Q: Who was your favorite main character and who was your favorite supporting character?
Imperator Furiosa is the best main character. Is that even up for debate?
For favorite supporting, it was either the dwarf left behind at the Citadel or the guitar-playing monster.
Fun fact about the guitar and rig.... it all really worked. Apparently, Miller would have it no other way.. props got do what they're supposed to! so all the speakers and flames.... so they say, were functional. If you believe the internet.
Guitar guy would be better if he played more than 1 song. Citadel dwarf was great
Close runner ups would be Joe's giant son Rictus Erectus, or the Organic Mechanic, but only because their names are so awesome.
Nux rocked it for me. I was expecting a brainwashed thug, but he had an actual arc. He killed it as a member of his cult.
The guitar guy was the best supporting character. He reminded me of the Twisted Metal video games.
He was credited as the Doof Warrior, which is raising his stock.
I absolutely loved the Doof Warrior as well. Awesome concept for a movie that just revelled in ridiculous things.
Furiosa is definitely the best main character. It might as well be her movie.
Favorite main character was Max and favorite supporting character was the bad guy.
Ok, I'm going to need Jonathan and Phil to defend its supposed greatness. SPOILER ALERT!!!!
Mad Max has great action shots and decent dialogue but it's a lame story. The action offsets some of its lameness but "hey, I'm going to hijack a rig and drive east to a place that no longer exists, fend off 'bad guys,' only to return to the place I left to overtake it" story is just too much to overcome. The one thing that repeated in my head at the end was "let my people go." If one grades solely by action, then I can see why viewers think it is great but if one desires something more, like a good plot, then look elsewhere.
The story is the equal of the direction. This is one of the best-written action movies since who knows when, because it is an action movie that also blows up so many action movie tropes and cliches. You're discussing mechanics and not theme. Why are the Wives escaping? Why are the War Boys chasing them? Why is Joe willing to put his empire at risk to get them back? Yeah, the mechanics are just drive to a place you thought existed, realize it doesn't, and drive back, but the details of the world are so well-thought-out and thematically consistent, that reducing the movie to only A to B isn't giving it anywhere the credit it deserves.
Blows up so many action movie tropes and cliches? Are you kidding me? High speed car chases, explosions, death, half naked women, and a bad story. Sounds like a typically good action yet an overall mediocre film to me.
Jon, the answers to your questions can simply be answered after five minutes of understanding. Upon seeing the women, one can clearly understand why those things happen.
I will admit there is a feminist theme in Mad Max that is unique to action films but everything else aforementioned I stand by.
Those are details, not motivations. The car chases are happening because women in sex-slavery are trying to assert their personhood, that They Are Not Things, and are aided by a sex-slavery survivor who truly empathizes with them. The explosions are happening because Immortan Joe has created a death cult around himself through his control of the water supply, drugs, and brain-washing. The women are half-naked because they just escaped from Joe's harem, where I'm sure he likes them that way. The only instance of nudity is used as a trap for unsuspecting males. This kind of movie, that doesn't objectify women (Transformers), or make them useless, screaming idiots (Temple of Doom), or make them less competent solely because of their gender (Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters), is very, very rare, and it makes the movie so much more than just splosions.
That feminist theme is revolutionary for a $150 million summer action movie.
I just don't understand what you mean by 'bad story.' Max has an earned arc, so does Furiosa, so does Nux. All those characters started in one place and ended in a different one. Those characters, particularly Furiosa, are driving the plot, not the other way around, so the movie is first about them and about the chases and the explosions second. A counter-example would be that Rock-in-an-earthquake movie coming up. Something happens and the Rock reacts to it. I wouldn't call a movie bad before I see it, but that's a recipe for a boring plot. In Fury Road, the characters do something and other characters react. It's a more active structure around a quick and straightforward series of events. Would you have liked it better if one of the Wives was playing a double-cross? That would've added more to the story, but it wouldn't have made sense for the character, and character is more important than story.
Now, you're just rationalizing. It is a typical action film that is good at action and nothing more than that.
Again, it seems like you're unwilling to engage with it on a level beyond the superficial, albeit mind-blowing, action. There's a contemporary version of this movie happening right now in Nigeria with Boko Haram. Death cult, sex slaves, isolated in a forbidding landscape. Fury Road is a batshit-insane chase film with a body count in the low hundreds, but it's also tapping into a real phenomenon and the ethos behind it.
Jon, attempting to find a connection between art and reality is fine but it appears you are really going all out. Why stop at Boko Haram? Why can it not be a statement about U.S.' slavery? The female slaves were objects for sex, after all. Or how about the GOP's war on women? Why not religious fanaticism since followers saw Joe as a deity?
Another thing, why did Fury Road, as opposed to the other Mad Max films, blow your mind?
I will discuss themes but not go off the deep end.
