Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the most anticipated movies of this year and so far, everyone seems to agree on its general greatness. What do the Buns say?
I knew Mad Max: Fury Road was going to be really good when I realized that everybody on my Twitter and Facebook feeds called it awesome. I’m not only talking about people who have the same taste as me when it comes to movies. One of the people who made a long tirade about it not only being thrilling but also great, from a purely academic perspective, is what I would call a snobby French-speaking film-buff, otherwise just known as French, the kind of person who never likes anything. Which is just another way of saying French. You get the idea. Everybody told me that I, as the person that I am, was going to love it. When I finally got to the movies on Tuesday, I was definitely excited and yet, I was still unprepared for the phenomenal badasserie of the movie.
Mad Max: Fury Road in itself is a 2-hour long chase scene, an ongoing action sequence that has you holding your breath the entire time. It is almost never still, and when it is, it’s for quick but efficient character moments. The rest of the time, your heart beats at 100 bpm with those of the protagonists as they flee the bad guys, or rather as they run towards their goal: hope for a brighter future. It’s loud, it’s raw, it’s brutal, it’s a movie that grabs you by the gut and pulls you into it with a heart-wrenching passion. This movie is a frenzied race for freedom in a dry world burning bright red and orange, under an azure sky, to the rough sound of an electric guitar.
Enough imagery. Mad Max: Fury Road doesn’t make me go all poetic on your asses just because it’s good. The story may be as simple as it gets, but it’s to allow everything else to soar, and in the process surpass every movie I’ve seen in a while. From a purely technical perspective, it’s not only flawless but striking, innovative in a way that I had not seen since probably 300. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the technical awards ever created already had its title carved on them. As for the cinematography, it’s not a coincidence that I mentioned bright red, orange, and blue. Those are the colours of the movie. Yes, they’re opposite on the colour circle. That’s the point. It’s amazing. Everything clashes and melts together and – look, I don’t want to get lost in pseudo-poetry again. Let’s get back on track.
The action is not only gorgeous, it’s perfectly choreographed, and also perfectly synced to the music – which is also marvellous, by the way, both deeply emotional at times and also fast and furious when needed. After all, this is a world of madness, a post-apocalyptic mess where even the so-called full-lives are barely keeping it together. And still, they hope. Maybe not Max himself, as he unwillingly tags along with Furiosa and the five queens on their mad quest for the future. At least, not at first. He gets there though: the ladies’ passion is contagious. They don’t need to say much. One question: “Who killed the world?” followed by a whole lot of action. Fury Road is all about show, don’t tell. Or maybe it’s “slam their damn faces in it”, don’t tell. Either way, it works. I didn’t need to be told much about those characters. I didn’t even know half of their names, yet I remember every single one of them. That’s some fine film-making right there and I haven’t even talked about the message yet. In one word, the movie is engaged, so decidedly feminist that it took my breath away. “Who killed the world?” the queens asked. Probably that old white man and his backwards ways. Let’s break his face and save those who can be saved. The last minute of the movie showed a citadel full of slaves, disabled people, old people, and children standing together at the dawn of a new era under the leadership of a great woman. Beautiful.
Peeps, it may seem like the movie is being over-hyped. It may seem like I’m praising it too much. But if I am this thrilled, it’s not because I just enjoyed myself, it’s because I think that I just witnessed the birth of one of the greatest movies of the century. I’ll stand by this. You shouldn’t even be here taking my word for it, you should be in a movie theatre understanding why I wrote this. Go. Now.
I had a similar experience with the hype. Social media exploded. This movie was going to be transcendent. Mad Max: Fury Road was going to change my life. I was going to only speak in all caps with exclamation points until the end of time because circus and cinema were together making beautiful babies in my brain. I was going to tear my bra off and eat it. Did it happen? Did I?
This movie is all of that. Epic. Gorgeous. Empowering. Violent. Elegant. I took my bra off and went to take a giant bite, but then I thought, I’d rather share it with the dude I’m sitting next to.
