Questions on the new Mad Max movie

RedDeadFred

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Huh, and here I was thinking that feminists were going to be the ones having the problem with it since a large amount of the female cast are sex slaves. But no, because a woman is a badass in the movie and the villains are male, that means it's feminist propaganda. Some people....

Anyway, I thought it was the best action movie I've seen in a long time. There were so many standout scenes and characters. My personal favourites were anything involving the awesome guitarist. Also, for a movie taking place in the post apocalypse, it's downright gorgeous. I'm sure Michael Bay is jealous of how much better the explosions were in this movie than of his.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
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Vault101 said:
Zhukov said:
[
Huh. So they did. I could have sworn I read something saying it was filmed in the outback.
they were going too but then it rained for the first time in 15 years

...and you know I'm not sure mad max hitting a pelican with his car would have been consistent with the overall aesthetic
As an aside, are you aware that if you edit a
into your post, it doesn't notify the quotee?
 

Parasondox

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Vault101 said:
Parasondox said:
Some people just need to stop over thinking things and just enjoy something. HAVE FUN!!
I'm sorry but this really pisses me off

there's no such thing as over thinking something, this shit is real,its a relfection of our society, its in our lives and its subject to criticism/analysis

as for what the director intended...I got the impression from an interview that whatever themes present in the movie to him were just no brainers....subjecgation/warlords/power plays all universal and old themes and he said that maybe it was simply timing that this became a discussion in regards to woman in media. So no he probably didn't go in thinking "I'm going to make a feminist movie"

BUT

decisions were made along the line, decisions that resulted in what we got, and what we got was a film that is quite feminist [I/]intentionally or not[/I]
So, having fun and not over thinking is not fun? Please tell me you are kidding when you say there is no such thing as over thinking?

Whatever floats your boat.
 

FieryTrainwreck

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Edit: apologies, erttheking, if it felt like my post was "directed" at you. Not my intention. The quoted bit was a jumping off point. I happen to agree with what you're saying, but I think it's advice that *everyone* should consider.

erttheking said:
Plus the movie just has a 98% on rotten tomatoes. Can't we just watch a kickass movie without screening it to make sure it's a feminist free zone?
Replace "feminist free zone" with "perfectly politically correct" and this is precisely what a lot of people have been saying to feminists since fucking forever.

Short story much, much longer: I'm tickled by the monumental double standard being applied to MRA criticism of this film. Feminist critiques have always centered around media as representation rather than depiction. This generally manifests as a sort of "scorecard" whereupon every character's identity, traits, behavior, relationships, and treatment are carefully recorded, examined, and graded. MRAs have performed a similarly reductive exercise with respect to MM:FF, and anyone who has seen the movie should know the outcome.

- literally every antagonist in the film is male
- excluding background extras, only two male characters are not wholly evil
- and neither are they wholly good; one starts evil (and is redeemed by a woman) and the other starts out an uncaring, disturbed bastard
- literally no woman in the film is evil (unless you count Furiosa's past, which we never see)
- literally every woman in the film, I believe, is eventually empowered in at least some capacity
- the only woman to demonstrate weakness (the breeder who tries to "go back") eventually uses that weakness as a ruse to empower herself
- warboy sacrifices himself for the women, and Max quietly slips away after helping secure the Citadel, both examples of male disposability

Point being: if you're holding a scorecard and pretending to equality, this movie is beyond "problematic" by the standards of most feminist-style criticism. Personally, I think such reductive exercises are both tragically misguided and potentially quite harmful - regardless of whose ox is being gored. Subsequently, I loved the film. But I'm still bothered by two points:

1) That the MRA crowd is catching flak for doing *exactly* what feminists have done to countless previous films, games, novels, etc.

