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Jack Weinstein

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People are going to tell you that Mad Max: Fury Road is a non-stop adrenaline thrill-ride with strong female characters and an excellent reboot of a beloved franchise whose time has come again. They are going to exclaim that it is an action-movie game changer that gives filmmakers permission to revel in the art of car chases and non-CGI stunts. They are wrong. It is a video game disguised as a movie, a terrible, terrible movie that doesn’t meet the minimal standards of science fiction. The female characters are neither strong nor feminist, and the story makes no sense, even on its own terms.

There is an important difference between good and popular, and while I can’t argue that this film won’t make lots of money, I can explore its lack of quality. Ultimately then, what I offer here is a meditation on what makes a defensible movie plot. I’m going to focus on four criteria: the plot must serve its purpose in the genre, be consistent in the world it sets up, be well-crafted, and respect its characters. These are not the only requirements for a good movie, of course—acting and cinematography are tremendously important, too—but plot is complicated enough of a subject for one blog post.

I recognize that many will reject plot as irrelevant in a Mad Max film. “It’s just a fun movie,” they’ll say, or “Mad Max, is just a living comic book.” But giving up the ghost at the outset is inexcusable. Movies are art; they must be done well. The best escapism is good escapism and there is no reason why entertainment should not be as well-made as all the other things we need to have a truly valuable human experience. The first two Mad Max films were both well written and interesting. The third was dumb but campy. There is no reason why this one had to be so bad.

Oh yeah: spoilers.

Fury Road joins Max as he is captured by albino alopecia sufferers who dream of dying and going to Valhalla, an afterlife they believe in solely to avoid any accusation that the movie’s writer is anti-Muslim. The albino fanatics, who never sunburn despite living in a cloudless desert, live in a gender-segregated world and dream of becoming suicide bombers, proclaiming that killing others will open the gates of the afterlife.

While the Norse albinos are focused on keeping Max contained, they don’t notice that Furiosa, the only woman in the community who has marketable skills, has stolen their supermodel breeders. She has hidden these lanky waifs in her gasoline tanker and tricked the Alopecians into allowing her to turn left, instead of following the single straight road in the entire region. The Norse Alopecians and their leader Bane, team up with another gang to give chase, but they all get stuck in the desert mud, prompting the well-dressed leader to condemn Bane for wasting their resources and getting them stuck in a quagmire. (Quagmire? Do you get it? You know, like Iraq and Afghanistan. Pretty subtle, huh? But again, the albinos are definitely, absolutely, not allegorically Muslim in any way shape or form.)

This is a world without gasoline or water, despite the desert mud. But Max catches up with the beautiful women because they stop to hose themselves off, moisten their thin muslin bikinis, and rinse the sand off of their feet, despite standing in a desert and running for their lives. As one reviewer remarked, every women’s prison movie must have a shower scene; Fury Road is no exception.

The plucky group eventually escapes to a salt desert, meets Furiosa’s many grandmothers, and then decides that, because they have even fewer resources this time, and because the motorcycles they are now driving are terrible weapons against the Mack trucks they must battle, they will drive back the way they came and liberate the masses. They do so and the Norse albino alopecia sufferers greet them as liberators. Once everyone is safe Max leaves, even though he claims that his only concern is survival and this newly liberated Alopecia is the best and safest place to live within 160 days of travel.

The plot must serve its purpose in the genre. The first problem with the movie is that Max is a superfluous character. He is unimportant, unlikable, and bizarrely inarticulate. The writers are trading on his reputation from the previous movies, but since Mel Gibson is too old and too antisemitic to be in a major motion picture, the audience has to feign loyalty.

We live in a world of reboots. Hollywood has given up on original ideas, but in order for a reboot to work, the movie has to make you fall in love with its characters again. J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek has largely succeeded in this, as has Christopher Nolan with the first two Batman films, at least, but the Spiderman and Superman franchises have failed miserably. In fact, in many ways, Mad Max suffers from the same literary problem as the Star Wars prequels: Lucas’s main characters, Luke, Leia, and Han, are off-screen for episodes one, two, and three, and Darth Vader and Chewbacca make only cameo appearances. Only R2D2 is there for continuity. Why, we should ask Lucas, should we care about characters on spec, especially when they are all so boring? We can ask this of Mad Max as well. Nothing happens to make him matter at all.

A plot must be consistent in the world it sets up. The second problem for the film is that it doesn’t follow its own rules. The beauty of science fiction is that you can suspend normalcy. Math can go awry, history can be toyed with, physics can be adjusted, and technicians can reverse the polarity of anything. But for science fiction to work, it has to be internally consistent. For the philosophers in the crowd, science fiction moves from a correspondence theory of truth to coherence. Science fiction does not have to depict reality; it only has to remain true to its own narrative.

