Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

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Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Storage and Disposal » Wed Oct 7, 0:58 2015

It was entertaining. I really enjoyed it! The action? Holy Hell, great CG and/or mind-blowing stunts.

The tone? You can tell George Miller made some '80s movies, because it had a great '80s or maybe even early '90s feel.

Pacing was great. I wasn't at all bored with it.

The story was interesting enough.

Mindless steam punk dystopian future with an overflow of exposition? Certainly done in a cheesy enough way for me. There were some cheesy yet interesting use of camera work and color.

The feminist aspect of it? Complete garbage. Holy shit, they had their fair share of useless women in this. for every decent female character (two?) there were five other women running around without anything to do but whine. I really don't get the praise at all. With Furiosa, it wasn't exactly worse than your average testosterone-driven action movie, but it wasn't exactly better. I wouldn't exactly call it progressive by any means.

Overall, it was entertaining all the way through and lacked the homophobic undertones of the original, which, admittedly, could be chalked up to a product of its time.

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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Unvoiced_Apollo » Wed Oct 7, 9:02 2015

Regarding feminism (sarcasmvto follow)...what you're saying is you want a bunch of cardboard cutouts of female characters who all act the same.

All joking snippiness aside, I think they offered a nice contrast. Not all women are going to be Furiosa's. Some are going to show moments of weakness. Nuxx, a guy, also showed his vulnerability. I agree I wouldn't call this movie feminist, but I thought the women that were at the forefront were just as strongly written as the men at the forefront.

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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Meperidine » Wed Oct 7, 13:18 2015

I think there are elements worth criticizing--the conventionally attractive wives' rescue is central, and the women used as milkbags are left behind in the capital until the end--but there are a few things we would be hard pressed to deny:

Women do a lot in this movie.

Women are in control of their own narratives in this movie. Sexual assault and abuse are a huge part of what happened to the wives, but it is not shown--conversations between the wives are how we learn their stories.

The movie portrays, condemns, and (in the character of Nux) overcomes prescriptions of toxic masculinity.

The cinematography plays on, then subverts, traditionally male-gazey shots (the scene near the beginning where the wives are cooling off in the hose, Max beckons one over and the shot widens to reveal that she is hugely pregnant)

"We are not Things." I have started to see this graffitied on sexist/objectifying ads and billboards all over my city.

Furiosa herself is a class act in writing and portraying a strong female lead--not a Strong Female Lead (TM). She's larger-than-life like an action hero, but has flaws and feelings like a character. Apollo is correct that a character like Furiosa is and might always be exceptional, and if she were the only woman in the movie, it would not be enough. But she isn't; a lot about her story involves her relating and connecting to other women, as well as barely verbal interaction with the mostly silent male protagonist that still establishes their respective motivations better than most long-winded dialogue tends to do.

I hesitate to label works of art as feminist or not feminist. But this movie contains a lot--not just one or a few, a lot of feminist ideas. Having them in what is arguably, in its own right, the action movie of the century is all to the better. Maybe it'll get people away from the idea that we have to lower our standards of gender representation in action movies because it's just good honest explosive guy fun. This proves that we can have both.
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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Storage and Disposal » Wed Oct 7, 16:07 2015

Unvoiced_Apollo wrote: All joking snippiness aside, I think they offered a nice contrast. Not all women are going to be Furiosa's. Some are going to show moments of weakness. Nuxx, a guy, also showed his vulnerability. I agree I wouldn't call this movie feminist, but I thought the women that were at the forefront were just as strongly written as the men at the forefront.
To me, there were two classes of women in the movie: One note and Furiosa. Their weakness isn't exactly what I'm criticizing. It was how hollow and relatively useless they all were. It's their lack of depth. I'm not saying the breeders should come out of servitude with the badassness of Furiosa, but I expected far, far more. I don't think women in the film offered much contrast at all. They mostly felt like plot devices.
Meperidine wrote:Women do a lot in this movie.

Women are in control of their own narratives in this movie. Sexual assault and abuse are a huge part of what happened to the wives, but it is not shown--conversations between the wives are how we learn their stories.

The movie portrays, condemns, and (in the character of Nux) overcomes prescriptions of toxic masculinity.

The cinematography plays on, then subverts, traditionally male-gazey shots (the scene near the beginning where the wives are cooling off in the hose, Max beckons one over and the shot widens to reveal that she is hugely pregnant)
If women did a lot in the movie, it was because there were a lot of women. It seemed like most women was tasked with about one characteristic.

