Mad Max: Fury Road

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Crazy nonsense with little redeeming value. Made for eighth grade boys and girls who don’t see there is a weak plot, weak subplot, weak dialogue, and ludicrous circus characters. Vestal virgins (breeders) wearing white scarves that hardly get dirty. White chalked natives banging drums following some voodoo leader. I was never so happy to see Max knock off the guitar player.

Okay, I’ll stop.

I went to the cinema because it seemed like EVERYONE loved this movie, and I felt I was missing out on a cultural phenomenon. What was bizarre was the audience who watched alongside me. I thought I entered the wrong theater. Why on earth were 50s, 60s, and 70-year-olds watching this? No evidence they were taking their grands to see it–again. And then I realized. Once, we sat together mesmerized by Star Wars IV, all those years ago.

I was in eighth grade when Star Wars IV came out. I sat the entire summer, it seemed, raving and re-watching the film. I was bamboozled with the technology and the music and the fast paced action scenes. Even though the plot was simple and the dialogue weak, I was transported to another world that seemed foreign yet recognizable. Princess Leia could fight like a man. It was her story, yet she still needed protecting and she begrudgingly fell in love with a brute who grunted and could hardly form a sentence. “I love you.” “I know.”  Wait, that’s coming in the next film. And rest assured there will be more Mad Max films to follow. Probably eight of them.

So what did I like about the film?

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It’s a welcome sight to see kick-ass older women. Hell, I wanted to be one of them, riding my motorcycle in the Outback, camping under the stars. Let me plant some seeds. Who needs men, anyway?

I liked the impending sand storm. The mucky crow world. The salt flats especially at night, glowing under a star-popping, satellite-dropping sky.

Tom Hardy has nice lips.

Charlize Theron has beautiful bone structure. She reminded me of the unfortunate result when a middle school bully gets a hold of his little sister’s Barbie doll and goes to town. If it weren’t for her presence in the film, I might have walked out and caught the last half of Far From the Madding Crowd. I loved Charlize in the film.

There was very little CGI. Thank you. The gritty, revved up camera action was effective and connected it to the original Mad Max.

I liked Max’s haunting daughter who slaps him into action.

The pole swinging warriors. The car on top of the tank.

Like my simple sentences and fragmented thoughts, that’s what I experienced. The energy rush. The assault on the senses. The stunts were cool. Nothing deep.

Sometimes what you need is perfect escapism. I know I felt that way when I watched Star Wars IV. 

All that was missing in Fury Road was a John Williams score.

36 thoughts on “Mad Max: Fury Road

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  1. Nice review, Cindy! Although I can’t quite figure out if you liked this or not… Lol. Was it kind of a love/hate thing? It was all love with me! Totally agree on the women being great – that’s what I loved most about this. And I’m a BIG Princess Leia fan! 🙂

  2. Cindy, it turns out that you found quite a bit about the film to like. I might suggest the reason there were so many seniors in the audience is because, thirty years ago, we absolutely loved Mad Max 1 and 2.

      1. Cinsy , did you see it in 3D? I did, and thought the 3D might have messed up the editing, as there are no clean edges in 3D. Mad Max 2 was so thrillingly edited and Fury Road, at least in 3D, was a mess. What’s your take on this angle?

    1. Bill, I did not see it in 3D. I thought the editing was fine, but I am embarrassed to admit I didn’t see Mad Max 2! I was elbow deep in dishwater and diaper changing. I will have to trust you that 2 was even better than the first. As far as Fury Road, I think it indicative of our near future. White painted, Neo-Nazi crazed misguided warriors control all the water–BTW, how does Max, et al, survive without any water? I can’t see the rotund mothers pumping that much milk for a nation to drink–and in our dystopian world we are surrounded by people who grew up heavily influenced by Tim Burton’s penchant for creating characters wearing bad makeup.

      That’s why I’m hanging out with the dames on the bikes in the Outback. 😉

  3. Amidst the hype it’s refreshing to read a different take on “Mad Max: Fury Road”.
    I’m not sure how it will compare to the well-oiled machine that is Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

    1. It’s interesting to me see how certain films really cling to the public and become instant “classics”. Mine was Star Wars and I couldn’t help noticing the similarities. It is fun to become passionate about a film. Thanks, Paul.

  4. Haha Cindy, it sounds like the stuff you didn’t like about the film were the things I loved! I found the simplistic plot and dialogue so refreshing. It’s such a simple good guys vs bad guys film. And the action was choreographed perfectly. Nice to read a different opinion on it though 🙂

    1. There are many who love it as much as you, I thought it was smart of George Miller to include an older set to appeal to a greater expanse of audience. Like George Lucas, he didn’t give them enough screen time to provide enough depth for me. I also thought it silly that the red headed breeder fell immediately for the comic relief warrior who sides with the crew after he just tried to kill them–why on earth would she lay next to him and become a love interest? Not that I’m a prude, but I’m really glad they left out sex or showing body parts. It’s rare to see a violent/action packed film where everyone behaves in front of the screen. A bit of an irony?