2) That feminists champion a film drowning in benevolent sexism and still wonder why some people accuse them of promoting female superiority rather than true equality.
 

happyninja42

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WhiteNachos said:
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.
I didn't get the vibe that the characters in question were blaming men in general, but basically blaming people who acted like the main villain specifically. There is one conversation between one of the protagonists, and the servant of the villain who was given all the screen time. If you simply look at it from the viewpoint of "It was a female, accusing a male", then yeah I can see the sexist tone to it. But the context of their discussion was larger than that. She never said "It was men who destroyed the world!" (as best as I can recall, dialogue was difficult to hear sometimes due to accent+background noises). She directed her anger at Immortan Joe, and his followers as "Who killed the world?" To me it simply seemed she was blaming the behavior of the old world's leaders for why the world was dead, not simply because "You have a penis! Thus it's your fault!"

Now, there was one scene that did annoy me with it's implied sexism.

Later, when they reach "the Green Place", and encounter the stragglers of that society, when they are all exiting the truck, the old women freak out when they see "the men!", and not the women. Implying that women are no reason to fear, and are not a threat at all, but men automatically are. Which I found stupid considering that all of those women were veteran survivors of the apocalypse, and quite skilled at killing, as was Furiosa. But hey, they have vaginas right? So I guess they're just never going to do something bad or evil, that's purely a Penis-specific behavior"

That bit I found personally annoying

WhiteNachos said:
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.
No, I don't think it tried to lecture the audience at all. I think at times, it fell back on a couple of sexist movie tropes that I personally found annoying. But for the most part, I think the director was too busy having a good time showing us a fucking insane post-apocalyptic world to bother with lecturing the audience. I mean...Guitar Man. GUITAR MAN!! So much awesomeness radiated from that guy that my brain is still melting from it. I felt like I was watching a live action version of Brutal Legend at times. xD

So no, it wasn't some lecturing story. It was a fucked up, fun thrill ride in a wasteland setting, with a cast of nutjob characters. I loved the hell out of it.
 

Dizchu

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FieryTrainwreck said:
- literally every antagonist in the film is male
1. excluding background extras, only two male characters are not wholly evil
2. and neither are they wholly good; one starts evil (and is redeemed by a woman) and the other starts out an uncaring, disturbed bastard
3. literally no woman in the film is evil (unless you count Furiosa's past, which we never see)
4. literally every woman in the film, I believe, is eventually empowered in at least some capacity
5. the only woman to demonstrate weakness (the breeder who tries to "go back") eventually uses that weakness as a ruse to empower herself
6. warboy sacrifices himself for the women, and Max quietly slips away after helping secure the Citadel, both examples of male disposability
I numbered your points for convenience's sake so I can address them one by one, if you don't mind.

1. Nobody in the wasteland is "wholly good" or "wholly evil". In fact, the War Boys seem to be as much victims as any of the women in this film. They've been raised and trained to be disposable under the extreme patriarchal rule of Immortan Joe. Could this be a reflection of the real world, on the film's part? Sure, depending on how you look at it.

2. I wouldn't say Nux is "evil", and Max has been an uncaring, disturbed bastard since the last act of the first film.

3. Apart from Joe and maybe the leaders of the other two towns, the same can't be said for the men either (see point 1).

4. Why is this a problem? Though...
I wouldn't say that Angharad getting run over by a truck, killing her and her child is very empowering. She exits the film in a fairly horrendous way.

5. All of the female characters demonstrate weakness, though Furiosa demonstrates it far less. They're not perfect, they've had to sacrifice aspects of their humanity in order to survive. Even then, it wasn't just one of the wives that was pessimistic about the plan.

6.
If I recall correctly, Nux was already doomed. He was in extremely poor health and had two tumours growing on his body. He turned from merely disposable under the rule of Joe to immensely valuable in the later acts of the film. And Max slipping away at the end is an example of "male disposability"??? This happens in every film. He's a voluntary vagabond, he chooses not to get too involved in anyone else's lives because he can't trust anyone. If he stuck around and settled in the Citadel, it'd completely undermine his entire character

The film pushes feminism as much as it pushes socialism, really.
 

