Movies Open Forum: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD written by Robert Reineke May 14, 2015 One of the most anticipated blockbusters of the year hits tonight with George Miller’s return to the franchise that made him famous. And, unlike other returns to long dormant franchises, early word is that MAD MAX: FURY ROAD delivers with words like “masterpiece” and “instant classic” being bandied around. We’ll have to see how it delivers at the box office. And how it delivers to our individual readers. A few questions to ponder. Is this the film that makes Tom Hardy a star? What does it mean for Charlize Theron? What about the feminist slant that’s only recently been made evident? And what does it do for George Miller’s legacy? Also, is it real alley? Chime in below with your reactions. Open Forum: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was last modified: February 21st, 2016 by Robert Reineke Related Mad Max: Fury Road 13 comments 0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest Robert Reineke previous post CW Previews DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW next post Weekly Ratings Roundup: May 10 to May 16, 2015 You may also like CinemaCon 2013: Warner Bros. Presentation April 17, 2013 Film Review: GRAVITY October 3, 2013 Warner Bros. Unleashes Godzilla Upon the World December 10, 2013 Nolan Officially Piloting ‘Interstellar’ March 8, 2013 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Reveals First Poster July 23, 2014 Quarter Quell Tributes Stand Tall In New... July 16, 2013 The Fear of Artificial Intelligence in Hollywood:... April 7, 2015 Director Paul Feig Reveals His New GHOSTBUSTERS January 27, 2015 TMNT Trailer Touts Turtle Power March 27, 2014 Open Forum: EX MACHINA April 10, 2015 Marie So far what I’ve been hearing has been extremely positive. I’ve never been into Mad Max, but I like Hardy and Theron so I will check out the film. stock I only hope it lives up to the hype. I think Hardy is one of the best actors out there now, and I’m sure he’ll be great as Max. I haven’t heard the feminism bit, but I’m guessing that he runs into a clan where a woman named Theron runs the show. But didn’t Tina run Barter-town? Andrew Custer I just got back from a showing and yes, it is f***cking alley lol. I thought Tom Hardy really owned the role. This isn’t Mel Gibson’s Max Rockatansky, which is a good move. This Max is a shell of a man, more broken down and haunted than we’ve ever seen the character before. I loved the touch of “redoing” the event that was the catalyst to driving him mad in the first place. Rather than a reboot or reimagining, I actually took it as him not being able to remember it they way it actually happened (i.e. his wife and infant son being run over by Toecutter’s gang). It’s just a thought, but I took it to mean that Max is so far gone that he has combined all his failings over the years into one. The ”daughter” he sees is almost an amalgam of different folks he has encountered throughout his travels. She even resembles the Feral Kid from The Road Warrior a little bit. Hardy rarely speaks, but when he does, it means something. His eyes do most of the acting for him and he has a lot of experience with that, so he is right at home with this sort of role. I hope this does finally catapult Hardy into the spotlight as he is a top-notch and highly underrated actor. Charlize Theron was also amazing. Furiosa’s reasons for doing what she is doing played very well in the film with her character was looking for hope and redemption. Pairing that type of character with Max, who is in survival mode, was genius. I don’t agree with some folks saying that she stole the film from Hardy though. If anything, they played very well off each other and enhanced their characters by being a really great combo. Furiosa is just as important a character as Max, but it is Max’s film. Even Gibson didn’t have much dialogue in The Road Warrior and the people in the refinery were just as important to the story as him, so I felt Fury Road followed suit. Max is the lone wolf hero caught up in a larger conflict. As far as her character continuing in the franchise- I say it’s not needed. If there is to be a fifth entry (and by God, I hope there is) then I hope they stick with Hardy. Furiosa’s story ended as she found redemption back in the Citadel. I’m not versed well enough in feminism to know whether or not the film had that type of slant. Charlize’s character made sense, the Wives made sense, and the Vulvani gang made sense. All of the female characters in the film were there for a reason and it served the story. I actually thought it was refreshing that Furiosa was just as badass and resourceful as Max and that there wasn’t even a hint of a love connection between the two. Anything else said on the subject would be ignorant on my part but I’ll just say this: Folks who think the movie is for women or against men or whatever the “issue” is are missing the point. The world in Fury Road is a dog-eat-dog world and everyone, male and female, is a dog in that world. I’ll finish by saying George Miller was able to do what he is best at, but on a much larger scale. So, yes I think this is a masterpiece. The man’s imagination has no limits and I really hope he jumps right back into the fray and continues Max’s journey on film. Daniel Van Cortlandt Since true feminism is about equality for all people, it sounds (from your review) like it is a feminist film. Unfortunately, many people misuse that term and apply all sorts of negative connotations to it. It isn’t “for women” or “against men” unless you view it as relative to most big blockbuster movies (and other cultural events) which favor the importance and the perspective of male characters over female characters. It sounds like the reality is: Fury Road is “for everybody” when many movies aren’t. It helps to understand the issue if you know that the complaints about this movie being feminist come out of a camp of Men’s Rights Activists who are all about keeping the power dynamic in society in favor of men, and if they can, turning the clocks back to a more regressive 1950’s ideal