Questions on the new Mad Max movie

WhiteNachos

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So I've seen someone on the internet predict that the new Mad Max movie was going to shove Mad Max to the sideline, to focus on a female lead and shove a feminist lecture down people's throats. I wouldn't think much of it but I've seen one reviewer say that the film acts like it was men that wrecked the world which gave me pause for thought.

So if anyone's seen the film, is any of this accurate? Does it try to lecture the audience? Does it act like women are all virtuous and men are savages? One thing I can't stand are those "girl power" movies that have to remind the audience over and over and over that 'girls are just as capable as guys' with all the subtlety of a nuclear explosion.

I don't mind female leads, I like Kill Bill and the main character doesn't exist to remind the audience that girls can kick ass, she just does.
 

Kopikatsu

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The movie does indeed regulate Max himself to the sidelines. There are only two 'good' men in the movie, Max being one of them. The focus is on a woman (Furiosa) leading five sex slaves to a matriarchal utopia. Without spoiling much, Max's one big fight is against a major villain while the others are indisposed. The entire fight happens off screen, aside from what Furiosa contributed to it. Because giving Max any undue screen time in Mad Max would be unfair to Furiosa, I guess.

A sequel is already in production and the working title is 'Mad Max: Furiosa'. So yeah. Hope that helps.
 

Fappy

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Max had just about as much screen-time as Furiosa did. He didn't do quiet as much as she did because he was hallucinating a bunch and struggling with a serious case of insanity. It was Furiosa's struggle that kind of pulled him out of it and gave him a purpose beyond madness. Character arcs were pretty damn limited in this film, but if anyone had one at all it was Max.

Any complaints you're seeing about "icky feminist messages" are simply reactionary bullshit. The plot's super basic with very little dialogue. The movie's about explosions and a group of girls not wanting to be sex slaves. They're helpful, sure, but none of the characters are nearly as capable as Max and Furiosa, so there's no "girl power" as far as I can tell. It's a feminist film in the sense that it portrays women as just as capable as men, even if the setting would have you think otherwise.

But honestly, there is no message in this movie. It's just a fun practical effects extravaganza, like a Mad Max movie should be.
 

WhiteNachos

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Kopikatsu said:
The movie does indeed regulate Max himself to the sidelines. There are only two 'good' men in the movie, Max being one of them. The focus is on a woman (Furiosa) leading five sex slaves to a matriarchal utopia. Without spoiling anything, Max fights a major villain while the others are indisposed. The entire fight happens off screen, aside from what Furiosa contributed to it. Because giving Max any undue screen time in his own series would be unfair to Furiosa, I guess.

A sequel is already in production and the working title is 'Mad Max: Furiosa'. So yeah. Hope that helps.
Matriarchial utopia has thrown up a red flag. Does the film act like a society ruled by women would be inherently better, or by matriarchial utopia do you just mean "a society of just women"?
 

Fappy

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WhiteNachos said:
Kopikatsu said:
The movie does indeed regulate Max himself to the sidelines. There are only two 'good' men in the movie, Max being one of them. The focus is on a woman (Furiosa) leading five sex slaves to a matriarchal utopia. Without spoiling anything, Max fights a major villain while the others are indisposed. The entire fight happens off screen, aside from what Furiosa contributed to it. Because giving Max any undue screen time in his own series would be unfair to Furiosa, I guess.

A sequel is already in production and the working title is 'Mad Max: Furiosa'. So yeah. Hope that helps.
Matriarchial utopia has thrown up a red flag. Does the film act like a society ruled by women would be inherently better, or by matriarchial utopia do you just mean "a society of just women"?
The only thing you can extrapolate from the dialogue in the film is that there's a place that is likely only comprised of women that has plants and water (unlike most of the rest of the wasteland). The slave girls imagine it as a utopia because anything is better than their current situation, but I didn't get that impression from the people actually familiar with the city. One character idolizes it simply because it was her home before she was taken to the Citadel (bad place). To elaborate more would spoil the film, but there are other things I could say to back up my point.
 

Fappy

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Zhukov said:
Ayup. It's the most disgustingly blatant piece of modern feminist indoctrination since Charlie's Angels. And they're trying to sneak it into the minds of impressionable young men with a veneer of muscle cars, explosions and flaming tornadoes.

