May 21, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

"In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland."

Aw, fuck. Like many people, I was going to boycott "Mad Max: Fury Road" due to Mel Gibson not being in it, but curiosity got the better of me. And we all know what curiosity did to the cat, right?

Yeah, "Mad Mad: Fury Road" sucks and blows in so many ways that I can't even be bothered to type one of those "insightful" (the most overused word of the last two years on the internet, preceded by "egregious", and to a slightly lesser extent by "visceral") movie reviews which nobody expects from me anyway. I'm all about the bottom line, and so all I really have to say is that this movie lacks the most important aspect of any dramatic production—pathos.

What's the point of any movie where you don't care about any of the characters or what happens to them? There's absolutely none. For all of its spectacle, stunts, and explosive effects, "Mad Max Fury Road" doesn't have much of a story to tell and the characters are, ironically in a 3D movie, as flat as can be. It's so bad that I couldn't tell you any of their names, not that of the main bad guy or any of the good guys. If any of the "brides" in the movie actually have names, I don't remember hearing them mentioned. Even "Max" only says his name aloud once, presumably so we know that this is a real Mad Max movie rather than a clone.

Briefly, what we have here is a movie which looks the part of all the other Mad Max films but is ultimately a poor imitation of one. With so many years between "Mad Max Fury Road" and the previous sequel, it's not surprising. It's disappointing but definitely not surprising that this mess turned out the way it has. Yeah, it's like having your childhood shat on from a great height again, isn't it? It's not as bad as George Lucas taking a dump on "Indiana Jones" and "Star Wars", of course, nor is it as terrible as the plethora of lacklustre remakes which still keep happening, but this "revisiting" of Mad Max is certainly up there for people hellbent on wallowing in their own cesspit of rose-tinted nostalgia.

Without giving away too many spoilers (as if anyone cares), the story involves the new and even more laconic Max getting hooked up with a woman trying to take the leader of the bad guys' harem to a better "green place", only to discover that the place doesn't exist anymore and turn back again. Races, chases, guns, explosions, and PG-13 level violence, death, and blood abounds.

Faux Mel Gibson and some skinhead woman with a bionic arm made of Meccano.

"Mad Max Fury Road" is a very soft R-rated movie considering what might have been quite controversial subject matter, but punches are pulled in the usual ways, particularly in the confusing fight scenes where it's hard to tell who is doing what to who and there are never any satisfying pay-offs. Other than those scenes, the camerawork isn't bad at all, but as the stunts are the most important aspect, it's worth mentioning that the focus of the stunts is often lost amongst the "guzzoline punk" mayhem. In fairness, this is typical and stylistically equivalent to the classic Mad Max trilogy, except that the first movie only pulled its punches because of the budget.

Tom Hardy replacing Mel Gibson doesn't actually matter in the slightest when the movie is more focussed on as many automotive action sequences as can be crammed in than having a charismatic lead. Sparse as that role is, Mel would undoubtedly have made things a hundred times better and been a bigger name to sell the movie, but it's too late now. Added to this, Charlize Theron tends to steal what little show is on offer as Furiosa (whose character name I had to look up) by being yet another one of these "strong women" which I'm sure we'll keep on getting subjected to as long as filmmakers are swayed by the loudest whiners on the internet.

Let's be real here though, Tina Turner was a much stronger and more iconic character as Aunti Entity in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (1985), and whatever Furiosa is meant to embody (or "empower") is instantly forgettable. She's certainly no Ripley from the Alien movies. Oh, but Furiosa only has one arm, so let's get all the "ableist" arguments going to, shall we? Let's not. It's not worth it. "Mad Max Fury Road" is a big budget heap of nothing which simply isn't worth getting upset about one way or another.

I will just mention one thing to please the progressive-liberals and SJWs. I did notice that there weren't any black characters, unless I blinked and missed them. There are hordes of ultra white and sickly-looking "war boys" (who seem to have escaped from Derek Jarman's "Sebastiane"), however, but as I'm supposedly a "privileged white male" (or whatever the fuck that bullshit label is meant to mean for someone as poor as me with no welfare benefits available), I don't care about them either. Tina Turner was the best part of "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome", so shut the fuck up!

Since "Mad Max Fury Road" was written and directed by George Miller, I suppose I'll have to live with the fact that it really is a legitimate continuation of the Mad Max story whether I liked it or not. Having said that, I'll certainly never buy it on Blu-ray or ever watch it again. Right now, I wish I hadn't watched it in the first place.

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