  5. I seem to recall taking my son, who would have been about 7 or 8 {1978-80?} and I remember Mel Gibson being Max, but beyond that – all of the original movie I recall is: car chases, killing each other and lots and lots of dust!!

  6. Interesting review Cindy. I feel similarly…enjoyable escapism and I was also glad to see ‘real’ stunts rather than CGI, but I’m afraid I didn’t quite get that ‘Star Wars’ feeling. I think ultimately I need more than just action but it certainly entertained for a couple of hours and that action was obviously done well.

    1. Stu, I’m right there with you. If only Miller had developed the third act more. If only Miller gave more thought to his dystopia world. If only they had crossed the salt flats instead of turning around. I’m telling ya, if it had a stellar score, it would have caught everyone in the net.

      1. You might well be right! From what I’ve read people seem to have enjoyed the soundtrack generally, but it wasn’t for me.

  7. I’m always suspicious of hyped-up movies and mass popular things. I loved the original trilogy — # 2 might be the best action movie ever made — but I’m not eager to see this one. I’m old enough to remember that the first two movies were low-budget, low-key affairs. Something that you discovered at the “dollar theater.” The Mad Max franchise, like the Terminator movies, have became a little too popular for their own good. Your review confirms some of my suspicions (the feminist subtext and the lack of CGIs are good news though). But we’ll see, I’ve been wrong before 🙂

    1. Welcome! This is one of those films you probably ought to see just so you know what people are talking about. And it is assuredly better on the big screen than in your living room. You are absolutely right that Mad Max was a low-budget film that sprang up with a cult following, and yes, like Terminator, it got too big for its britches. I’m not the least bit interested in the new reboot with an old Schwarzenegger. Anyway, the ridiculousness of Road Fury matches the original. Like Mad Max, Road Fury does not try to be intellectually stimulating. However, all the stunts in the world can’t replace a solid, well-thought script. I hope the second one gives me more depth. It wasn’t much different than watching Star Wars IV, only here we have dirtier, dustier circus characters without a stunning score. Let me be clear, SW4 is very dear to my heart.

  8. Hi Cindy. Lots of reviews of this film going around the blogs. Being English, I have a lot of time for Tom Hardy. He has played some standout roles, including his part in the marvellous BBC TV series ‘Peaky Blinders’. (Try to catch that series, please.) I liked the original Mad Max, and as I have replied to other reviews, I saw it as a re-working of classic Japanese samurai films, like ‘Yojimbo’, and ‘Seven Samurai’.
    I am not currently that interested in this latest incarnation, despite the pedigree of the cast. But given the rave reviews, I might just change my mind. Eventually.
    Best wishes as always. Pete.

    1. Hiya Pete! Oh, maybe you will get around to watching it and you might like the punch. Thanks for the defense of Tom Hardy. I haven’t heard of ‘Peaky Blinders’. Let me go look for it! Cheers, mate 🙂

  9. Glad you love this too Cindy! I was just raving about this w/ my co-worker. I actually really dig the music and that guitar player is a hoot! Tom Hardy’s got gorgeous full lips, like my new crush 😛 Charlize is so bad ass, but bad ass w/ a heart. I find this movie to be quite emotional on top of the crazy action stuff.

  10. Loved your honest review! I haven’t seen this yet but I must admit that – whilst I’m fully on board with more strong, female characters – I’m not so sure about this being labelled as a ‘feminist’ movie, which seems to be the direction it’s taken in the UK!

    1. I’ve read similar stuff–feminist propaganda–good grief. Show a kick-ass woman in film and everyone thinks it’s an anti-man movie. The breeders, still pretty and ultra-feminine, needed protecting. I did love the matriarchs on bikes.

  11. Haven’t seen this yet. Will at some point. I wondered at the casting though. Why didn’t they get someone we knew to play Max? Established Star. Lots available. And whether this guy does the job? Or whether that even matters in this movie or not? What do you think?

    1. I love Tom Hardy. He is quite popular and plays the strong silent type well. Charlize Theron is wonderful and because it’s not a CGI world, but real, it’s a lot of great stunts and fun for most everyone. It’s an adrenaline rush. Save it for when you are bored.

  12. “Like my simple sentences and fragmented thoughts, that’s what I experienced”

    Totally!! My review for this was unlike anything else I had ever written. I was almost speechless!

    Great write-up! 🙂

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