It's been severely pissing off the Real Men Of The Internet something fierce.

The plot is largely driven by the actions of a one-armed, short haired amazonian *****. Max spends most of the movie being all passive and shy and just doing whatever she says like a total beta male. At one point she even physically subdues him despite her being a cripple and him being a large male who lifts. Revolting shit.

Even those leggy, white-clad sluts from the trailers actually get some stuff to do from time to time. Oh, and then there's a bunch of ugly, middle-aged hags with guns on motorbikes who show up being all competent and surviving on their own and shit. I mean, wtf is this garbage? I went in expecting Mad Fucking Max, not a live action Powerpuff Girls.

Dark time brah, dark times.

I had to watch Expendables 2 four times back-to-back afterwards just to scrub this abomination from my mind.
I watched every Fast & Furious movie back-to-back while beating off with a fleshlight just to wash the cinematic trailer from my mind. You can imagine what it took after I watched the entire film. I am literally covered in placenta fluids and have grown breasts. Please send help.
 

Thaluikhain

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WhiteNachos said:
I wouldn't think much of it but I've seen one reviewer say that the film acts like it was men that wrecked the world which gave me pause for thought.
Hasn't that always been the case in Mad Max movies, though?

I mean, the world was destroyed after a war between the major powers over oil, IIRC. The leaders of the major powers, the CEOs of oil companies, and, more specifically, the PM of Australia would all have been men. Maybe, depending on exactly when it was set, Thatcher was in power. That'd be one woman and a bunch of men destroying the world.
 

Kopikatsu

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WhiteNachos said:
Kopikatsu said:
The movie does indeed regulate Max himself to the sidelines. There are only two 'good' men in the movie, Max being one of them. The focus is on a woman (Furiosa) leading five sex slaves to a matriarchal utopia. Without spoiling anything, Max fights a major villain while the others are indisposed. The entire fight happens off screen, aside from what Furiosa contributed to it. Because giving Max any undue screen time in his own series would be unfair to Furiosa, I guess.

A sequel is already in production and the working title is 'Mad Max: Furiosa'. So yeah. Hope that helps.
Matriarchial utopia has thrown up a red flag. Does the film act like a society ruled by women would be inherently better, or by matriarchial utopia do you just mean "a society of just women"?
It's better in that the society presented (under the rule of King Joe) is basically 'Women are used as breeding stock since the world is fucked', whereas Furiosa remembers Green Place as being a paradise run by a tribe of women. Explaining any more than that would be spoilers, so ahoy.
Green Place is actually run down by the time Furiosa finds it, so she goes back and kills Joe to rule over the citadel instead
.

Max's contribution to the story amounts to being given a helpful hallucination of his daughter to point the group in a certain direction. The more I think about it, the more I wonder why they even bothered putting him in the movie at all.
 

Dalek Caan

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Kopikatsu said:
Max's contribution to the story amounts to being given a helpful vision of his dead daughter to direct the group in a certain direction. The more I think about it, the more I wonder why they even bothered putting him in the movie at all.
So it basically suffers from the same problem as Transformers and Godzilla 2014 where the main character we wanted to know about is pushed to the sidelines for someone who at beast should be a sidekick?

Yeah, think I'll wait to buy it cheap on DVD.
 

Zontar

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Dalek Caan said:
Kopikatsu said:
Max's contribution to the story amounts to being given a helpful vision of his dead daughter to direct the group in a certain direction. The more I think about it, the more I wonder why they even bothered putting him in the movie at all.
So it basically suffers from the same problem as Transformers and Godzilla 2014 where the main character we wanted to know about is pushed to the sidelines for someone who at beast should be a sidekick?

Yeah, think I'll wait to buy it cheap on DVD.
Seems like it.

At least Godzilla has the excuse that in the original movies he's not in it that much and he's a force of nature the actual characters are reacting to, this is a movie with the character's name in the title that has the ads imply he's the one we're here to see.

Guess I'll go see Age of Ultron a 4th time instead.
 