Dizchu

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Marxie said:
Can someone explain me - what's so awesome about Furiosa again? She's as boring as action protagonists can get.
At the beginning of the film she sacrifices what I assume to be a life of relative comfort (she has the respect of the War Boys, has agency and isn't subject to the treatment of the wives or the peasants in the society) for the slim chance of securing a better future for herself and those women.

She's spent what I am assuming to be a large chunk of her life answering to a guy she absolutely despises, on the off-chance that she's able to use the trust she's earned to make things better, and not just for herself either. The world of Mad Max is based around selfishness, people struggle to survive and are more than willing to dick each other over for a bit of water or oil, a mentality even Max has succumbed to.

Few if any other characters in the film have Furiosa's determination to revert the world even slightly to the way things were. Not even Max, who just wants to get by (like pretty much every other character apart from the small communities in Mad Max 2 and 3). Max is a reluctant hero, Furiosa is a determined one. She's the one that decides that her dignity and those of the wives are of more value than mere survival.

None of this is explicitly said in the film, but to be honest not a lot in any of the films has been explicitly stated. Apart from some stuff in Mad Max 3 which inevitably made it a weaker film. The films, for the most part, hint at a much larger world by showing and not telling. While many people have said that the character development in the series is weak, I don't think that's the case. I think that the character development must be inferred from the hints the films give. We didn't need Max shouting "noooooooooo" and burying his dog in Mad Max 2 to tell that the dog was a treasured companion.
 

BoredRolePlayer

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The bad guy is bad cause he pushes his views on everyone and sees them as "things". He even tells one of his foot soldiers he is pathetic cause he messed up and leaves him to die. He treats everyone equally like shit, it wasn't a "feminist message". It was, hey he is shit and rules like a dictator.
 
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All I've seen of this film, it looks like a video game cutscene with some live action elements thrown in. From the sounds of the story, it's not my cup of tea. I wasn't a fan of the originals TBH so don't even have nostalgia as a reason for wanting to watch it. Nothing about the film particularly appeals, I'll be giving it a miss.
 

happyninja42

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DizzyChuggernaut said:
Marxie said:
Can someone explain me - what's so awesome about Furiosa again? She's as boring as action protagonists can get.
At the beginning of the film she sacrifices what I assume to be a life of relative comfort (she has the respect of the War Boys, has agency and isn't subject to the treatment of the wives or the peasants in the society) for the slim chance of securing a better future for herself and those women.

She's spent what I am assuming to be a large chunk of her life answering to a guy she absolutely despises, on the off-chance that she's able to use the trust she's earned to make things better, and not just for herself either. The world of Mad Max is based around selfishness, people struggle to survive and are more than willing to dick each other over for a bit of water or oil, a mentality even Max has succumbed to.

Few if any other characters in the film have Furiosa's determination to revert the world even slightly to the way things were. Not even Max, who just wants to get by (like pretty much every other character apart from the small communities in Mad Max 2 and 3). Max is a reluctant hero, Furiosa is a determined one. She's the one that decides that her dignity and those of the wives are of more value than mere survival.

None of this is explicitly said in the film, but to be honest not a lot in any of the films has been explicitly stated. Apart from some stuff in Mad Max 3 which inevitably made it a weaker film. The films, for the most part, hint at a much larger world by showing and not telling. While many people have said that the character development in the series is weak, I don't think that's the case. I think that the character development must be inferred from the hints the films give. We didn't need Max shouting "noooooooooo" and burying his dog in Mad Max 2 to tell that the dog was a treasured companion.
I agree that most of her traits are shown, not stated. I definitely feel she was the emotional center of the movie, and that Max was mostly there as....ugh, I can't think of the story telling element/trope that he fits, but, it's the character who just gets put into the events of the story purely by happenstance, and just wants to get out. They have no real personal investment in the events, but usually pick a side simply because "This side is less of an asshat group than the other group, so I'll help them" kind of thing. He's like Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China, and there's a trope name for that type of character in a story, and it's annoying the hell out of me that I can't think of it right now. xD

Furiosa was the one with the plan, the plan that was driving the entire story of the movie. It started as a simple supply run, but when she made her choice, the events of the movie unfolded. She was the one who thought out an course of action, Max was simply along for the ride.

