I have not seen the original Mad Max movies, and I didn’t plan on seeing this one. It looked like a dick flick; you know, movies you’re more likely to enjoy if you have a dick. The 300 and Clash of the Titans are movies I classified as dick flicks, because despite how much my guy friends like them, my final impression of both was “blah.” I figured that Fury Road would be nothing but cars, fights, explosions, and the occasional sexy and/or scantily clad woman.
The guys at work raved about Mad Max, but it wasn’t until my uncle said he wanted to see it that I changed my mind. My uncle’s movies taste more closely match those of movie critics’ than the average moviegoer, so I doubted he’d go see a movie if he’d heard it was a dick pick. So I gave the movie a chance.
It surprised me. Yes, there is a lot of action and fighting, and some testosterone and scantily clad women, but while I may still classify this as a dick pick, I actually enjoyed it. It’s not groundbreaking, and some things were just silly, but assuming you judge it one what it is – a summer popcorn action flick – then it shouldn’t disappoint.
Considering that I haven’t seen any of the other Mad Max movies, Fury Road does a decent job of setting up the world. Something happened – possibly mankind itself – that made the world start dying. As resources became scarce, law and order broke down, and most of mankind is shitty and at least partially crazy. So now we have an excuse to have a bunch of people drive around the desert in cannibalized cars, jumping between vehicles and throwing explosives at each other.
There are a lot of things that have to be taken with a grain of salt. The idea that the world has spiraled down this far, but there’s still a large enough and reliable enough gas supply to keep all these vehicles running seems silly. People swinging from poles between cars is silly. In a war/attack convoy, having a vehicle dedicated to some drummer dudes and a guy playing an electric guitar is very silly. And yet, the silliness is part of the fun.
Part of what saved this movie for me is the female characters. The “plot” is that the Big Bad’s concubines are trying to escape him and get to safety, and need help. But the female characters in this movie were more than just pretty props. Furiosa was tied with Max for main character and was capable of being a badass. The concubines’ actresses were doubtlessly chosen for their looks – supermodels in a dystopia doesn’t make sense, but that’s part of what makes dick flicks – and their characters weren’t fleshed out, but the lines they did have helped to highlight different mindsets that might exist in such a world. They did more than scream, faint, trip at [in]convenient times, and/or have sex with the main character, which is all I would expect from a dick flick, so that was an unexpected bonus.
If anything, I feel that Max was kinda upstaged. By the end of the movie, I was more invested in Furiosa and Nux (the War Boy) than I was in Max. The emotional scene he had towards the end fell flat for me. It’s kinda sad when the main character is upstaged.
For a movie with a lot of action and not a lot of dialogue, Mad Max: Fury Road was surprisingly good. Not something I’d buy, or necessarily feel the urge to watch again, but it was worth watching the first time and shouldn’t bore you if you decide to repeat the experience.