increase in that, to 85 BPM.

 

 

Mad Max: Fury Road was co-written, co-produced, and directed by George Miller. Miller collaborated with Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris on the screenplay. The film stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee, and Courtney Eaton.

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The Sandstorm Car Chase Scene Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

9

Movie

9.0/10

The Car Chase

9.0/10

Overall

9.0/10

We like:

  • This beautifully shot masterpiece has some of the best action scenes, with car chases and stunts that are second to none.
  • The film is a gripping full adrenaline race across the desert of a post-apocalyptic future.
  • The action sequences are mesmerizing and the work of a true master craftsman in action.