As to thinking she was badass versus boring...*shrugs* I can't really convince anyone of that, as that's simply an opinion. She was definitely a Determinator type of trope, and some people find those types of protagonists boring. Fair enough. I like understated heroes for the most part, and I can see someone like her internalizing herself as much as possible to survive in the world that she grew up in under Immortan Joe. I think the director made a conscious effort to polarize the two groups. The antagonists were all over the top caricatures( GUITAR GUY!! WHOO!), and the heroes were understated regular people.

I liked the movie, and I liked Furiosa as a protagonist. But I am kind of biased in that I really like Ms. Theron, and think she's a great actress and gorgeous as hell, so she tends to start from a positive position in any movie I see her in. But I think her performance stands on it's own, despite my personal bias for her. I'd definitely be down for another movie with that character in it.
 

BoredRolePlayer

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Happyninja42 said:
DizzyChuggernaut said:
Marxie said:
Can someone explain me - what's so awesome about Furiosa again? She's as boring as action protagonists can get.
At the beginning of the film she sacrifices what I assume to be a life of relative comfort (she has the respect of the War Boys, has agency and isn't subject to the treatment of the wives or the peasants in the society) for the slim chance of securing a better future for herself and those women.

She's spent what I am assuming to be a large chunk of her life answering to a guy she absolutely despises, on the off-chance that she's able to use the trust she's earned to make things better, and not just for herself either. The world of Mad Max is based around selfishness, people struggle to survive and are more than willing to dick each other over for a bit of water or oil, a mentality even Max has succumbed to.

Few if any other characters in the film have Furiosa's determination to revert the world even slightly to the way things were. Not even Max, who just wants to get by (like pretty much every other character apart from the small communities in Mad Max 2 and 3). Max is a reluctant hero, Furiosa is a determined one. She's the one that decides that her dignity and those of the wives are of more value than mere survival.

None of this is explicitly said in the film, but to be honest not a lot in any of the films has been explicitly stated. Apart from some stuff in Mad Max 3 which inevitably made it a weaker film. The films, for the most part, hint at a much larger world by showing and not telling. While many people have said that the character development in the series is weak, I don't think that's the case. I think that the character development must be inferred from the hints the films give. We didn't need Max shouting "noooooooooo" and burying his dog in Mad Max 2 to tell that the dog was a treasured companion.
I agree that most of her traits are shown, not stated. I definitely feel she was the emotional center of the movie, and that Max was mostly there as....ugh, I can't think of the story telling element/trope that he fits, but, it's the character who just gets put into the events of the story purely by happenstance, and just wants to get out. They have no real personal investment in the events, but usually pick a side simply because "This side is less of an asshat group than the other group, so I'll help them" kind of thing. He's like Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China, and there's a trope name for that type of character in a story, and it's annoying the hell out of me that I can't think of it right now. xD

Furiosa was the one with the plan, the plan that was driving the entire story of the movie. It started as a simple supply run, but when she made her choice, the events of the movie unfolded. She was the one who thought out an course of action, Max was simply along for the ride.

As to thinking she was badass versus boring...*shrugs* I can't really convince anyone of that, as that's simply an opinion. She was definitely a Determinator type of trope, and some people find those types of protagonists boring. Fair enough. I like understated heroes for the most part, and I can see someone like her internalizing herself as much as possible to survive in the world that she grew up in under Immortan Joe. I think the director made a conscious effort to polarize the two groups. The antagonists were all over the top caricatures( GUITAR GUY!! WHOO!), and the heroes were understated regular people.