where women stay “where they belong,” in the home, in the kitchen, etc., etc. The irony is that their idiotic rants will probably just lead a lot of people who aren’t really aware of feminism to equate it with Mad Max and think “feminism is pretty badass.” Andrew Custer Thanks for the clarification Daniel. Feminism does tend to confuse me because everyone seems to make up their own definition to suit whatever agenda they happen to be pushing. I have no interest in reading any blog that caters to the type of thinking that “puts women where they belong” so I’ll simply take your word on it lol. If anything is a plus out of those type of naysayers, it will be as you said, to intrigue those who would otherwise not see the movie. Either way the film is fantastic on its own terms. Check it out if you can. Daniel Van Cortlandt Haven’t seen it yet but the “feminist slant” (wherein women are treated like real people rather than arm candy) can only be a good thing. The pitiful and hilarious whining of the MRAs to boycott Fury Road only makes me want to see this movie more. stock I haven’t seen it yet, either Daniel, but I take it that the boycott is headed up by some wing-nuts. That said, sometimes a group of people can have legitimate reasons, (by their personal reasoning) to boycott a film. MMFR (cool acronym) probably doesn’t qualify. The problem I have with the idea is the world in which this argument takes place. IMPO, feminism is a political construct made possible only because of civilization, where there is a free exchange of ideas. There will be no political construct in The Wasteland. There will be no liberalism, no conservatism, no Democrats or Republicans. There will be no political associations like the NRA or NAACP, no ACLU or John Birch Society. There will be nothing except the constant conflict between humanity and inhumanity. And there will be Max struggling to find the first, while sinking in the latter. That’s what I think, anyway. Daniel Van Cortlandt I’m a believer that great science fiction, and other kinds of stories set in worlds and times vastly removed from our own, are always elevated by how much they have to say about the world and time that the viewer exists in. For instance Blade Runner is a landmark achievement for all sorts of technical and cinematic reasons, but it transcends that because it isn’t just a story about androids, it’s a story about racism, classicism, and the human condition. Whether Fury Road is or isn’t transcendent in a similar way I don’t know because I haven’t seen it. But I know it will most likely benefit as a piece of art if it is. Personally I view feminism as more primal than political. You either understand that women are as human as men, or you don’t. If you think of women as more of a commodity than men, you’re wrong. If you think of women as physically, emotionally, or mentally weaker than men, you’re wrong. If you think women are more or less capable of being good or evil than men, you’re wrong. Far more “primitive” civilizations than ours have understood these basic principles and gotten on fine, so I don’t necessarily see them being negated once civilization falls apart. If anything they might just come back into focus once the political constructs of patriarchal society fall away. As you say, necessity will determine all. stock Daniel, I agree with just about everything you wrote. If I have any disagreement, I chalk it up to certain ideological differences. I’m afraid as great as Blade Runner is, I can’t buy the racism element. The antagonists aren’t human. They were designed and built as tools with expiration dates that are extremely short. Their desires to extend their time is quite human, and Roy Batty exhibits a high degree of human emotions of loss, anger, and pain, but he’s still not human, and so does not constitute a racial element. As far as women, that’s a different argument and I thought MMFR handled it well. It mostly did not beat you over the head with a “message” and Max gives one woman a mild thumbs up at one point, an acknowledgement of respect for a fellow survivor. But, to be completely frank, most women in America would have to go through extremely drastic changes in order for them to “survive” in the conditions of the film. Many men too, don’t get me wrong on that. We are very soft now, all of us. Most of us will not survive, nor have the strength of will to even want to. Maybe, like you say, I’m wrong, but in my deepest thoughts, I don’t think so. Robert Reineke This is a great action film. The environment is totally immersive. The characters are memorable. The score is great and fun. The cinematography is wonderful and colorful. Can’t wait to see it again. mathalamue Excellent! One of the best action/sci-fi movies in recent memory. Dennis Ramirez Wonderful film. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. The concept was very straight forward, so much so that I felt a little cheated. I was so used to movies these days having complicated plots (sometimes just for the sake of being complicated), but the plot was very streamlined. The more I thought about this aspect of the film, the more I appreciated it. It was nice to just sit back and enjoy a really cool action movie. And it wasn’t dumb action (i.e., Transformers, Fast & Furious, etc.). For all it’s simplicity, it was still fulfilling, which is a testament to George Miller’s unique vision and absolute command of the action genre. I was also surprised by how little Tom Hardy said throughout the film. I was initially critical of this, as I felt it didn’t take full advantage of his tremendous acting talent. However, in this regard too, the more I thought about it, the more I changed my tune. Hardy acted with his eyes and with his physicality. He made me feel for Max as a character in ways that Mel’s rendition never did. I felt sorry for him. And I came away with the distinct notion that Max, though he may be a little mad himself, is still the sanest person in a world full of absolute crazies. I loved this film, and I can’t wait to see it again. CaptainJack Loved the film – bold, refreshing, a true spectacle. Cinema of attractions indeed.