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Feature


Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows. (Taken from the official synopsis).

Video


Well, there's not much to say about Mad Max: Fury Road's visual presentation beyond 'it's fantastic'. However, that wouldn't make for a terribly detailed review, so I'll elaborate by saying that it's a pristine image with bright, bold colours that leap off of the screen, be that the golden sands of the wasteland, the rusty oranges of the massive sandstorms, or the bright blue skies above. Blacks are also very solid, lending tremendous depth to the presentation, and while contrast is occasionally blown it can be attributed to stylistic choices, rather than transfer issues. There's a very fine layer of film grain on show and detail is exemplary, although the action moves so fast you'll scarcely have time to take everything in. I spotted some very minor banding in one or two scenes, but the likelihood is that it is inherent to the source rather than an encoding problem. To cut a long story short, it's a top-notch effort.

Audio


The visuals aren't the only impressive thing about this release, as Fury Road's Dolby Atmos encoded soundtrack is a real powerhouse. Unfortunately I lack the necessary kit to take advantage of the Atmos, but the core Dolby TrueHD 7.1 still sounds tremendous. The thing that really strikes you – at least if you're anything like me – is the ferocity of the bass, which is quite simply thunderous. You can feel the roar of the war rig and assorted vehicles as they speed across the desert accompanied by the relentless, pounding drums of Immortan Joe's war party. Then there are the explosions, which are even more muscular! That's not to say the mix is all about pure power, as there are plenty of subtler moments that employ impressive use of atmospheric effects, and directionality is also very good. Dialogue is generally well-prioritised, although there are one or two moments where things become a little indistinct. However, I vaguely recall something similar from the theatrical screening, so I don't believe it's an issue with the Blu-ray's mix. A special mention must go to Junkie XL's soundtrack, which is almost ever-present and drives the relentless action forward. I particularly like the fact that it makes use of diegetic sounds in the form of the war party's drumming and the crazy bungie-wearing, flame-throwing guitarist in the red spandex suit!

Extras


A fairly healthy collection of bonus material is included to compliment the feature presentation, although the lack of a commentary is lamentable. Still, here’s a list of what you can expect to find.

  • Maximum Fury: Filming Fury Road
  • Fury on Four Wheels
  • The Road Warriors: Max and Furiosa
  • The Tools of the Wasteland
  • The Five Wives: So Shiny, So Chrome
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Crash & Smash

While they might not look like much the extras run for a comparatively long time in this age of marketing fluff pieces. Along with an extensive look at filming there are also featurettes on the vehicles, the principal cast (Hardy, Theron), production design, and the Immortan’s wives. The deleted scenes are nice in isolation, but none of them made me regret their omission from the completed film. The final featurette, which shows a bunch of raw footage of the cars performing the outrageous stunts is interesting, particularly as it demonstrates the subtle ways in which CGI can be used to support practical effects.

Overall


I’m not the world’s biggest Mad Max aficionado, but I’ve seen the original Mel Gibson films and I had a really good time with Fury Road when I viewed it theatrically. Its unrelenting pace belies its two hour running time, and what quieter moments there are serve as welcome respite from the vehicular carnage. If I’m completely honest it lost some of its impact on the second viewing, particularly on the small screen, but that’s always an issue when watching event pictures on a home format. I still have some reservations about the relatively lack of Max in his own movie, nor was I completely sold by Hardy’s portrayal of the character after Gibson’s turn, but these are minor issues. Fury Road is still a very entertaining ride.

The Blu-ray presentation is outstanding, delivering an audio-visual experience to rival anything in recent memory. The bonus material is also surprisingly in-depth for a feature of this nature, as I’m more accustomed to short puff pieces than the fairly lengthy materials we get here. It was a welcome surprise and only serves to reinforce the quality of the disc. As such, Mad Max: Fury Road on Blu-ray comes highly recommended.

 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road
 Mad Max: Fury Road


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