Do you enjoy the color of sand and dirt? Are grunts and screams something you yearn to hear? What about watching somebody drive for three hours? If all of these apply to you then you will love this film.
Mad Max begins with a very vague description of the character Max and then has him immediately captured and imprisoned. It will be another twenty to thirty minutes before he actually does or says anything. This was already a red flag for me. The movie is called “Mad Max,” but he is not the main character. Instead the main character is a woman named Furiosa. We get a little bit of backstory through her exposition to Max, but other than that, she is relatively unknown. She also is missing a part of her arm, and of course, that is never explained.
Max’s background isn’t fleshed out either. He mentions that the dead haunt him, and there are flashes of dead people from his past that he couldn’t save but that’s all. No explanation of who these people are or what they meant to him. Without watching the movies from the 80s, you would have no idea who he was or what he has been through. That being said, the movie shouldn’t rely on the audience’s knowledge of the old films because of how long it has been since they were released. Instead, there should have been backstory or at least real flashbacks to show the events that shaped Max into who he is.
I do have to admit that the action scenes were well put together. The camera didn’t shake or move around too much to make action scenes impossible to follow, and there didn’t seem to be an overabundance of CGI except for the storm scene. Fight scenes were also very brutal like they should be in this series.
This movie should have redeemed the franchise. The originals were long tedious films, and I was hoping that this iteration would be an enjoyable, updated, modern take on it — like what J.J. Abrams did for Star Trek. He took something that had long, drawn out, overly dry movies, and then turned them into something that everyone could enjoy. Mad Max needed a new coat of paint and unfortunately this movie is still just as rusty as the cars in it. This movie is Waterworld but with sand instead of water.
Warning: Spoilers ahead! Stop reading if you don’t want to know what happens!
Three quarters of the way into the film made me let out an audible groan. They travel the entire movie to try to find “the green place,” but they come to find that they had passed it and it had turned into a poisonous swamp land. With this new revelation and overdramatic “fall to knees and cry out” scene out of the way, the group decides to head back to the Citadel that they had just escaped from and kill everyone on the way back. This plan succeeds and they are welcomed back to the Citadel with the dead leader. Why they were immediately welcomed back when so many people followed him fanatically is also never explained. Furiosa, the wives, and the remaining mothers ride the elevator into the city. As they are going up, she sees Max wave farewell, disappears into the crowds, and then the movie ends. All I could think was why? He got revenge on some of the people involved in his past and could use his new following to finish the rest of his vengeance. Also, Furiosa and Max started connecting emotionally near the end, but he doesn’t stay with her. There were too many unexplained moments and too little backstory for me to care about any character in the story, which eliminated all of the tension in the action scenes. I give Mad Max: Fury Road five exploding cars out of ten.