Don't run off.

0030 Long View

I was thinking, for a few days now, of collecting my thoughts on Age of Ultron and Fury Road for a BLOG! post. On the other hand, I don’t really have a news post for today, so I figure I might as well put that here.

There’s no real question. Ultron is better produced, it looks better, has a better script, better action, better acting- In every way I can think of, Age of Ultron was better than Mad Max.

Yet Fury Road was the better movie.

Part of the reason is the simple fact that Fury Road was born as a movie. Age of Ultron is a graphic novel adapted to the screen. It works wonderfully as that. Even with it’s double deus ex machina. I get the feeling that some dislike its treatment of AI. There may be a point to be made there, but not, I think, one that’s fair to the material. Avengers is a comic book adaptation, and Marvel has a lot of mythos to mine. Maybe, as they mature, the studio will look at developing more thoughtful versions of it’s villains. Maybe. But Ultron has always been an excuse for evil.  I can’t fault Avengers for not being more nuanced. It had too many characters to service and too much ground to cover. It was a tent pole, fluffy, summer season film, and it did that quite well, thanks. A grade. would recommend.

Mad Max Fury Road is an A+.

I’m a writer. Always have been. I’ve no real clue why I decided to work in a visual medium, other than the fact that I can. It probably would have been less costly to stick to what I know. I know I have a lot to learn about visual language. I spend a lot of time composing my panels, looking for that “feel.” But I couldn’t tell why something feels right. It just does.With Fury Road, huge swathes of the story are told just by the images. The composition, the expression of a character, a juxtaposition, a bit of symbolism. I honestly have no idea what the director really intended, but the finished product is so filled with meaning, that you can easily draw whatever message you want from it.

Isn’t that the definition of art?

Fury Road is described as one long chase scene. That’s note really true. It has some exposition before the chase starts. Then it’s one long chase scene. It’s pretty much nothing but chase scene after that.

Avengers doesn’t spend a lot of time developing its title characters. It doesn’t have to. It expects you to know them. Fury Road spends no time developing its title character. A bold move, given how long it’s been since a Mad Max movie was made. Unlike Age of Ultron, Fury Road does have to introduce us to a big chunk of its cast. Get us to care about, and root for them. It manages to do this and hardly stops the chase to do it.

If, for some reason, you haven’t seen either film and can only see one, Fury Road is the best choice. I’d recommend them both, but I’m greedy that way.


↓ Transcript
Frame 1
CHARLEY: I hope you changed your mind about that.
MIRA: Obviously. Wouldn't be safe. Hope your luck improves.
CHARLEY: Maybe it already has. It's not about luck anyway. Easy to strike out when you aren't willing to swing. But I'm young. I have time to figure it out. You know?
MIRA: Not really.
Frame 2
CHARLEY: I can wait and see, I guess I'm saying. No sense in thinking tonight was preview of the rest of my life.
MIRA: I don't have a life.
CHARLEY: Ditto, but I figure I'll make one.
Frame 3
MIRA: Yeah. Maybe.
CHARLEY: That's the kind of ambivalence that's launched nations!

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