If you look back at the last few decades of popular cinema, it’s possible to see the state of the art form as being a pendulum swinging back and forth between realism and fantasy. The New Hollywood movement of the 70s ushered in an era where everyone was making movies that were gritty and street level, the rise of the blockbuster created an era in the 80s where everyone was making genre films that were sillier and more escapist, the independent boom of the 90s swung the pendulum back the other way for a while, and then the exploding popularity of things like Harry Potter and Marvel superheroes firmly put us back in a place where a premium has once again been put on the fantastical and the strange.
Recently, modern Hollywood’s penchant for only investing in properties that have built-in name value has led to a new trend where things from the past keep getting relaunched, rebooted, and reconceptualized. So, seeing as genres like sci-fi and fantasy are all the rage right now, of course the film catalogue of the 80s has been raped and plundered in order to create a whole new generation of the same old franchises. The problem with most of these remakes is that they’ve been shit. They’re glossy and generic and they lack all of the insane personality that made the originals stand out back in the day. The new Mad Max reboot, Mad Max: Fury Road, has a big advantage over the rest of those boring studio-led reboots we’ve seen so far though—it’s brought Mad Max’s creator George Miller back to write and direct. If you haven’t seen a George Miller movie, he’s kind of a unique talent who’s hard to put your finger on, so his involvement has resulted in a nutty new take on the post-apocalyptic action genre that’s blowing a lot of people’s minds.