The first three Mad Max films are pretty good about this. But Fury Road has no rules. No one needs to eat or drink, even though access to resources is the key to power. Women are the scarcest resource, but Furiosa is left to roam free (more on this later), and everyone, despite having no access to new technology, pimps their ride. There are little silver skulls everywhere—either the Alopecians have a secret metal skull factory hidden under their butte or every character spent their teenage years working for Hot Topic. Harpoons explode on contact and for reasons that baffle even the most generous suspender of disbelief, there is an electric guitar player with an eight foot high Judas Priest-esque amp stack that rides along on every battle. Is this an allusion to the destructive power of heavy metal on the American psyche? Is it a reference to the medieval quest and Monty Python’s Brave Sir Robin? Is it the only moment of comedy relief in the entire film? No one knows, but what it does do is take the viewer outside the action at every sighting. It is impossible to remain enthralled when this idiocy is on screen. As my very non-violent wife remarked after the film, “every time I saw that stupid fucking guitar guy on screen I wanted to punch the director in the head.” And she has a Ph.D. in English.

The plot must be well crafted. Now, people are going to respond to my complaints by celebrating the action and excitement of the film, but this too is problematic. I would forgive all the sloppiness and infantile catering to the adolescence male if the action were good. It isn’t. There is no escalation, nothing novel happens. The car chase is exactly the same from start to finish. The stunts are identical.

Consider the classic car chase movies: Smokey and The Bandit, Convoy, The Blues Brothers, Thelma and Louise. In each, the story starts with one car in pursuit, then adds another, then more. The damage escalates, the stunts become more absurd (Thelma and Louise is the exception in this category), and the tension mounts. But Fury Road does none of this. The number, types, and nature of cars remain constant. There is one moment of genuine tension that involves a winch and a tree, but this takes up about three minutes of the two-hour film. There are no surprises, no new tech, no insight or clever invention on the part of the characters. It is just driving, weaving, explosion, and wounds that have little effect.

I would be open to a single car chase movie, if it were done well. It would be fun to experience a real-time escape that borrowed from 24 and Speed, but this movie still edits away from the action, compresses time, and changes points of view. It can’t claim to be only about the car chase if it is also about other things. I wasn’t enthralled; I was bored. And since we know Max will survive and strongly suspect that Furiosa will too, the only thing that makes us want to watch the chase is cool innovation in the action sequences. Yet, there was almost nothing in them that we didn’t already see in The Road Warrior. The movie is a two-hour rehash.

The plot must respect its characters. My final complaint is about the women in the film. There are many who celebrate the film because of the supposedly strong female characters and, in fact, Charlize Theron is the most compelling member of the cast. This defense is made all the more vehement in response to the manufactured pre-movie outrage depicting the movie as anti-male (my wife wonders whether this was a paid guerrilla advertising campaign orchestrated by the movie’s producers). Further, the film, despite its problems, passes the Bechtel Test, which is itself a pretty low hurdle. What I want to argue though, is that the female characters only appear to be strong at the outset; they aren’t at all. The audience is being duped.

First off, the movie represents the holy trinity of adolescent male fantasies: guns, tricked-out cars, and scantily-clad sex objects. The only women whom Furiosa wants to save are the traditionally pretty ones, breeders who have so little body fat that they are the least likely characters to be fertile. The fat women who are used as breast-milk sources are ignored and the older, wiser, capable women are disposable. Of course, the breeders are rape victims who understandably want to escape, and we justifiably sympathize with their plight, but they are not scarred, they are not angry, they have no agency of their own. (The fat lactating women are also, no doubt, rape victims, but they are pictured as content to sit on their asses and pump out milk, because that’s what Hollywood thinks makes fat people happy…sitting.)

The supermodel breeders have been raised in a vault surrounded by books and the (probably) one remaining grand piano in the world, but they show no signs of intelligence, represent no concern for lack of culture, and do little to help anyone. (If only they had read Fahrenheit 451.) They are Elle-magazine diverse: two blondes, a brunette, a Run-Lola-Run redhead, and a braless light-skinned black woman. But there is no actual diversity here. There are no South or East Asians, nor dark skinned women, nor, most troubling for the Australian context, no aboriginal women. [Edit: Actually, I was wrong about this. According to Wikipedia, Courtney Eaton who plays Cheedo the Fragile is of Chinese, Maori, Cook Island, and English descent, so the filmmaker has all those groups covered fairly efficiently.] They have catwalk bodies which suggest that the only reason why Charlize Theron is not herself a breeder, is that she’s too fat. Imagine a world where Charlize Theron is too fat. And why is Furiosa allowed to drive a truck anyway? What makes her so special?

Fury Road has been called a feminist action film, but it is nothing of the kind. Yes, it holds to the most superficial reductionist form of feminism–women good, men bad; women non-violent, men destroy the world—but these distinctions fall apart the moment the women have to actually fight. Furthermore, the women in the film have no expertise. Furiosa is great at driving her truck, but Max and the Alopecian can do it just as well when called upon. Her prosthetic arm allows her to hold Max up by his ankle, but all the men can do superhuman feats with their natural food-and-water-deprived six-packed bodies. And while Max can lose blood for days, get an arrow through his hand and his forehead without making the slightest sound of displeasure, and still fight off an army, Furiosa gets stabbed once, screams and almost faints at the wheel of the truck. One of the wise women has advanced medical knowledge, but only Max knows how to perform battlefield surgery. He rescues Furiosa time and time again. And, in what could be an interesting plot point (and a clunky allusion to ecofeminism), one of the women has retained heirloom seeds she hopes to plant, but, at least as the movie unfolds, all she ever does with them is carry them in a mysteriously unclasped purse.

