Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road

What’s Wrong with Mad Max: Fury Road?

Redemption [ri-demp-shuh n] noun. –

1. an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.

This is for you, George Miller. I don’t know if you chose the wrong theme for your film, or you forgot what you were writing halfway through, but if you want a lesson on choosing a theme, then go read this. It might help you focus on the right theme next time (the word you were looking for was ‘salvation,’ not redemption).

Now that’s out of the way, let me tell you what I thought about Mad Max: Fury Road:

  • Promising at first, but you lost me after the sandstorm (Why didn’t Max or Furiosa do anything cool?)
  • Boring action sequences, especially near the climax
  • Can’t wait for the next one

Look, there were so many things wrong with Mad Max, I’m astonished to see that so many people loved it. Did we not watch the same movie? The plot, the dialogue, and oh, goodness, all of the missed opportunities. Actually, this article written by Spike Friedman from The Daily Dot explains exactly everything that was wrong with this movie.

It sums up perfectly all of the things that hurt to watch in Mad Max: Fury Road.

But you know what? I still enjoyed it – the cinematography, no, ALL of the visuals of this movie were outstanding. You could almost taste the burnt sand, you could almost smell the guzzoline and gunpowder – and some of those action pieces alone were worth watching (if only I cared about the characters!).

For writers, one thing redeemed Mad Max – it’s Style

George Miller wasn’t breaking ground with the apocalyptic setting, but it was amazing how he created a world that was equal parts real and surreal, a world in which everything could happen, no matter how ridiculous.

This is the main reason I brought up Spike Friedman’s article – in it, Spike criticizes Mad Max: Fury Road for not making sense – but it did. I mean, visually, you almost always knew what was going on. The characters were fleshed out with apparel that they couldn’t have possibly found in the desert, but it just made sense that they had what they had. The world was supposed to be a wasteland, (as Spike points out, “Where are the junkyards in the landscape from which this shit is being pulled?”), but none of that really matters for the story.

George Miller stylized reality, without turning his movie into a visual comic book (a la Frank Miller). The world of Mad Max was still very real, somehow connected and disconnected to our own world. It was rich and colorful and visceral and sent my imagination flying in a way that a realistic apocalyptic setting couldn’t.

So, I thank you, George Miller, and I can’t wait to see your next film.

What did you think of Mad Max: Fury Road? What do you think about this stylization of reality? Do you see yourself writing stories with a similar disconnection from reality? 

Tell me your thoughts in the comment below! Don’t forget to leave a like and follow the blog. And if you’re interested in reading my newest short story you can download the ebook from Smashwords here, or read the post online here

Image courtesy of Vishal via Wallpaperseries.com

8 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with Mad Max: Fury Road?

  1. I haven’t seen it (yet, anyway), though a friend who’s quite into the Mad Max line of movies had built himself up into a frenzied state of anticipation for them and thought the new film better than he’d hoped. Considering how dangerous anticipointment for this sort of thing is, that’s quite an accomplishment.

    … And as you note, style will forgive many things. For an example close to my heart, I find a lot of logical and thematic problems of the new Star Trek movies. But they’re made with such style, such energy, such enthusiasm that I like the results.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Style and energy are certainly the name of the game for Mad Max. Well, at least for the first half.

      I had ‘action fatigue’ about halfway through the movie, and sorta lost interest (the story was so predictable, and I didn’t really care if any of the characters lived or died).

      Like

  2. My partner in crime wanted to see the the film. I’m skeptical. There are no robots. I can forgive a bad film as long as there are robots in it. Thanks for the heads up. I wonder how it is compare to the original Mad Max. For the record: I don’t like those too. I don’t like Mel Gibson as an actor. But I appreciate Apocalypto and Passion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It scares me how similar you are to me, sometimes. I’ve never liked him either, and while I would never say I loved either of those movies, I think appreciation is the perfect word to describe my feelings toward Apocalypto and Passion.

      Let me say this: If you like good looking movies, with action that makes sense visually (i.e. very easy to follow), strong female leads and can handle two hours of action with very little plot, then this is the movie for you!

      Tom Hardy is a much, MUCH better actor for Max than Mel Gibson ever was.

      And yes, it would have been better with robots.

      Like

  3. I agree, the movie was lacking in the solid theme, better than an ok script and good action scenes.
    However, it did tease my imagination, we both know somehow we were thinking “man I would love to have a story idea based around a war rig (or something like it) roaming a desert wasteland (or something like that) with our main character(s) facing a unknown threat!
    …. Well, at least I was. I’m resisting the urge to scribble out a short story! *mentally reminding myself I have a book to finish*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m right there with you Tyler. Something about the swamp people on their stilts, and the motorcycles really spoke to me. I think that’s the mark of an effective piece of art – inspires it’s audience to DO something.

      As for splitting your time between this new inspiration for a short and your novel – I can’t help you! I know how it feels, I do. All I can say is follow the writing. If you think you can throw out a rough first draft of your short story in a day or two, then you know you’ve got something good on your hands.

      Thanks for the comment, it’s good to hear from you Tyler.

      Like

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