I liked the movie, and I liked Furiosa as a protagonist. But I am kind of biased in that I really like Ms. Theron, and think she's a great actress and gorgeous as hell, so she tends to start from a positive position in any movie I see her in. But I think her performance stands on it's own, despite my personal bias for her. I'd definitely be down for another movie with that character in it.
Guitar Guy was legit one of the best people in the movie, I got choked up when the guitar was in the explosion.
 

happyninja42

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BoredRolePlayer said:
Happyninja42 said:
Guitar Guy was legit one of the best people in the movie, I got choked up when the guitar was in the explosion.
I know! I giggled every time he was on screen, and just loved it, including the fight scene with him in it, though I wished that had gone on longer with more musical accompaniment. xD

One of my friends commented about how he seemed to refuse to die, and I turned to him and said "You can't kill Rock n Roll baby!" \m/ (-_-) \m/
 

FieryTrainwreck

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DizzyChuggernaut said:
1. Nobody in the wasteland is "wholly good" or "wholly evil". In fact, the War Boys seem to be as much victims as any of the women in this film. They've been raised and trained to be disposable under the extreme patriarchal rule of Immortan Joe. Could this be a reflection of the real world, on the film's part? Sure, depending on how you look at it.
Seems like semantics. By your definition of the term, no one is evil. Replace the term with "bad" or "negative", if you must. I can roll with it either way.

2. I wouldn't say Nux is "evil", and Max has been an uncaring, disturbed bastard since the last act of the first film.
Nux spends the first half of the movie trying to kill or control the protagonists. He is literally a villain until he is redeemed.

I'm well aware of how long Max has been an uncaring, disturbed bastard. This doesn't change the fact that he is a male character demonstrating these traits in a film, and this is all that matters in a representation-based critique focusing on gender identity. Like I said, it's not a great way to examine media.

3. Apart from Joe and maybe the leaders of the other two towns, the same can't be said for the men either (see point 1).
Joe and the other male leaders, much like Nux and all of the warboys, are products of their environment/upbringing. If that's how you want to define evil, fine by me, but you have to apply the same standard to everyone, right? Regardless, a representation-based critique doesn't really care why people are the way they are. Hypothetically, I'm ejecting context and focusing only on current states. Again, I don't agree with this sort of evaluation. I'm only mirroring here.

4. Why is this a problem? Though...
I wouldn't say that Angharad getting run over by a truck, killing her and her child is very empowering. She exits the film in a fairly horrendous way.
I don't think it's a problem at all because I view media as depiction rather than representation. For me, nothing is problematic. I can like or dislike something personally, but I'm not going to sit there with a scorecard keeping careful track of how many men were stripped of their agency versus how many women, etc. so long as the associated rates are not ridiculously outside the realm of possibility. Mad Max almost manages to cross even that line, but I'm still fairly indifferent/meh about such things when it comes to fictional entertainment product.

Now if I were so inclined to focus on representation, the fact that every woman is eventually "empowered to do good" while the vast majority of male characters are "empowered to do bad" does establish a clear and problematic dichotomy. It's not so much that women are empowered at all (people tend to do stuff) as they are never allowed to do wrong or evil, never allowed to behave selfishly. In terms of straight-up depiction, this makes perfect sense because none of the women are villains, but that is the root cause of the issue, isn't it? And if this is a world where only men are bad guys, that's perfectly fine... unless you're holding a scorecard.

As for Angharad, she was constantly putting herself and her child in harm's way in order to deter the enemy. She was constantly leveraging her own value and the value of her unborn child to foil the antagonists and aid the protagonists. For a woman 7-8 months pregnant, she possessed a ludicrous amount of agency; she was empowered beyond all reason. I'd argue that her antics crossed the line into flippancy, and this contributed mightily to her eventual fate. Yes, she died horrendously, but she very much earned that death with her behavior. This is NOT to say that she deserved violence - she was an innocent - but she certainly was not a helpless bystander to the carnage.