[Kira Must Die]

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It's true that Max isn't really the main focus, but that was the case in Road Warrior, too (Never watched Beyond Thunderdome, but I'm assuming it's the same.) His involvement in Fury Road isn't all that different from Road Warrior, honestly. The only film to my knowledge (again, never saw Thunderdome) that was personal for him was the first one, which is basically an origin story. In the other movies, he's sort of like The Man with No Name.

As for the female thing, it's actually very similar to Kill Bill in that case. Furiosa, as well as some of the other female characters, can simply be seen as tough female characters, with a bit of emotional weight to them. It doesn't really preach to you, at least not in an obnoxious way.
 

FieryTrainwreck

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I thoroughly enjoyed the movie until the somewhat lame ending, which was way too neat and clean given the setting and subject matter (and doubly disappointing given how appropriately unforgiving the film had been up to that point). The death of Furiosa would have been a far superior finale.

I think relegating Max to powerless spectator for the first bit was pretty interesting, but I don't think that bit should have comprised damn near half the movie. It took way too long for him to get into the action. Then the decision to hide his greatest "feat" off screen was just completely bizarre and disappointing. I would have preferred more Max in my Mad Max, overall. It didn't help that Hardee went way overboard on understated; sorta made it difficult for Theron (who murdered it as Furiosa) not to grab the spotlight.

The gender politics are definitely a little on the overt side. Literally every bad guy is male, and even the two male protagonists are, at the very least, morally gray. The female characters range from supermodel damsels (who are eventually empowered) to oppressed background decorations (who are eventually empowered) to empowered warriors. It's hard to miss the dichotomy, though I can't say I really mind. Creators should be free to do what they like, after all. But I do think they missed an opportunity to create some memorable and interesting female villains. You've got so many colorful and fun bad guys in the movie, but no bad gals to speak of. It smacks of a sort of benevolent sexism wherein women aren't allowed to be anything but paragons of virtue or innocent victims. Let the ladies have some evil fun, too, damnit.

Overall: way, way more fun than Age of Ultron.
 

Albino Boo

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[Kira Must Die said:
]It's true that Max isn't really the main focus, but that was the case in Road Warrior, too (Never watched Beyond Thunderdome, but I'm assuming it's the same.) His involvement in Fury Road isn't all that different from Road Warrior, honestly. The only film to my knowledge (again, never saw Thunderdome) that was personal for him was the first one, which is basically an origin story. In the other movies, he's sort of like The Man with No Name.

As for the female thing, it's actually very similar to Kill Bill in that case. Furiosa, as well as some of the other female characters, can simply be seen as tough female characters, with a bit of emotional weight to them. It doesn't really preach to you, at least not in an obnoxious way.
In Road warrior several of the characters were originally written for the opposite gender to the what they ended up as. The golden youth was originally meant to be female and the warrior woman was originally meant to be male. George Miller really doesn't give a fuck about gender or character, they are just framing devices for extended action sequences.
 

Casual Shinji

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Dalek Caan said:
So it basically suffers from the same problem as Transformers and Godzilla 2014 where the main character we wanted to know about is pushed to the sidelines for someone who at beast should be a sidekick?

Yeah, think I'll wait to buy it cheap on DVD.
Zontar said:
Seems like it.

At least Godzilla has the excuse that in the original movies he's not in it that much and he's a force of nature the actual characters are reacting to, this is a movie with the character's name in the title that has the ads imply he's the one we're here to see.

Guess I'll go see Age of Ultron a 4th time instead.
He's as much the main character in Fury Road as he was in The Road Warrior, meaning he's just a loner who gets caught up in somebody else's problems. It's comparable to an episode of Cowboy Bebop, where he is the titular character, but it's not his story. He's the mystery man who comes and goes.

As for the 'men vs. women'... Yeah, that's kind of there, but not in the form of a lecture. The world that we see is one where people have gone back to act on their base instincts. Men are raised to be mindless warriors who's ultimate goal it is to perform a suicidal act that will bring glory to Immortan Joe, and women are simply used for breeding or as milk cattle. At first it might seem like all the men are depicted as evil crazies, but it's ultimately Immortan Joe who holds the scepter over this society and enforces his ideology onto the people.

If people wanna get all hung up on this movie just because there's a bit of a feminist message... well, congradulations for "sticking to your guns", I guess. Aliens must've been a nightmare for them too, what with all the men ending up to be useless and with two women duking it out at the end. The horror...
 

