I have never watched any of the original Mel Gibson Mad Max movies. Since the last movie came out in 1985, I had assumed that the new one was a reboot.
However, it is a sequel. (And also a reboot…?) They don’t spend much time on world-building at ALL for this movie, which is really confusing because we are only given little hints about what the context for everything is. Here are some answers that will not be answered during the course of the movie:
- What is “guzzoline”?
- But really, who killed the world? Did someone or something “kill” the world?
- What happened to make Max hallucinate a creepy little girl?
- What about the other creepy hallucination people?
- Why does half the cast speak with an Australian accent but the other half with an American one?
- Why is everyone’s name so creative, but then you have Max?
- Why are viable babies so difficult to come by now?
- How is everyone so pale/why is everyone painted white? Is this related to the viable babies thing?
- What does the silver/chrome stuff on the teeth do exactly?
- What is Joe’s deal, exactly?
- What is EVERYONE’S DEAL???
In fact, my big question for this whole movie was “What is the story?” What motivated these characters? Why were they in their situations? There was no real plot to this movie, it felt?
(In case you were wondering, I’m about to continue with more reasons I did not like this film.)
It was a big adrenaline rush but with no story to provide structure. Like if you took the race scenes from The Fast and the Furious franchise movies, set them in a weird post-apocalyptic steampunk desert, and took out Vin Diesel talking about family. That’s how this movie felt.
And I hate that.
In fact, just the color composition felt really tired, even though I understand why they made that decision. It was just all that orange/tan of the desert sand and then blues. I just feel like orange/blue for action movies feels really cliche now and it felt ESPECIALLY trite and exhausting for this movie. There were some instances where they made good use of the orange/blue contrast, but mostly it felt tired. Even the posters were some of the MOST orange/blue ones I’ve ever seen.
Honestly, the highlight of this movie was completely random but a nice little tongue-in-cheek joke. (I think. I actually don’t know if it had significance in past movies or whatever.) When our primary villain has his giant convoys rolling through the desert, we hear an intense electric guitar riff playing. In a cute little meta twist (you know I like these meta things), it is actually a dude strapped to the front of a truck wailing on his guitar as this offensive convoy goes busting about, setting war music. Think military drummers, but instead of drums you have sick electric guitar riffs. It was great but really had nothing to do with the movie besides sort of tell a story about what kind of mindset and culture is going on here, I suppose. It was hard not to smile whenever he showed up though, because you often forgot that he was there, just taking the soundtrack for granted.
(You know what, I liked the soundtrack. It was good at setting the tone and easily did more storytelling than most of the rest of the movie.)
The whole movie just seemed so… unnecessary? Especially without any context from the previous films but still……. the dialogue was painful, the visuals were interesting but why were they happening?
I liked Nicholas Hoult’s performance here, as it’s pretty different from a lot of stuff he’s done in the past. Charlize Theron did a pretty incredible job, although she wasn’t given much to work with given her kind of badass-and-therefore-quiet character. Folks like Zoe Kravitz and Rosie Huntington-Whitely didn’t really get to do much either, other than sit, wear ever-dirtying white dresses, cry a bit, and hose each other off. (This was a real scene. It wasn’t even terribly sexy, so I don’t know why any of this happened.)
They TRULY wasted Tom Hardy here, however, since he has almost no lines, his face is barely visible for most of the movie, and he is tied up/incapacitated for a good portion of the movie so we can’t even see him acting with his face or body. Serious waste of his talent here.
I don’t know, you guys. Just… the character dynamics and relationships weren’t really fleshed out properly. We have such interesting characters (with such bizarre names) and I didn’t feel like we really explored any of the relationships they had with each other! You KNOW how much that frustrates me. It was easily the biggest disappointment in this movie, as the lack of story is directly correlated with the lack of strong relationship building (and character building).
One good thing about the movie that I recently learned was that they really tried to minimize use of CGI. A lot of the stunts that you see are real. This is a pretty impressive feat, given how intense this movie was as far as stuntwork, pyrotechnics, etc.
I DON’T KNOW WHY THIS MOVIE EXISTS or why they made these choices??? I left the movie really relieved that it was finally over. SO relieved. I have never left a movie theater feeling that relieved that a movie was over, I think. It was just so painful. Nothing made sense. They wasted this great cast and a really successful movie franchise on this. And I don’t think you can call it a reboot if you don’t set the scene as if audiences had never seen the original movies!
So what did I think of Mad Max: Fury Road? No. Thanks but no thanks.
Mad Max: Fury Road comes out in theaters tomorrow, May 15.
(The editing on this trailer is top-notch, by the way.
But it basically includes all that we need to know about the movie.)