Jon, people keep saying this, "That feminist theme is revolutionary for a $150 million summer action movie. " but I don't get it. Is it just because there are female leads that this is now considered "feminist?" Seems like a bold jump.
One of the consultants on the script was Eve Ensler who wrote the Vagina Monologues and who has also been immersed in the world of sex slavery through her activism. The connection I'm making to Boko Haram isn't accidental; it's baked into the film. The example of Boko Haram fits perfectly, but yeah, it's not like that's the only group that is aggressively trying to keep women subservient by all means necessary. That those groups are so numerous is yet another reason that movies like Fury Road, which full-throatedly depict the anguish and anger generated by having control of your body taken from you, need to exist.
Bryan, I'm in the process of writing my letterboxd review, so I'm still turning over my thoughts about it, but I think one of the reasons it is pro-feminist is because it's anti-masculinity. The movie makes it very clear that it holds men responsible for the state of the world, and by making the three town leaders so grotesque, openly laughs at the idea of allowing men to continue to monopolize control over the world. With the ending, in which Furiosa is going to take over the Citadel, it's a chance to maybe get it right this time, while Max goes away. She and the other Wives will know what it's like to be powerless and they'll teach the baby War Boys a better way. Maybe they'll be able to keep it together, maybe not, but there's that hope.
The link is better-argued, because I barely have a grasp on this topic. A line I like is that this isn't a movie with female protagonists pitched to women, it's a movie with female protagonists pitched at men, which is incredibly rare.
Jon - I think you're jumping to conclusions. Where does it do this, "The movie makes it very clear that it holds men responsible for the state of the world,"
Fury Road puts Splendid on a pedestal as a truth-teller, and when one of the Wives is wavering after they escape the tornado, Splendid (I think it was her) yells in her face, "Who do you think made the world like this?"
Wouldn't the wives most likely only know their sheltered world? I would assume the who in "Who do you think ... " is referring to Immortan Joe, not men in general.
Nope. The Wives' den has its own library. I think it's safe to assume they knew something of the world before.
Jon, we agree on the feminist theme and the sex slave connection is ok - at best. Where we part ways is the symbolism of Boko Haram. You just wanted that to be the connection so you made it that way. Why specify on him as opposed to sex slave owners in general? Because Boko Haram has an army? That is a stretch. The feminist theme is present, as it is with Kill Bill, but the specification of Haram is too much.
I call it a bad story because the action drives it, not compliments it. Imagine Mad Max without the car chase and explosions and what do viewers have? Not much. Charlize is not a great actress but a decent one and she did her job well here. Max had few lines but a lot of action sequences. I wonder why that is the case. Yes, the feminist theme and action saved the movie as everything else was a let down.
Few lines, which were mediocre, but excellent action scenes create an above average film.
I still don't see how you can respond "Nope." And how do you know the library isn't full of romance novels?
Drew - Do you go to an action movie for the story? I sure don't. I just want wall to wall over the top action. Stuff happens to go from one action to another.
To give Fury Road some credit. I did not see the turnaround coming. All the characters fit into the action well. They kept me entertained to the point of excitement for what would happen next.
Drew, you're really zeroed in on my reference to Boko Haram. To restate it, Joe and the leader of BH are both charismatic mad men who dress ostentatiously. They both have legions of followers ready to die for their respective groups, and those followers are also sure they'll be justly rewarded for their actions in the afterlife. They both operate in lawless regions. They both kidnap women and use their bodies as commodities. I was reminded of BH while writing that earlier comment. Is any of the above incorrect or a mis-read?
'the action drives it, not compliments it.' I have to challenge that statement. Let's pretend Joe's army was 75% smaller and there were no gangs besides his. So long Doof Warrior, so long porcupine cars. Does the plot or characterization of this movie change at all? I don't think it does. To re-reference the upcoming San Andreas, take away the earthquake. There is now no movie there. The action in San Andreas is driving the movie, while the action in Fury Road is complementing the story.
"I still don't see how you can respond "Nope."" Maybe the nope is glib, and there's no way I can know what's in that library. What I can surmise from the library's presence is that the Wives can all read, which means they know something about the world, whether it's a history textbook or the environment a romance novel takes place in. They would know that the world was different before, and now it is the way it is.
Bryan, I go into every movie wanting something, overall, good. All the good that happened in Fury Road was the action.
Jon, yes BH is charismatic but Joe is not. They have a great following but why can it not be about religion? You, of all us Mediocrites, can sense a religious tie like a blood hound on the hunt. How did you miss this one?
Now about the action driving the film. Even with your proposed scenario, there is plenty of explosions and car chases that are wonderfully entertaining. Why? Because the story and situations do not change. Story is still bad, action is more creative (doing more with less) and fun.
