Mad Max: Fury Road is an amazing film, and one of the best things about the editing is how easy it is to follow the action. All of those crazy visuals would be lost if the viewer can't follow the action but, unlike other recent action films, Mad Max is easy to watch. You can follow the action, and you always know what's going on.
"The most popular editing tendency for action scenes and films over the last 10 years has been the 'Chaos Cinema' approach," editor Vashi Nedomansky wrote in a blog post. "A barrage of non-congruent and seemingly random shots that overwhelm the viewer with a false sense of kinetic energy and power. It can be effective in smaller doses, but exhausting and confusing when absorbed for two hours. If the story is incomprehensible due to editing … you are doing it wrong. So how do you keep action scenes energetic and fresh without shaky cameras and hypersonic editing?"
The answer is actually really simple: The thing you should be looking at was kept in the center of the frame. You don't have to look around to figure out what you should be able to look at; which makes it easy to follow the action, even during rapid cuts.
"Over the walkie talkies during every scene he could heard saying 'Put the cross hairs on her nose! Put the cross hairs on the gun!'" Nedomansky explained. "This was to protect the footage for editorial and to ensure that the entire high speed film would be easily digestible with both eyes and brain. Every new shot that slammed onto the screen must occupy the same space as the previous shot."
You can look at an example of a scene in the video above, and read more about these editing techniques in the blog post. Let's hope more action films strive for this level of clarity.