The action is insane whether you see it in 2D or 3D... and 2D makes seeing all the weird details easier.

The action is insane whether you see it in 2D or 3D… and 2D makes seeing all the weird details easier.

Should I See Fury Road in 3D?

Our advice would be to see 2D if you have a choice — this is a film with an incredible amount of constantly-moving detail, and 2D is going to be the best way to see all of that. Seriously: nearly every frame in this film is bristling with little thoughts and concepts. There’s a whole world here, and you want to see it all.

When George Miller had the chance to present the movie to press for the first time here in Los Angeles, he showed the film in 2D. That’s a pretty good endorsement.

That said, I’m catching the IMAX 3D presentation this weekend out of curiosity, and if you have access to a theater with reliably bright and well-calibrated projection, it should still look great in 3D. Plus, there are a couple bits in the film that are clearly designed as 3D gags.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, 1985

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, 1985

Can You Recap the Other Mad Max Films?

Sure! We’ll make this quick and as non-spoiler as possible.

The original Mad Max, released in 1979, established Mel Gibson’s character Max Rockatansky, a cop in a society that had mostly broken down, and who is pretty much broken down himself by the end of the film. It’s a pretty small movie with a group of cops in conflict with a gang led by a poetic villain called The Toecutter. The bad guys want revenge for the death of one of their own, and the cops go after the gang for their flagrant bad-ness. Max is kinda caught in the middle, and it isn’t until the gang violently impacts his own life that he really goes into “mad” mode.

The Road Warrior, from 1981, is the film most like a chronological sequel in the series than any other. Max, driving the same car and bearing his wounds from the first movie, comes across a motorized gang besieging a stronghold built around an oil well and minor gasoline refinery. Pulled into that conflict, Max looks out for himself throughout, but ends up helping the oil refiners in their attempt to escape the gang forces led by a hulking but well-spoken chieftain who calls himself Lord Humongous. The Road Warrior is the movie that really made this series weird, and it

(The film is really called Mad Max 2, but was retitled for US release; the thinking was that not enough people knew what Mad Max was.)

The third film, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, from 1985, is even more loose as a chronological sequel, but close enough. Max, in pursuit of stolen property, meanders into Bartertown, a rough attempt at civilization jump-started by the entrepreneurial Aunty Entity (Tina Turner). A power struggle in Bartertown leads Max to shelter in a cove inhabited by a Lost Boys-like band of kids who think Max is their savior.

All three films end with Max essentially alone, and The Road Warrior and Thunderdome are both narrated by characters who place Max in a position of near-legend.

The implication in Fury Road is that this is yet another sequel, but aside from the character’s name, his survival skills, a fondness for vehicles, and disintegrating mental state, there’s not much here to explicitly connect this Max to the guy played by Mel Gibson. There are some visual signifiers — the Interceptor, his knee brace — but they don’t do much to establish when this movie takes place relative to the previous three.

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We’ll have a lot more on Mad Max: Fury Road next week, including a lot of info on the making of the film, and more conversation about what’s actually in it.

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