Not only do I hate Mad Max: Fury Road, I feel deeply betrayed. Everything that made me love the previous movies was simply not present in this one. This atrocity of a film took an iconic world and turned it into a Hollywood trope. Pardon my language but…Miller, how fucking dare you!!
I should probably explain more in depth. Also, I’m not even going to try to avoid spoilers, just FYI.
Mad Max, what the hell are you doing there?
The movie begins with Max being hunted…for some reason that’s never explained. And we don’t know if this is a hunt that’s been going on and he thought he had shaken them off or if this is as out of the blue for him as it is for us. Just, one moment, Max is staring off into the distance while eating a two-headed lizard (and, honestly, I thought he was taking a pee at first) and, the next, his driving like a crazed fugitive. We don’t know if Mad Max came to that area because he was looking for water or other supplies. We don’t know whether this is the Mad Max post-first movie or Mad Max post-Thunderdome. I know we’re supposed to know that going in but I would have like some form of explanation.
And, to add insult to injury, his Ford Falcon gets wrecked early on, fixed, and then totaled later. We barely see it, which is just salt in the wounds, thank you very much. At least when the Falcon was destroyed in the original trilogy, there was a reason behind it and it felt like the death of a character. In this movie, it was just the destruction of a prop, which I found to be appalling. Like so much in Hollywood anymore, it was destruction for the sake of destruction.
Where are the Australians??
Am I insane or does this movie not take place in Australia? Because I could have sworn that it does. Almost all of the characters have either an American or a British accent. With the exception of Farscape‘s Melissa Jaffer, there were practically no Aussie accents. I could count the number of Aussie accents on one hand. One of the things that makes a Mad Max movie are the Australians. Their accents, their slang, all of it. I know that American cinema has this weird habit of using subtitles when incorporating other accents even when said person is speaking English and I know Miller probably would have felt compelled to do that…but I really don’t care. Mad Max takes place in Australia among Australians, so where are the accents? This leads me to my next question…
Max, are you even Australian?
Hardy kept dropping his accent! One second, he sounds like his character out of Lawless. The next, he’s frickin’ Bane. At one point, he sounded just like Charles-freaking-Bronson. It was like he couldn’t settle on an accent. At first, it didn’t really matter as Mad Max only communicated in grunts and monosyllables. But when he started to have actual lines, Hardy couldn’t settle on an accent.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Tom Hardy. I have ever since he played Picard’s clone in Star Trek: Nemesis. He was amazing in the final volume of Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy . I really was excited about him being Mad Max, though I would have preferred they selected an Aussie for the role. Now all I can feel is dismay and wonder what went wrong with Hardy’s preparation for this role.
Besides, Hollywood is xenophobic enough as it is. It did not need Miller enabling that phobia.
Why is any of this happening??
Okay, here’s the general plot of the movie.
Furiosa is a warrior of Immortan Joe, and appears to be the only female warrior. Somehow, she interacts with Immortan’s wives, despite the fact that he keeps them in a locked vault. And she somehow gets them out of the vault and into the empty tanker she’s taking to Gas Town. She goes off course but the warriors escorting her don’t really question at first. They have all this respect and loyalty toward Furiosa, apparently. Immotan realizes what’s happened, loses his shit, and gathers up all of his able-bodied War Boys (as well as his personal rock band) to go after Furiosa and his five wives, two of whom are pregnant.
Mad Max goes along because he’s being used as a living blood bag for a War Boy named Nux, played by Nicholas Hoult. We know that War Boys are also called “half life” because they have shortened lifespans but that doesn’t explain why Nux needed a blood transfusion. Was this supposed to extend his lifespan somehow? Oh, well, I guess Miller decided we didn’t need to know. It was just enough that Nux needed his blood bag, his blood bag was Max, and so Mad Max got to come along because Nux refused to be left behind.
Not only does Immortan bring every War Boy he can, he also rounds up war parties from Gas Town and the Bullet Farmer. It’s at least one hundred armed fighting men against six women and one guy who keeps hallucinating a daughter that he didn’t even have in the first movie. Can we say overkill? At least in the original trilogy, there was a certain level of logic. Not only did Miller leave logic behind, but he paused long enough to piss on it.
At one point, one of the pregnant wives falls out of the rig, gets run over, but is barely damaged. (Yet she still dies.) Immortan has a C-section done on her but it’s too late. The baby is already dead. We only get to see the feet of the child and hear a bunch of squishing noises but even that is almost too much. The man who performs the C-section plays with the umbilical cord while telling Immortan that it was a boy but wasn’t far enough along to be a “viable human being”. I was so deeply offended and shocked by their callousness and view of people as objects, I almost walked out. My husband said that it’s believable that this would be a time in which such atrocities could happen but it wasn’t at all necessary to the plot.
And it wasn’t. It was just another one of Hollywood’s moments of seeing how far they can push something. Also, after the death, and after one line made by the wives, it’s almost as if the girl had never lived. Despite the girls going on about how they aren’t “things”, once the character served her purpose, she stopped existing.
I’ll have the old trilogy, I think.
As we walked out (and we didn’t even stay to watch the credits like we normally did), The Husband and I agreed we would pretend that the movie never happened. There were so many logic flaws, so much over-the-top action (and that’s saying something since this is a Mad Max movie), and so much unnecessary carnage that it was an insult to the classic films. All of the bad habits Hollywood has developed (its senselessness, its xenophobia, its need for flash without plot) screwed up what could have been a fantastic continuation of a classic movie franchise. Neither of us can understand why the movie is getting so many rave reviews. But, in case you are planning to see it, I won’t rant about the ending. But, yeah, I hated that part, too.