Now Jon, you reversed the scenario and it came to the same result as I purposed (no change in opinions). It appears as though we have the chicken and egg conundrum.
From what i've read, Eve Ensler was there to consult solely on the portrayal of the women/victims... not so much, if at all, the overall feminst tone of the movie. Of course, it definitely helps toward that if you have good consulting for such an important piece of it.
Overall, I'm probably somewhere between Drew and Jon on the film. I certainly liked it, and glad I spent my $5.29 to go see it.. but it didn't hit me like a near masterpiece of a movie.
Some awesome action sequences, some parts that made me feel they tried to hard to be more than awesome, some good dialogue, some lacking dialogue.. a lot of pointing and grunting at things by various people... very strong performances with great female leads, and Hardy was just fine as Max. Nux' turn around and sacrifice to redemption was the most obvious of obviouses, but still good on him and Hoult. Nailed it.
I'm still really surprised that music rig fit through the canyon... and that with how long it would take to get the rocks cleared and all the vehicles through one at a time, they sure dig catch up to that rig full of big engines! I stepped out of reality, and enjoyed a lot of what was going... but that did bother me. Not majorly, as it is what it is in a movie like this...but enough to mention.
I'm probably at a B+, but not entertaining the idea of anything in the A range.
Ha, no... but an abundance of booms and bangs don't really do it for me... so maybe I have a limit on those. The world they created was pretty great, and I appreciate that. Just didn't strike me as an amazing movie
So the moment I clapped was when Imperatan Joe got his fucking face ripped off. Absolutely perfect. Joe is going to go down with Hans Gruber and Buffalo Bill as one of the all-time great villains.
Great villian, and I figured this was the scene. But I wasn't as emotionally moved. How many times did you clap?
I clapped four times as hard as I could. Something Fury Road and Road Warrior do is make their villains so grotesque and evil that when they get their comeuppance, it is like a bolt from the heavens finally setting things right. That it was Furiosa that did it made it all the sweeter.
The only part about Furiosa doing the damage was that she was wavering between death and killing machine for a while. It didn't seem feasible for her to be up there. I had suspended belief early, but it seemed silly to have her on her death bed then climbing between cars in a matter of moments.
This is how I'm able to overlook stuff in Kill Bill. Fine, whatever, one person couldn't take on all those guys with samurai swords. Though when your cause is so purely just like the Bride's or Furiosa's is, then it's like one of those things where a mom lifts a truck off her kid in a state of panic. The adrenaline combined with the righteousness makes any question of believablility fly out the window.
While it was a nice moment, I really didn't feel that it carried the impact you see to have felt, Jon. Just? Yes. The major climax worth clapping for? No, not in my opinion. It felt like just another piece of the carnage...which is fine.
I'm not sure it was all that much better of an end to Hugh Keays-Byrne than Toe Cutter's was
I honestly don't even remember how Toecutter bought it.
Death by semi... with the sweet close up of his face and bulging eyes.
Q2: Which was your favorite scene?
Nux's pre-suicide frenzy was up there, as was his explanation of his chums. Getting Immortan Joe dressed was pretty great. The death of Splendid was a pretty shocking fake-out. The aforementioned Joe face-rip. The tornado. It's hard to pick one.
I loved the first fight scene when Nux and Max are chained together. The choreography of the three way fight was incredible. It was the first scene where I really bought into the awesome action.
Much loved Craig Calcaterra had some thoughts which I agree with concerning this whole feminism debate.
"Here the big to-do seems to be that It’s — gasp! — a movie with a strong woman in the lead and some strong women characters doing cool things and kicking a little War Boy ass. Which I suppose passes for radical these days, sadly. But if it wasn’t for the fact that most movies deliver pretty boring and cliche gender roles, people wouldn’t have made much of a note of it. All of which is to say that, to the extent “Fury Road” and its kickass women stick out in this regard it’s because everything else is so damn awful. If you put Trinity in the lead in “The Matrix” it would’ve worked just as well. Maybe better because she was amazing. But Hollywood tends not to do that and, as a result, we all act confused/surprised/excited/angry when Charlize Theron drives the War Wagon instead of some scruffy man."
I'm not sure what the debate is...
It's well known that men get the leads more often, especially in big budget action movies. Top male starts get paid more on average than the top women. Men are continuously cast as major leads as the age, few women are. Men's characters get the action figures and other merch (the difference in the Marvel universe is pretty huge), etc.
So while it might be disappointing to some people that a movie has to be celebrating for doing something a logical person thinks should be normal... it's still a big deal because, as Calcaterra does point out... it doesn't happen much.
And I absolutely believe that the "who killed the world?" question only has one answer.. and it's men. Probably mostly entitled upper class conservative white men, at that.
JUST SOME IDIOTS GIVING SURPRISINGLY AVERAGE MOVIE REVIEWS.