Author Topic: Mad Max: Fury Road  (Read 4091 times)

Totoro

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Mad Max: Fury Road
« on: May 15, 2015, 04:19:50 AM »
The first two-thirds make for the most imaginative action movie since SNOWPIERCER. The last third, however, takes the road most traveled.

Wasn't this supposed to be a feminist film? Passing the Bechdel test and rounding out the majority of the leads as female is somehow supposed to make this feminist?

Mostly positive. I liked the film plenty for how genuinely thrilling the action scenes are along with how the ever escalating conflict is communicated visually. I am disappointed that there was a certain point in the film that Miller let go of the wheel and let the film coast. The world-building may be unparalleled this year (comparable only to SNOWPIERCER last year) and yet I overall felt that the characters were a bit hollow at times.

The Deer Hunter

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2015, 07:38:38 AM »
There was a lot of great world building but little character building. We only get fragments of Max's story and even less of Furiosa's. I feel the film suffered in that regard. I imagine we'll get more in the inevitable sequel.

The design of King Immortan Joe was outstanding. So creepy. Felt right at home in a Mad Max movie.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2015, 07:46:06 AM »
I didn't realize this was supposed to be about the characters.
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2015, 01:56:27 AM »
The first two-thirds make for the most imaginative action movie since SNOWPIERCER. The last third, however, takes the road most traveled.
Go on. Is it that it all ends in an action scene? I found that sequence still had no clear survivor (except for Max) and plenty of main character who potentially won't be alive to celebrate. I also found many of the character conflicts remained the focal point during this section. It wasn't about matching up like-minded opponents like the F&F movies do (or most any other action movie). And there was no way to know for sure what was going to happen once they made it to their destination. A lot of unease during that scene and no final happy payoff.


Wasn't this supposed to be a feminist film? Passing the Bechdel test and rounding out the majority of the leads as female is somehow supposed to make this feminist?
I like how the film gets to have it both ways. There's a lot of feminism, especially once Team Max meet up with the female survivors At the same time, George Miller is clearly exploiting the bodies of these sex slaves, stopping just shy of actual nudity or Michael Bay style leering angles. (The thin clothes do all the work.) There's a quick shot of expended bullet casings falling on a pregnant belly, which spoke volumes for me.


The world-building may be unparalleled this year (comparable only to SNOWPIERCER last year) and yet I overall felt that the characters were a bit hollow at times.
This I can agree with. Archetypes instead of characters. But I wasn't looking to go deep anyways.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 05:46:29 AM »
I agree with all the nice things being said about the world building. It is intelligent and fluid and you almost don't realize it has been going on before you get out of the theater and yet you have somehow been understanding this alien world from the start, relevant information being transmitted at the necessary pace. I adore how it was handled and it makes me wish Miller would start working on new sci-fi projects. No more Happy Feet nonsense.

And this is very much a feminist film. It's a film about women rebelling and fighting back. It's also a film about how wrong a society can go when it is solely controlled by men and women are relegated to cattle status. It's a movie about how women can be total badass killers/drivers but also how they can be our moral compasses. It's a movie about many women surviving countless different horrors (the least of which not being being bedded by the human equivalent to an albino Jabba the Hutt) with their heads held high. It's a movie about motherhood, it's importance and how it drives or should drive civilization. And if throughout we can also gaze at some skin, well, where's the harm ?

As for the character building, I think we can do without it for Max, since we know his story already, and I felt I knew enough about Furiosa as it was. I would have liked to know more about Nux though, and exactly what kind of brain washing and drugs the Warriors are subject to, what made him become like this and how come that construction was so fragile it could have been destroyed in a few moments by a girl.
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Totoro

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 06:58:56 PM »
The first two-thirds make for the most imaginative action movie since SNOWPIERCER. The last third, however, takes the road most traveled.
Go on. Is it that it all ends in an action scene? I found that sequence still had no clear survivor (except for Max) and plenty of main character who potentially won't be alive to celebrate. I also found many of the character conflicts remained the focal point during this section. It wasn't about matching up like-minded opponents like the F&F movies do (or most any other action movie). And there was no way to know for sure what was going to happen once they made it to their destination. A lot of unease during that scene and no final happy payoff.


