Originally Published on CNNi 05/12/15
A reboot of Mad Max: The Road Warrior, the movie starts out with a small narrative of what has brought on the post-apocalyptic nightmare that civilization has wrought. Back is the MFP V8 interceptor that was destroyed during Road Warrior, but its appearance is short lived as once again, the interceptor flips when being pursued by the warriors of the wasteland.
The interceptor, as we find throughout the film, is not the only borrowed scene or prop from The Road Warrior. Any Mad Max fanatic will notice the tiny music box, the use of the word “guzaline” and the sawed-off shotgun that fizzles out as part the of the second installment. The cache of weapons in the truck is reminiscent of the entrance procedure into Beyond Thunderome’s city Bartertown, and the appearance of Hugh Keays-Byrne of the original Mad Max film released in 1979 is a welcome return.
Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played Toe-Cutter in the original Mad Max is back for obvious reasons; he plays a maniacal psychopath better than Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. His character Immortan Joe is ruler of the Citadel, a water and plant abundant desert oasis that also imprisons “breeders” who are only used for one purpose, breeding to perpetuate the human species.
Gone is Mel Gibson, who played Max in the first three installments, and in is Tom Hardy who plays Max Rockatansky, an anti-hero of few words but big actions. A “solo road warrior,” as tattooed into his back when taken prisoner and used as a blood bag for Nux, he wanders the wasteland in a kill or be killed mental state, but constantly finding himself in situations where he is forced to decide whether to help the weak, even if it means his own demise.
Charlize Therone plays Imperator Furiosa, a driver for the Citadel who takes matters into her own hands in an attempt to get back to her childhood home which she finds out no longer exists, and NUX, a Warboy played by Nicholas Hoult is your quintessential bad kid turned good. Using Max as his source of fresh blood to replace his radioactive toxic blood, he finds redemption by joining Max and the crew to save a small chunk of surviving civilization ruled by Immortan Joe and the Warboys.
A typical Mad Max will culminate in a spectacular car chase at the end of the movie where the bad guys fall and Max survives, saving the day but refusing to be part of the new world and disappearing back into the wasteland. Fury Road follow that rule with one exception; Mad Max Fury Road is non-stop explosions, fire tornadoes, violence and most of all, a constant in motion camera set up that puts you square in the driver’s seat, or in any given scene, hanging on to the hood of a blown and modified vehicle or clinging to the front of a tractor trailer’s grill for your life.
First and foremost, this movie is the pure definition of insane in the amount of action that is taking place. Yes, there is an underlying theme of social consciousness in that there is a focus on acquiring and limiting water while also controlling the birthing process through slave-wives for the future survival of civilization, but all of this shear madness and cacophony of vehicular mayhem doesn’t stop the Men’s Rights Activists [MRAs] from pissing their collective pants and throwing man-child tantrums at the thought of a strong female action hero willing to stand up to Max [no one stands up to Max].
Deep down in a Man Cave buried somewhere below mom’s house, MRA’s have been crying about Furiosa, who had the gall to give Max orders. In one scene, Max has three shots to take out a very distant vehicle. Two shots down, Furiosa took control of the weapon, placed it on Max’s shoulder for stability and fired…taking out the vehicle in a single shot. How dare you Furiosa!
MRA’s, or meninists as they are sometimes called, is an anti-feminist movement “created to express the difficulties of being a man in the 21st century.” Comprising of mostly white men who believe feminism is a threat to their masculinity, Meminism started as a Twitter joke and soon became an actual “thing” to get traction in what is called the new Men’s Rights Movement, which is a kickback to third wave feminism.
A writer on the blog Return of Kings had this to say about the movie, “This is the vehicle by which they are guaranteed to force a lecture on feminism down your throat. This is the Trojan Horse feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to (vainly) insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things, including physique, strength, and logic. And this is the subterfuge they will use to blur the lines between masculinity and femininity, further ruining women for men, and men for women.”
The blogger begs men to not be lured into seeing the movie with “fire tornadoes and explosions.” Fire tornadoes and explosions aside, the mid air impalement’s, rapid fire stunts, the pole cats, and a 3,000 gallon tanker of Nitro exploding while in motion play second only to the incredible desert back drop. In Mad Max: Fury Road, the real star is the cinematography and the amazing vastness of the desert.
Mad Max has a near 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes driven down by only a few MRA reviews taking the movie down for its “overt feminist” overtones, but according to the studio, domestic box office receipts for the weekend hit projection at $45.5 million; including international business, the movie cleaned up with a $109.0 million dollar global first week. This now paves the way for another Mad Max which director George Miller has already teased and it’s rumored that Tom Hardy has already signed on for another 3 Max movies.
This homicidal thrill ride was worth the 30 year wait just for the apocalyptic guitar dude whose only job was to shred a flame throwing guitar and provide the menacing soundtrack for the pursuing war parties. Check out the last trailer issued by the studio prior to release and don’t worry MRA’s, the man-shaming is minimal in this clip.