I want to talk feminism. I watched Matt shift uncomfortably in his seat a few times at Mad Max. As Anais pointed out, the movie literally asks, “Who killed the world?” and they mean we did, but they show vicious, white men leading the oppressed people. When we left the movie, Matt, who should have been weeping tears of joy from the cinematography alone, asked me, “So, men are death and women are life?” and I thought, that’s not what I got from the film at all.
There are two groups that we meet in Mad Max: Fury Road, the patriarchal shit storm that Furiosa abducts the queens from to rescue the women and their children, and the matriarchal desert nomads who are all women. Neither group is succeeding at making a successful society. They are barely surviving – because things are out of balance. The men have water and the women have seeds, which is an interesting juxtaposition of typical gender words. On their own, Furiosa’s people have dwindled down to a handful of stoic women who don’t trust men. And they shouldn’t. Women are being held against their will as prized breeders. Gross. That’s disgusting. But with absolutely no men, things fall apart too. Which is why I adore that Max and Furiosa together are the only way to bring change and restore balance.
Although the movie throws hope and redemption right in our faces (a bunch of times, we get it guys haha), for me there is a current of trust that’s really important. Max has gone crazy and can’t trust his own mind any more, but helping Furiosa escape brings him back, just enough, to balance his madness. In the pivotal moment, he alone sees the way back. I think that it’s only after meeting Max that Furiosa can defeat the villain and be a leader that the people can trust.
Sometimes we forget that feminism is about equality. But Mad Max: Fury Road knows that. Max and Furiosa both shine in this film.
DAMN FUCKING RIGHT!!
Okay, first things first – where do we sign up for all action movies to be like Mad Max: Fury Road from now on? There’s only been a handful of times over the years that I found a film to be this fascinating and well-made and every kind of awesome, and I’m not going to deny it – finding such films feels incredible! I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the past few months bitching about reboots and lack of original ideas in Hollywood, and I’m not changing my mind about it – you can’t just assume that everyone who has seen the films made before 2000 is dead and the scripts can be reused now.
But I’m going to make an exception for Mad Max: Fury Road and admit that this particular remake was a blast! Yes, I had my doubts – because I’m not into dystopian stuff to begin with, because I haven’t liked the original Mad Max all that much (granted, it came out 6 years before I was even born, so there’s that), and because, maaaaaaaan, I don’t like reboots!
Yet I was never happier to be proven wrong.
As mentioned above by Roz and Anais, the characters and SFX in Mad Max: Fury Road were top notch, and I dare you to tell me it wasn’t a wild ride from the beginning till the end. Hell, I could barely sit (because jumping and screaming in the movie theater is frowned upon, believe it or not). I also dare Hollywood to make a better film sometime in the foreseeable future. Ha!
There seems to be a major confusion going on about what the hell a strong female character is. Ask anyone, I kid you not! Even Jeremy Renner admitted in one of his recent interviews (one that followed the fans’ outrage about the treatment of Black Widow in Avengers: Age Of Ultron) that he doesn’t really understand that concept (which might be the reason the people were outraged, duh). Well, Mad Max: Fury Road is the film you need to see if you don’t get it. Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa is basically a definition of a strong female lead, and we’re not talking just about throwing punches, which I did enjoy immensely, but more about keeping a world that has already been destroyed in one piece.
The film in general wins all the awards for breathtaking action sequences and the setting that represents a dystopian reality better than anything else we’ve seen before. Special kudos to the film director, George Miller, for going for special effects instead of CGI (that is kind of getting old these days anyway), which made the film feel a lot more real.
I guess the only thing I’d want to be different (although I’m not sure how) is perhaps giving the characters more… personality? Naturally, Max and Furiosa were a win, but I found it hard to care about most of the other characters, and it’s the only moment that would most definitely make Mad Max: Fury Road 1000% perfect.
That’s all for the Buns! What about you? Did you enjoy Mad Max: Fury Road?