Monday, 25 May 2015

Review: The Art of Mad Max - Fury Road by Abbie Bernstein

Publisher: Titan Books
Format: Large hardcover
Released: May 15th, 2015
Rating: 9.5/10

Amazon summary:

Max Rockatansky returns. Haunted by his turbulent past, the wandering Road Warrior becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. Seeking escape from the tyranny of Immortan Joe, what follows is a high-octane Road War - and a chance for redemption. The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road is the official companion to the highly anticipated movie.


The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best film books I've seen in a long while. It's packed full of concept art, on-set photography and behind the scenes information that's both interesting and revealing. All too often these days movie 'making of' books are merely concept art with a small amount of text (see the Marvel 'Art of' books: brilliant but not enough real photos for my liking), but The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road is very much an old-school film book like I'm used to. I really enjoyed reading it and getting an insight into how this mental movie made it to the big screen!

The book is split into lots of sections and begins with a foreword by writer and director George Miller. Each main character gets their own section, with Max, Furiosa and Immortan Joe understandably taking centre stage. The Wives and the Vuvalini also get their own space, with the actresses pitching in to give their thoughts and feelings on their roles. I loved learning more about these characters and what motivates them, and I'm glad they all got a decent amount of pages!

The rest of the book covers the locations and main conflicts throughout the film. There's so much action -- two solid hours, to be exact -- that it can be easy to miss things. This book is like a memory refresh while also serving as a lesson in how to create huge, sprawling action scenes on the big screen. I didn't realise Tom Hardy did a lot of his own stunts, and learning that fact has now made me like him a little more. The vehicles also get a lot of coverage here which is great - if you've seen the film, you'll know what a huge part they play.

I can't recommend this book enough. As a making-of guide, it's easily one of the superior volumes available, along with those produced for the Hobbit films. It's got everything any Mad Max fan could want to know where Fury Road is concerned, and it's especially good to see that the book's author and producers were granted on-set access and photographs in order to make the best book possible. I can't think of anything else I'd like to have seen within this book, and I'm pleasantly surprised by the depth of information presented here. If you loved the film and want to know more, then this is an essential purchase!

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