I find it funny that I'm not supposed to care that the characters are hollow but it seems implied that I should care about the film's theme. Or am I projecting?

The ending is necessary and fine from a thematic standpoint - it ties it all together. However, I don't find the third act to add to the world nor do I see it much different from the first two-thirds. It's literally a retread - they turn around and go back and the action scene from the first third is, essentially, redone. From a purely aesthetic visceral experience, the film, at least for me, feels a bit anticlimactic. The evil baddie is destroyed, majority of the "good" characters live, they return to the kingdom, peace is inferred to be restored, etc.. What I think would be more imaginative is if they didn't turn back and Miller found a third choice. What would that third choice be? I don't know, I'm not the writer/director. But the last third has been done many times before and, other than Max leaving (in which I had the Captain Obvious realization that this was a western), I expected, beat-for-beat, the narrative to its very end. I was hoping even Nux would redeem himself to the baddies and betray the lot, yet that didn't even occur.

Granted, the film has definitely grown on me for its technical accomplishments (regardless of story convention, this is one of the best studio action adventure films in some time) and I am fairly happy with its critical reception. For all the grief with the F&F series, the final sequence in 7, while not surpassing, matches the canyon race in visceral action fun with its sheer ridiculousness and multiple POVs amongst the several battles present in the film.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 11:00:49 PM »
I find it funny that I'm not supposed to care that the characters are hollow but it seems implied that I should care about the film's theme. Or am I projecting?
Definitely projecting. What this has over the F&F films are interesting characters who develop during the chase instead of in the moments in between. The scene where Nicholas Holt goes after the group to please Joe, only to screw up and lose the gun when his chain snags is a major moment of character development. I don't want to go through listing them all, so tell me which characters are hollow to you and I will do my best to give you something to think about.


The ending is necessary and fine from a thematic standpoint - it ties it all together. However, I don't find the third act to add to the world nor do I see it much different from the first two-thirds. It's literally a retread - they turn around and go back and the action scene from the first third is, essentially, redone.
The objective of the first action scene is escape. The objective at the end is redemption. It's a chance to put an end to Joe's reign once and for all. To save not just themselves, but everyone. This time, there are more fighters on the side of good, (inc. Max, who was tied down to the car throughout the first third) while the bad guys use their long levers to swing into the vehicles for the first time.


From a purely aesthetic visceral experience, the film, at least for me, feels a bit anticlimactic. The evil baddie is destroyed, majority of the "good" characters live, they return to the kingdom, peace is inferred to be restored, etc..
Miller does a real good job making it look like there won't be a lot of people around to celebrate. I'm also trying to figure out what the plot points have to do with having an "aesthetic visceral experience". In the end, either good or evil will win, though I'd be interested to see a version where the two learn they must live in harmony.


For all the grief with the F&F series, the final sequence in 7, while not surpassing, matches the canyon race in visceral action fun with its sheer ridiculousness and multiple POVs amongst the several battles present in the film.
I agree with this. Max is bumped up tremendously by its Art Direction, but I was really impressed by the way Furious 7 maintained its own adrenaline rush without all those weird fringe elements.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2015, 12:48:00 PM »
Does Tom Hardy have little to do or does he do very little with it? Most of what I hear about Mel Gibson has nothing to do with his acting in the 80s. Or should I say his icon-creating perfromances as Max and Riggs. Hardy comes off cuddly next to Gibson's Max, who very definitely was mad. I'm glad Miller got the cash to make the vision in his head, because it's a beautiful cinematic thing, but he made the film right when he made Mad Max 2. This is a fun sidenote. Worth making but I prefer the original.
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Junior

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2015, 01:10:24 PM »
He does what he needs to do with it. I think he's plenty crazy but so's everybody else so it doesn't come off as extreme as it is.
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verbALs

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2015, 01:29:53 PM »
Tom Hardy IS Mildly Irritated Max
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy