Not only did a new international trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road just drop in the wake of the new footage screened at SXSW — where Australian filmmaker George Miller presented a new sequence from the post-apocalyptic flick starring Tom Hardy in the title role and Charlize Theron as Furiosa — but the movie just received a hard R rating for "intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images." Finally! An action movie that's not afraid to go there, as a Mad Max flick should.
As for the footage shown at SXSW (South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas), the first seven-minute clip apparently takes place after a big chase sequence that was shown during last year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Here's an extremely detailed description via The Playlist:
The new sequence opened with the trashed vehicle belonging to Nux (Nicholas Hoult). He's unconscious and is chained to Max (Tom Hardy), who has a crazy mask that looks like what would happen if a medieval sword maker designed the Hannibal Lecter muzzle. Not only is Max chained to Nux, but he's also connected him by some kind of IV (he rips it out with a wet squish). He tries to get out of his shackles but cannot; he's chained to Nux's wrist. Max takes out his sawed off shotgun and points it at Nux's wrist, and in a great callback to "The Road Warrior," the gun misfires. So Max slings Nux over his shoulder and starts tromping through the wasteland (the same scorched post-apocalyptic hellhole that we have all come to know and love).
Eventually he comes across a group of women led by Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and including Capable (Riley Keough), Toast (Zoe Kravitz), Splendid (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) and Fragile (Courtney Eaton). They're washing themselves with water, to which Max growls "water" (after the footage was screened, Miller said that this was the first word that Max says in the entire movie, 20 minutes in). Splendid tries to free Max of his chains but can't. And that's when he and Furiosa start to brawl. And it's a terrific fight. The sequence is both comedic and intense, displaying Miller's gift for upping the ante in terms as it unfolds, although the footage appeared slightly sped up, like watching a Blu-ray at 1.5x speed (it was unclear if this was an issue with the usually peerless projection at the Paramount or a stylistic decision on Miller's part). At some point, Nux wakes up and joins in the fight, using the chain that links him and Max to trip Furiosa. Finally, Max gets his grubby hands on an actual working gun and fires several bullets at her.
A second clip was also shown, which was a trailer cut especially for SXSW. George Miller then took to the stage for a Q&A to talk about that awesome-sounding new footage, pointing out the similarities between Fury Road and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (which was screened beforehand) that he'd not noticed before: "It's just recycling," Miller said, laughing. "But it is different. It’s not the same story." He also went on to explain the timeline of the Mad Max movies:
"It's sort of a revisit. The three films exist in no real clear chronology, because they were always conceived as different films. The way we all thought about it, is next Wednesday, all the bad stuff we see in the news comes to pass, where we have economic collapse and oil wars, water wars and stuff we didn't even see it coming and we jump 45 years into the future and in a sense we go back to a dark age without rule of law."
Sin City director Robert Rodriguez, who was in attendance in the theater, asked Miller:
"I'm an independent filmmaker here in Austin. I was inspired by you, I grew up watching your movies. I guess my question is how the hell did you make this? It's go-for-broke cinema, it feels real."
With George Miller answering:
“Robert, coming from you. I’m serious, if you want to know how I made it, you just look in the mirror and answer the question yourself. I think what happened is I spent a year editing ‘Mad Max’ virtually by myself and I thought of all the things that I failed to achieve then, so this was a second chance. But it was so frenetic, this, it kind of came out of my gut.”
Have a look at the explosive new international, Japanese trailer:
Mad Max: Fury Road will hit theaters in all its bloody, violent glory on May 15.