5. All of the female characters demonstrate weakness, though Furiosa demonstrates it far less. They're not perfect, they've had to sacrifice aspects of their humanity in order to survive. Even then, it wasn't just one of the wives that was pessimistic about the plan.
Again, confusion of terms. I'll clarify: by weakness, I mean character weakness or negative trait. The female characters obviously demonstrated other kinds of weakness - fear, vulnerability, etc. - but these are sympathetic/positive behaviors that endear them to the audience. The only character to demonstrate a legitimate defect was the wife who tried to run back, and she was redeemed later in the film. Otherwise, yes, the women have had to sacrifice bits and pieces of their humanity to get by in their broken world, but none of them turned into raving lunatics as so many of the men clearly did.

This is all 100% fine by me because, again, I'm not holding a scorecard. But if I were, I'd want more balanced representations of gender in the film - some irredeemable female villains, some benevolent, caring men.

6.
If I recall correctly, Nux was already doomed. He was in extremely poor health and had two tumours growing on his body. He turned from merely disposable under the rule of Joe to immensely valuable in the later acts of the film. And Max slipping away at the end is an example of "male disposability"??? This happens in every film. He's a voluntary vagabond, he chooses not to get too involved in anyone else's lives because he can't trust anyone. If he stuck around and settled in the Citadel, it'd completely undermine his entire character
You're sort of proving my point with Nux. He's useful in service of Immortan Joe or immensely valuable in service of the female protagonists... but poor Nux is dead either way. Within the confines of this film, he cannot do anything but give his life in service to one cause or another, and he does not live to see the outcome either way. The notion that your life can mean something to others after you're gone is basically the textbook definition of the "disposable male".

I agree completely that it would have been totally against character for Max to stay at the Citadel. That doesn't change the fact that he, a male character, just went through hell to help a group of female characters liberate and secure a monumentally valuable pool of resources in the middle of a total desert wasteland... only to turn around and bounce. He served their interests, and then he stepped aside. True to his character, of course, but when has that argument stopped the representation-obsessed critics from docking points?

The film pushes feminism as much as it pushes socialism, really.
If it is intended to be a feminist film, I think it is an indictment of feminism as something other than a truly egalitarian movement. If it's just a movie depicting a bunch of interesting characters and social dynamics in a punishing and somewhat fantastical setting, then it's just a damn fine movie. In other words: the people attempting to champion the film as a feminist triumph are sorta revealing themselves as something other than true egalitarians, and the MRAs criticizing the movie as anti-male are committing the exact same reductive idiocy as the feminists have with countless other narratives.

To be perfectly clear: I do not endorse representation-focused evaluation of media.
 

gorfias

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FieryTrainwreck said:
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.
Agreed. A brute saves a woman from blood collapsing her lungs by stabbing her? And then, miracle of miracle, their blood matches for a transfusion? This is almost as bad as Bruce Willis saving Julia Roberts in the fake movie climax of "The Player."

the decision to hide his greatest "feat" off screen was just completely bizarre and disappointing.
Yeah, what was that?

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.
A buddy of mine was aghast that I thought this on par with Ultron. I greatly enjoyed both.

I caught the whole: hey look! The bad guys are all men and the women beautific victims! thing too. I just called it a McGuffin and let it go and watched and loved the movie. I do think the next Mad Max movies needs a lot more Max in it.

I was disappointed by the end: Max walks away from a society he might enjoy living in. 2 and 3, events separate him from what might be a good life. Still, great flick.

BTW: Tina Turner's Aunty Entity from Beyond Thunderdome kills it.
 

Dizchu

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Ah right, I seem to have misunderstood the thrust of your post. However, some things still irk me. Mainly the "male disposability" stuff. I'm getting the impression from many people that the film doesn't depict male disposability, but in some way endorses it, or that the disposability of men is the driving force of the script. The film definitely depicts an ultra-patriarchal society where men are treated like disposable warriors, though I personally don't think it's making a statement about the world in the present day, aside from sex slavery and kidnapped children being turned into warriors in Africa.