It's the exposition and shallowness I can't get over. Putting "we are not things" on a wall, showing women overcoming toxic masculinity (which was impossible without the male lead), it all states respect without going through the trouble of showing it. I've seen a lot of exploitation films and this film's attempt at respect towards women characters wasn't much of an improvement. It sort of felt like a typical revenge sexploitation film without the sex.

The film gets points for having a female lead, but I still don't think it's all that more progressive than any other action movie with a female lead. Of course, it's Mad Max, so I don't really expect it to overflow with depth.
Last edited by Storage and Disposal on Wed Oct 7, 22:31 2015, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Unvoiced_Apollo » Wed Oct 7, 16:24 2015

To be fair, they were locked in the vault for who knows who long. It's not that unreasonable to see why they would be so one note and useless relative to Furiosa, who had much more freedom. At least Furiosa didn't fall to Trinity Syndrome.

I see your point that the wives weren't that interesting though and were just plot devices. One the bright side, they weren't just cannon fodder like the warboys (and no, that's not meant to be a "what about teh menz" comment though It probably does come off as that).

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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Meperidine » Wed Oct 7, 19:09 2015

You didn't think Cheedo and the Dag are interesting? Unless it's eventually in every movie I will never, ever not be interested in an onscreen same-sex relationship. (Didn't catch it? Watch it again.)

The conversation between the Dag and that one Mother with the seeds is the best Furiosa- or Nux-less scene in the movie too.

And you've already acknowledged that this is Mad Max and there isn't a lot of time spent on rich characterization for every minor character. Max has barely any lines, Furiosa states her character motivation in one word, and "show don't tell" is the golden rule of the film. Is your problem with the wives that they don't all magically metamorphose into badass action heroes? Half of them are pregnant, the rest have at least minor participation in the final fight. They're all traumatized survivors fleeing for freedom, who have their own voice in their narrative instead of being subjected to onscreen assault to prove how serious every situation is like any other action movie would do. I don't find it productive to diminish or deny this film's progressive elements even as we criticize it.
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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Meperidine » Wed Oct 7, 19:21 2015

Storage and Disposal wrote: It's the exposition and shallowness I can't get over. Putting "we are not things" on a wall, showing women overcoming toxic masculinity (which was impossible without the male lead), it all states respect without going through the trouble of showing it.
Here's an assertion I just don't understand. I think you misread me too--Nux is the character who suffers from toxic masculinity and starts to unlearn it, not the women, that doesn't make sense.

I don't know what "states respect for women without showing it" means either.
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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Storage and Disposal » Wed Oct 7, 22:01 2015

Meperidine wrote:HNux is the character who suffers from toxic masculinity and starts to unlearn it, not the women, that doesn't make sense.
Yeah, I misread that part. I thought you meant as in a social toxin or something. I was a bit confused, but it makes more sense now.
Meperidine wrote:I don't know what "states respect for women without showing it" means either. You mean women aren't treated well in the movie? Yes, congrats, you found the point.
It's hard for me to get the point across, clearly. I'll give it one more go. Showing more than one woman with depth would be showing respect for women. Having a movie full of several shitty, underdeveloped woman characters save for one or two while limping along an over-the-top pro women message is saying it, but not showing it.
Meperidine wrote:Max and Furiosa are the co-leads. And "any other action movie with a female lead"--okay, name me a few that one-up Furiosa and have significant contributions and commentary from a female ensemble.
Why from a female ensemble? This film's female ensemble is the exact issue I have with it. The fact that it's a female ensemble makes it worse because that means they passed on developing even more decent female characters. I personally think it would have been better if it had fewer underdeveloped female characters.

I didn't say several one-up Furiosa, so I won't be bothered to put much thought into that. I'd have to think about it a lot to come up with ones that do. I'm talking about the film in general. Anyway, Kill Bill comes to mind and Aliens has about as many female leads as male and develops them better. If you include animated films, almost every action cartoon Miyazaki has ever made. I'm sure there's more, but that's what I have off the top of my head.
Meperidine wrote:If your expectations are really so low, why do they skyrocket when it comes to richly developing individual members of an ensemble cast or taking social commentary to unheard-of places, and disqualify the movie from progressivism on those grounds?
Ugh. Is having more than one woman that isn't a plot device really THAT much to ask? I don't think so.
Meperidine wrote:If other action movies are enough for you, you can have em. Let those of us who wish to celebrate this one do so.
Oh, sorry for troubling you with my opinion. I can see how I've denied your opinion of the movie by... no, wait. That's what you're doing to me. Feel free to celebrate it all you want. I don't care what you got out of the movie. I'm not trying to change your mind. I'm defending my views on a cheesy action movie, which is kind of ridiculous. Celebrate it all you want, but don't think I'm treading on your opinion when it's you who came into my thread to invalidate mine. You know, people can get different interpretations of the same movie. You think it speaks volumes and I think it tries to but fails at it. Both of us being right isn't an impossibility.

