Shortly after the film's home-entertainment release director George Miller announced that he was re-releasing the film in black & white – his preferred expression of film – and fans frothed at the mouth at the idea. And so it has arrived... the “Black & Chrome” edition, where all colour has been doused and a greater emphasis has been placed on the shadows and light. But does it work? No.
The theatrical cut of FURY ROAD is so vibrant and intense that the colour design makes up a huge part of the film's aesthetic. The story is enhanced by the fantastical assortment of multicolours, all of which bind the larger-than-life action together seamlessly. By extracting the colour Miller has subsequently driven a wedge between the story and the viewer. Having already seen the film as a kaleidoscopic fantasy, its impossible – at least for me – to divorce the theatrical version from ones mind.
Sure, there are moments throughout the film that look amazing in black and white; such as large sweeping wide shots and many of the static character-driven scenes, but where the majority of the film is comprised of high-octane ferocity the lack of colour does little more than irritate, like an itch buried so deep beneath the skin that you can't scratch it. My instinct was to revert to the theatrical cut.
I can appreciate what Miller was trying to do, and his own introduction on the newly released blu-ray offers insight and understanding to his reasons. He has a clear affinity for black and white cinema, and he wanted the film to feel classic and texturally nostalgic. He has treated the new version with a lot of passion, and tweaked the shades to reflect a chrome texture... but lets be honest... a similar effect could have been achieved with a simple adjustment of the viewer's television's settings, rather than forking out MORE money for yet ANOTHER bloody release.
So now I own the black & chrome version of FURY ROAD, but I highly doubt I will watch it again. Mad Max has come too far to regress this way.