Also the only instance where Max is treated like a disposable male is when he is tied to the front of Nux's vehicle as a blood bag. The ending is purely his choice, and I'm sure Furiosa and the others would've loved to have kept such a reliable guy around to rebuild the community. That's a theme in the previous films too, Max would likely have benefited from sticking with the group and getting a fresh start, but he consciously decides against that. Deep down he feels that it's his duty to help those that are in need, though he is reluctant to admit it. But he also doesn't want to be tied down by others. His closest companions (his family, Goose and even his pet dog) were all slaughtered by bandits, as a result he feels it's in his best interests not to get too cosy with anyone.

FieryTrainwreck said:
If it is intended to be a feminist film, I think it is an indictment of feminism as something other than a truly egalitarian movement. If it's just a movie depicting a bunch of interesting characters and social dynamics in a punishing and somewhat fantastical setting, then it's just a damn fine movie. In other words: the people attempting to champion the film as a feminist triumph are sorta revealing themselves as something other than true egalitarians, and the MRAs criticizing the movie as anti-male are committing the exact same reductive idiocy as the feminists have with countless other narratives.
To be honest I see more people express paranoia at the film being feminist propaganda than I do feminists lauding the film for its perceived "feminist themes". In fact I think feminists might be divided by the film because it features scantily-clad women who are seen as commodities. It's sad when people decide not to watch the film because of fears that it's promoting some Sarkeesian-esque ideal of female representation. No, the SJWs have not corrupted Mad Max.

Gorfias said:
Agreed. A brute saves a woman from blood collapsing her lungs by stabbing her? And then, miracle of miracle, their blood matches for a transfusion? This is almost as bad as Bruce Willis saving Julia Roberts in the fake movie climax of "The Player."
I forgot if it was explicitly stated or not, but at the beginning of the film Max was a designated universal blood donor (so type O negative, I'm guessing?) If this is the case I don't find the transfusion at the end of the film to be a completely far-fetched.
 

Pyrian

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Gorfias said:
And then, miracle of miracle, their blood matches for a transfusion?
Dude, they made a pretty big deal about the fact that Max is a universal donor.
 

FieryTrainwreck

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Gorfias said:
Agreed. A brute saves a woman from blood collapsing her lungs by stabbing her? And then, miracle of miracle, their blood matches for a transfusion?
I can almost buy that Max would know how to release pressure on the lungs given his previous life as a cop, but the blood transfusion strained credulity. Regardless, I think Furiosa should have died. I'm sure there's a version of the script where she does die, but I get the feeling that was shot down fairly early given the massive potential for sequels in light of Theron's brilliant turn.

Yeah, what was that?
When Max ventured off by himself with a gas tank and one gun and single-handedly killed one of the big bad guys and his crew. I did appreciate the concept of inviting the audience to fill in the blanks, and leaving some of Max's story shrouded in mystery does up his cool/legendary status. But it also contributed to the sensation that this Mad Max movie wasn't really tracking Max.

I caught the whole: hey look! The bad guys are all men and the women beautific victims! thing too. I just called it a McGuffin and let it go and watched and loved the movie.
I'm with you on that front. It's impossible not to notice it, but I also didn't sweat it. I only think it's rather laughable that people will crucify MRAs for evaluating this film the same way feminists have been evaluating everything since forever.

I was disappointed by the end: Max walks away from a society he might enjoy living in.
Yeah, the more I think about this, the more it does sorta bug me. He eats a mutant lizard raw in the intro. That's how bad things are for Mad Max. Then he goes through hell, yet again, to help a group of women liberate and secure a tremendous trove of invaluable resources. Would he chafe against the worship, responsibility, and expectations if he chose to stay? Absolutely. Would having access to good drinking water and fresh food completely outweigh his discomfort? Also yes.
 

