With all the hype I was excited to watch Mad Max but I think I might of walked in with my expectations too high. While the movie has high-paced and action-packed, it pretty much stopped there. I’ve never really been a big fan of action films and this was a good example of what I don’t really like. They just end up being super boring.
There was a lot of driving, there were characters that had to work together, they did, the end. It just felt like we watched a super long intro video game movie. I wasn’t too into a bunch of the special effects either, especially of the little girl haunting Max.
I’m glad I watched this so I can talk about it but it really stops there.
I should say right off the bat that this was the first Mad Max movie I’d ever seen and I hadn’t really ever had the desire to see the others. And, eh, I still don’t.
So this movie was . . . not that great? I feel like I saw the wrong movie or something based on the majority of opinions about it. There’s not a ton of story, almost no context for the story, not a ton of dialogue . . . it was pretty much just a round-trip car chase. Over and over I heard about how Charlize Theron’s character was finally “a strong female character” and also heard that the movie was “full of strong female characters.” Imperator Furiosa (Theron) appears to be physically strong, yes. But her character isn’t nearly developed enough to say that she’s this really strong character that carries the movie – not even close.
So Tom Hardy plays Max, which is a good start. Max has survived a nuclear holocaust, which happened an undisclosed amount of time ago, and has now been taken prisoner by a tyrant, Joe in The Citadel. Joe has an army of “War Boys,” that are . . . not human? Human? They basically look like this:
And gain strength from “blood bags,” which in the above War Boy Nux (Nicholas Hoult)’s case, is Max himself as the blood bags are humans with IVs going into the War Boys. Again, not sure what the War Boys actually are.
Imperator Furiosa goes to get gasoline on behalf of Joe, but quickly goes off course. We learn that Furiosa is traveling with Joe’s five wives in tow to bring them to “the green place,” where Furiosa is from. When Joe realizes what Furiosa is doing, he gets his whole army to go after her, which includes Nux and therefore Max. Stuff happens, Max loses Nux and Furiosa loses the army. Max meets up with Furiosa as she repairs her truck and he tries to steal it – but a kill switch stops him and he goes along with Furiosa instead. I’m not sure what Max was going to do with the stolen truck, or why we should think he’s a great person after choosing to leave Furiosa and the wives (including some pregnant women) behind to die, but whatever.
Some more car chases happen, except now Max and Furiosa are on the same side. Nux is on their side, too, after falling in love with one of the wives, because why not. Eventually, after more chasing and fighting (literally that’s it, there’s miniscule plot development at this point), Furiosa leads Max and the wives to the green place, where she is greeted by women who recognize Furiosa as a child who was once stolen from there. For some reason, even though the Mad Max world as we know it is a desert wasteland, Furiosa still thought this “green place” definitely existed, and many problems would definitely be solved if they could just find it. But of course, the green place doesn’t exist and this comes as a major blow to Furiosa. I understand that, but maybe she should have slightly entertained the idea that maybe this place didn’t exist. The news of the green place not existing is revealed as if it’s supposed to be a big blow to the audience, too. But were we also supposed to be as delusional as Furiosa about that? Because that’s a lot of disbelief to ask us to suspend.
But then Max points out something that no one, including our STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER, thought of before: go back to the now undefended Citadel, where earlier in the movie we saw what seemed to be an unlimited supply of water and well-established greenhouses. GOOD IDEA, MAX! THANK GOD THERE’S A MAN HERE TO DO OUR THINKING FOR US! This is what I mean by not being impressed by these seemingly “strong female characters.” So of course, they all go back to the Citadel, kill Joe in the process, and Max and Furiosa go their separate ways.
Probably the best thing about this movie was that there was no love story between the two leads of Max and Furiosa. Of course, that doesn’t mean the movie is without totally unnecessary love stories, so it’s still not that good. Everything looked great, especially the costumes, but a fucking truck exploding can only look great so many times before you feel like you’ll gouge your eyes out if you see one more goddamn explosion. So I don’t really know what to think. Yes, I’m glad that Furiosa wasn’t this meek, damsel in distress. But if you put her character in a well-developed movie, her one-dimensional-ness would stick out like a sore thumb – and the same goes for every character in Mad Max: Fury Road. So they’re on the right track, I guess, but at the end of the day, Mad Max: Fury Road is just another action movie with 10 times more explosions than plot or character development.