Zontar

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Casual Shinji said:
He's as much the main character in Fury Road as he was in The Road Warrior, meaning he's just a loner who gets caught up in somebody else's problems. It's comparable to an episode of Cowboy Bebop, where he is the titular character, but it's not his story. He's the mystery man who comes and goes.
I honestly don't feel like that's an excuse, not only because The Road Warrior more often then not didn't have Mad Max in the title but also because in the advertisement campaign for the movie it's pretty much made explicitly clear the movie is about him with no possible room for misinterpretation. Plus The Road Warrior would probably come under the same fire if it came out today with Mad Max being at the front of the title but had him has his role in the film.

I also think the Cowboy Bebop comparison doesn't work, as that series has an intentional misnomer for its title in the form of it being the occupation the main characters have coupled with the name of their ship. That works for sci-fi because the ship isn't really a character in the same way the actual characters are.
 

Casual Shinji

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FieryTrainwreck said:
I think relegating Max to powerless spectator for the first bit was pretty interesting, but I don't think that bit should have comprised damn near half the movie. It took way too long for him to get into the action. Then the decision to hide his greatest "feat" off screen was just completely bizarre and disappointing. I would have preferred more Max in my Mad Max, overall. It didn't help that Hardee went way overboard on understated; sorta made it difficult for Theron (who murdered it as Furiosa) not to grab the spotlight.
I think that part you're refering to was played for laughs.

Max walks into the night, a few seconds later there's a huge explosion, and then he calmly returns with a big bag of guns.
It was a funny way of showing just how well adjusted he is to life as a scavenger. Like it's no different to him than taking out the garbage or doing groceries.

As for him not taking part in the action enough... That's just his character not wanting to look for trouble. He doesn't want to have anything to do with these people and it's not untill he has no other choice that he decides to take up arms. And it's not like the movie was wanting for more action anyway.
 

Casual Shinji

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Zontar said:
Casual Shinji said:
He's as much the main character in Fury Road as he was in The Road Warrior, meaning he's just a loner who gets caught up in somebody else's problems. It's comparable to an episode of Cowboy Bebop, where he is the titular character, but it's not his story. He's the mystery man who comes and goes.
I honestly don't feel like that's an excuse, not only because The Road Warrior more often then not didn't have Mad Max in the title but also because in the advertisement campaign for the movie it's pretty much made explicitly clear the movie is about him with no possible room for misinterpretation. Plus The Road Warrior would probably come under the same fire if it came out today with Mad Max being at the front of the title but had him has his role in the film.
Well, The Road Warrior is Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior all but in America. At the start of the movie it even says 'Mad Max 2'. And there was plenty of room for "misinterpretation", since the trailers showed Max getting dragged against his will into someone else's fight. As well as showing us plenty of other characters fighting for screen time, with a lot of the focus being placed on Charlize Theron's character.

Max is the titular character, but he's never the main narrative focus. Even in the first movie, he doesn't become the main character till halfway through. He's always the mysterious badass who gets pulled into the problems of others and then reluctantly decides to help out.
 

Remus

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The sandstorm scene that we only get glimpses of in the trailer - pure awesome. It's Twister in the desert, with scavengers/raiders and a big f'ing truck. And yes, this is Theron's movie, just like Thunderdome was Tina Turner's movie. It's a fun romp so if anyone gets their pants in a wod because it has matriarchal underpinnings, that's your loss. It has big cars, explosions. There's an entire scene of Max fighting henchmen using a guitar that shoots flame! It couldn't be manlier if the guitar had tits on it.
 

Slayer4472

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So, I watched this new movie tonight, and I've got two things to say:

1. It's a really fun movie
2. Any feminist subtext is the result of the twisted minds of deranged clickbaiters, most likely due to the promise of the Green Zone, a sort of Amazon Paradise,
which ends up overrun by nuclear fallout and vultures that walk around on stilts made out of their bones.

Anyway, Max gets to kill a lot of people,
including one scene where he kills a couple of blokes with a guitar/flamethrower combo. Imperator gets to kill the Big Bad, but Max kills the mayor of Gas Town and the leader of the Bullet Farm, so it evens out.
Overall, I think the concerns about Max getting sidelined were overblown.