Author Topic: Mad Max: Fury Road  (Read 3912 times)

Bondo

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2015, 01:45:04 PM »
We only get fragments of Max's story and even less of Furiosa's.

For Max's story, I recommend Mad Max, The Road Warrior, and Beyond Thunderdome. Just saying. The film gives hints at his backstory to provide just enough motivation for those who come in fresh, but doesn't waste time retreading what those who have kept up in the series know.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

The Citadel of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) is a symbolic patriarchal construct that stands in for much of the history of power. Leveraging control of precious resources (water, making him chief even to rivals in control of fuel and weapons), he exerts control over the population as a sort of god-king. The women are reduced to reproductive capacity and as producers of milk while the men broadly are reduced to warrior, egged on by religious myth that convinces them this manner of life is anything but a colossal waste. Joe metes out just enough of his resources to control the population (what academics of authoritarian regimes would call a rent).Turns out he didn't underestimated or undervalued the women around him as Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron, or a spell from Harry Potter, not sure which), a woman who has risen in the ranks of his attack squads, breaks from him, helping his harem escape. Max (Tom Hardy), sympathetic based on his own history of failing to save his wife and child and many other losses along the way, joins along in their quest after early tensions.

With significant world building managed rather efficiently, that mostly steps aside for a mostly non-stop thrill ride of action as their escape vessel is besieged by wave after wave of enemies. The vehicular choreography is definitely imaginative, to match the design of costumes/make-up and of vehicles. It may not seem practical to have a vehicle in the chase, using up precious fuel, just as a platform for drums and a flame-throwing guitar, but there you have it. Even amid the action the film finds time for meaningful character bits. There is one moment when one of the wives is readying to throw out one particularly avid member of the raiding party, Nux (Nicholas Hoult), has a brief interchange that highlights a certain tragedy of patriarchy. Nux is part of the patriarchy that "destroyed the world" but he is also a victim of it. His character arc ultimately is one of the most interesting as he goes from eager to martyr himself for the empty cause of patriarchy to wanting to live but willing to sacrifice himself for the nobler future that these women and their rebellion represent.

The turning point that sparks the third act is particularly meaningful. Furiosa's mission had been to escape from the patriarchal society. Ultimately Max dispels her illusion that it can be run for, instead insisting that it needs to be fought head on and changed from within. But this is a mission led by Furiosa, Max and Nux are simply allies in the fight. Fight they do, but it isn't they who seek the glory. Citadel is ultimately reborn in an egalitarian model. We don't see exactly how it will run and how it will work out, but we have hope that it will succeed offering a fairer distribution of resources and providing its people greater freedom to meaningful achievement and not simply used to others' ends. This isn't the deepest parable, but for a film that puts action front and center, it is a valuable grounding. This easily allows it to become the best in the Mad Max series thus far, though I ponder if a making of documentary might be even better because damn, those stunts.

B+

verbALs

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2015, 02:09:57 PM »
Somewhat Irked Max
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1SO

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2015, 02:18:50 AM »
Bondo, it's late and I'm heavy into work mode, but I read your review earlier today and really liked it. Was wondering what a genderist like yourself makes of the film's pro-feminist slant that values the strength of these women, but also is clearly exploiting them for their physical beauty.

Bondo

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2015, 02:43:29 AM »
Well, that beautiful women are exploited is a fact of patriarchy. Is the film exploiting them or simply acknowledging this. The attire is, I suppose unnecessarily revealing than is necessarily practical, thought he camera avoids close focus on body parts. Think of the naked woman used as bait. At first you are like oh no, but then first off the camera is fairly discreet at showing anything and secondly, it is revealed she is bait by her own agency rather than as used by others. Suddenly the sexuality is a weapon fully in their power.

Plus I'm of a feminist view that acknowledging sexuality and its frequent tie to physical beauty (as seen in the eye of the beholder) can be separated from objectification and that ultimately there need not be anything problematic in the fact that Riley Keough makes me feel a certain way.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2015, 03:19:47 AM »
Great review Bondo !
Do you think Max leaves at the end because his presence would somehow corrupt the rebuilding of the world ushered by Furiosa's rebellion or was it only a «I'm a poor lonesome cowboy» trope ?

Leveraging control of precious resources (water, making him chief even to rivals in control of fuel and weapons), he exerts control over the population as a sort of god-king.

Am I the only one who got the impression that the leaders of the Bullet Farm and Gas Whatever were Joe's brothers and that the three were united in some sort of alliance (of which Joe would be the leader ?). At one point soon-to-be-blinded-guy calls Joe «brother» and the fat one seems to be ailed by the same kind of deformities Joe suffers from.
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verbALs

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2015, 08:34:47 AM »
The Breeders  ;D. The drummer was a man. Now that sounds progressive.


Given the visuals surrounding the drums and the guitar; and given that the visuals generally lent themselves to a kickass soundtrack. Given all that the music was disappointing.
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MattDrufke

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2015, 08:42:34 AM »
Quick question/confession: This was the first Mad Max movie I've seen. I was too young when the originals came out, and I've never heard them referred to as "must-watch", so they've never been something I've sought out. All that said, I loved Fury Road. Will revisiting the old movies help me appreciate Fury Road more? Are they movies I need to catch up with?
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Bondo

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2015, 09:23:13 AM »
@DH: I there there's something in Max's character that he feels the need to roam to where he's needed and at that point he feels the Citadel is going to be well handled. He had gotten his redemption in that task and would further try to battle his demons (of previous failures to save people).

As to the Bullet Farm and Gastown, I remember one of the guys complains about all this hassle over a family squabble, and then later points out to Joe that his debt is mounting. So they felt more like mercenaries than subordinates or family. Though ultimately they did seem to have some kind of investment in retaining the women as breeders.

@MD: I'm not sure I'd say need as it relates to the original trilogy, but I do think each film is interesting in its own way and none are bad films.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2015, 10:07:14 AM »
I think you'll be disappointed by the visuals at the least. Putting aside the questions surrounding image quality, the colours in FF are very bright and vivid, the images are constantly vibrating with life, movement and light. The original trilogy doesn't have any of that. It is very bleak and there is a grayish quality to the desert and the settlement (I am remembering Warrior, the original was less deserty).

I don't consider the original trilogy especially good, I actually don't like the first movie, and wouldn't think of them as essentials of any sort. Unless you are heavily into dystopias.
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Beavermoose

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2015, 11:24:06 AM »
Road Warrior is probably the best one if you wanna try em out to see how you like the style. The car chases are pretty cool in all of them.

 

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