FieryTrainwreck

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DizzyChuggernaut said:
Ah right, I seem to have misunderstood the thrust of your post. However, some things still irk me. Mainly the "male disposability" stuff. I'm getting the impression from many people that the film doesn't depict male disposability, but in some way endorses it, or that the disposability of men is the driving force of the script. The film definitely depicts an ultra-patriarchal society where men are treated like disposable warriors, though I personally don't think it's making a statement about the world in the present day, aside from sex slavery and kidnapped children being turned into warriors in Africa.
It absolutely does not endorse male disposability, and this matters precisely not at all to someone deploying a feminist-style critique. Again, that's the thrust of my post. Take, for instance, the recent blow-up regarding sexual violence in Game of Thrones. Is the show endorsing such behavior? You'd be fucking insane to suggest it is so. We are then left with raw depiction, but that's equally unacceptable for critics obsessed with representation. Similarly, the mere depiction of male disposability in Mad Max is offensive by the standards set for us in so many feminist critiques of other "problematic" media.

Also the only instance where Max is treated like a disposable male is when he is tied to the front of Nux's vehicle as a blood bag. The ending is purely his choice, and I'm sure Furiosa and the others would've loved to have kept such a reliable guy around to rebuild the community. That's a theme in the previous films too, Max would likely have benefited from sticking with the group and getting a fresh start, but he consciously decides against that. Deep down he feels that it's his duty to help those that are in need, though he is reluctant to admit it. But he also doesn't want to be tied down by others. His closest companions (his family, Goose and even his pet dog) were all slaughtered by bandits, as a result he feels it's in his best interests not to get too cosy with anyone.
And dismissing this context, ignoring the character's own choices based on his personality and history, is also par for the course with most feminist criticism of media. It doesn't matter why a woman does something in keeping with a problematic stereotype. All that matters is that she is fulfilling the stereotype. If she "stays home to raise the kids" as a result of her own decisions, her culture, her history, etc., it still doesn't matter. She's still representing women in a backwards, archaic fashion as determined by the metrics of the critic, and everyone involved must be called to task for the treatment of this fictional female character. Similarly, while it makes plenty of sense for Max to duck out given his character history, an MRA focusing on representation still sees a man fading into history after serving the interests of others.

To be honest I see more people express paranoia at the film being feminist propaganda than I do feminists lauding the film for its perceived "feminist themes". In fact I think feminists might be divided by the film because it features scantily-clad women who are seen as commodities. It's sad when people decide not to watch the film because of fears that it's promoting some Sarkeesian-esque ideal of female representation. No, the SJWs have not corrupted Mad Max.
"Feminists might be divided" is a pretty complete thought all by itself. I think the MRA angle was blown out of proportion because people were looking for an excuse to dump on MRAs, which is typical of most Gawker-esque outlets anyways. I'm in the camp that enjoyed the movie and more or less left it at that. I was only irked into posting my hypothetical evaluation because the double standards and rampant hypocrisy permeating the gender debates are things I can't seem to stomach without comment.

I forgot if it was explicitly stated or not, but at the beginning of the film Max was a designated universal blood donor (so type O negative, I'm guessing?) If this is the case I don't find the transfusion at the end of the film to be a completely far-fetched.
Eh, for me it was more like "why do I care that he's a universal donor..." followed by "oh, so he can pull this bullshit blood transfusion out of his ass two hours later and save the main character for the sequel". I'm mostly kidding here, btw. :)

Edit: best way to sum up my original post: if you think the MRAs criticizing Mad Max are being ridiculous, I agree with you. Necessarily, given the mostly identical structure of the arguments involved, you're kinda obligated to agree with me that a lot of the feminist critiques of various entertainment media over the last few years have been equally ridiculous.
 

BoredRolePlayer

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For a cheesy action movie about trying to get people treated like things away from a nut job we have a deep discussion :p.