[edit]
Meperidine wrote:You didn't think Cheedo and the Dag are interesting? Unless it's eventually in every movie I will never, ever not be interested in an onscreen same-sex relationship. (Didn't catch it? Watch it again.)
I missed the Cheedo and Dag relationship. I will watch the movie again and watch for it.
Meperidine wrote:And you've already acknowledged that this is Mad Max and there isn't a lot of time spent on rich characterization for every minor character. Max has barely any lines, Furiosa states her character motivation in one word, and "show don't tell" is the golden rule of the film. Is your problem with the wives that they don't all magically metamorphose into badass action heroes?
No, but I've already said that. You must have glossed over that part. And it's not just the wives with which I take issue.

[edit][edit]
You are bringing a number of things to my attention though. While I still have the same overall impression of the movie, maybe that'll change after watching it a couple more times, it does seem to me that it's better than majority of the action movies. I still don't get the amount of praise it has though.
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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Sonic# » Thu Oct 8, 4:48 2015

^ Does Mad Max have more or fewer "developed characters" than an action movie like Terminator or Last Action Hero?

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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Unvoiced_Apollo » Thu Oct 8, 5:35 2015

Meperidine wrote:You didn't think Cheedo and the Dag are interesting? Unless it's eventually in every movie I will never, ever not be interested in an onscreen same-sex relationship.
Now I'm gonna have to watch it again...for cinematic purposes...no, really!

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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Storage and Disposal » Thu Oct 8, 8:48 2015

Sonic# wrote:^ Does Mad Max have more or fewer "developed characters" than an action movie like Terminator or Last Action Hero?
About the same as Terminator, fewer than Terminator 2. Last Action Hero doesn't really have any, but that doesn't exactly get a ton of praise. Still really like it though.
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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Meperidine » Thu Oct 8, 14:51 2015

Re. Cheedo/the Dag (under spoiler tag)

Edit: AAAH, spoiler tags don't work on the front page. If you're on the front page and don't wish to see this, just scroll down really fast!

They are glued together during the whole film and share a kiss in the background at one point (while Max is fighting the Bullet Farmer). In the wives' first scene, the Dag cuts off Cheedo's chastity belt, and at the end of the scene there's a memorable moment when the Dag kicks a chastity belt on the ground before running away. The Dag wasn't wearing a chastity belt at the beginning of the scene, because she's already pregnant. It's Cheedo's chastity belt.
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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Storage and Disposal » Thu Oct 8, 15:38 2015

^I'll have to watch out for that.
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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Enigma » Thu Oct 8, 15:48 2015

I think one of my favourite things about this movie were the wives. They were tough, doing the best they can to protect their female friends, while still being realistically not action heros. I found the way they subtly cared for each other extremely refreshing in the way it reflected heathly female bonds in a way rarely seen on TV. We didn't learn all that much about them but we didn't learn all that much about any other character in the movie.. its very in the present. I guess when I'm trying to decide if a character feels fully formed to me I look to see if they seem to have emotions outside of basic following a role, did I get a sense of a unique personality, are they capable of surprising me? I feel like I got all that from them. But I mean if you didn't get that from them that's cool too, these things are subjective.
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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by Storage and Disposal » Fri Oct 9, 0:00 2015

This is all just my first impression of the film. I'll be perfectly honest. My expectations for the quality of the film were low, but I had really high expectations of the attention to the female characters. I also was a bit buzzed when I watched it. At the time, it wasn't the ground-breaking win for women I was expecting, but I could have definitely missed some of the subtext. A lot of the aspects of the women I know I didn't like, but perhaps some nuances of the women will be more apparent when I watch it intently. Who knows.
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Re: Mad Max Fury Road review!!!

Post by rowan » Mon Oct 12, 17:47 2015

(by coincidence) I just re-watched this on the plane last night and I have to say on second viewing the wives actually were more developed than I first realized. They all had different personalities and levels of surety in their new venture.
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