Troublingly, only Max has relevant information; this film only respects male knowledge. Furiosa’s tribe of elderly women have lived in the desert for twenty years (without food, water, or shelter, apparently). They suggest that they drive away from their enemies, claiming, mysteriously, that they have 160 days’ worth of fuel in their bikes, but Max shows them a hastily drawn map and in mere moments, convinces them that they’re all wrong, inspiring them to attack the very people who they are running from. Really? They’ve lived in the area for 20 years. Wouldn’t they know better? And wouldn’t the rape-victim breeders resist going back. Wouldn’t at least one of them say, “Hell no, I’m not heading back that way. I was a sex slave. Instead, I’ll live in the desert for twenty years like these elders did. They seem pretty happy, healthy, and good humored. They’ve been well-hidden since Furiosa was a little girl. I’m hanging here, thanks.”

Charlize Theron’s character never grows. She doesn’t change or learn, other than to accept the leadership of a man she neither knows nor really trusts. We know nothing about the supermodels at all, and all of the women except Furiosa are interchangeable. In fact, the only character that changes at all is the male albino who rejects his religion, his upbringing, and his loyalty, simply because a redheaded woman speaks quietly to him and smiles when they make eye contact. Yes, it is nice to see a women who can kick ass like Furiosa does, but Ripley and Sarah Connor did it much better, with more depth and more realism. While it may not seem possible, the women in this film are even more cartoonish than the men.

I suppose I shouldn’t find it baffling that so many women are attracted to Furiosa’s character. In a world where Laura Croft’s breasts are the standard for women action heroes, anything is better than nothing. But to celebrate Mad Max: Fury Road as a success, rather than the best worst option, is to set up the next decade for more of the same. This isn’t a Mad Max movie, it’s a Furiosa movie, but until she gets top billing, and until her character gets substance, it’s just an excuse to see explosions and fashion models jumping around in gauze.

We all like what we like and I begrudge nobody for having a good time. If you enjoyed this film, more power to you. But don’t confuse liking something with it being good. This is not a “masterpiece” as the paid reviewers are claiming, and it won’t be a game changer. It will be forgotten quickly. The movie is stupid. It’s a product of lazy writing and a video game mindset. It’s too violent and shockingly unsophisticated, even for a summer action flick. It’s also kind of offensive, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why so many people like it.

Follow the author on twitter at: @jackrweinstein

84 comments on “Mad Max: Fury Road is a very very bad movie. (And what makes a good movie plot anyway?)

  1. In the 1979 'Mad Max,' a makeup-effects insert shot shows the doomed Toecutter's eyes bulging impossibly from his head in the instant before he collides with a truck; I felt similarly bug-eyed as I tried to take in the awesome spectacle of 'Fury Road.'

    1. Stravinsky says:

      Biggest flaw of Fury road I thought was the lack of likeable characters. The fanatic albinos felt almost like an exception, since at least they felt strongly about something… Comparing to the earlier films the first one was so bad it hardly deserves mention, the second was great but the hero was again unlikeable in a similar way to Furiosa: Uncooperative, ungrateful, projecting toughness at cross purpose to survival, however Furiosa being undoubtedly worse… The third starts off badly but is saved by its second act which is highly original, unexpected and extremely well crafted. Aside the unlikeable Furiosa (similar to how the same actress came across in Atomic blonde) my other quibble is with the monochromatic desert world which lacks variety for appearing so overpopulated. Towns need sustenance, without which they lack credibility. Water is treated rather casually, sort of like the absence of fishing in Waterworld… A lot of well manned traps are set for what appears to be rare or unlikely traffic… The biggest logical flaw is Furiosa stealing Immortan’s truck while carrying and escorting a large number of explosive-wielding Immortan albino fanatics: If the buzzards had not conveniently killed all of them, something clearly not deliberately concerted between her and the buzzards, how exactly was this problem going to be solved? At the very least she needed the cooperation of a few allies on the truck, or what she is attempting makes little sense. The fanatical nature of the albinos makes the idea of accomplices among them unlikely… At least no logical solution is even hinted at on this point. Lots of problems that could easily have been addressed, and stifle the story with a feel of unreality.

    2. Lee Jones says:

      Really this isn’t a mad max film. It’s awful on So many levels totally boring it’s laughable straight lined car chase with all manner of dumb circus stunts that Muppet with the electric guitar there is only two mad max films and that’s the first 2 the original is and always will be the best should never have jumped so fare forward in time the dessert wasteland setting is awful should have stayed within the time line of the first film never understood why everyone drives around in gas guzzling bike cars and trucks when there are literally no resources left where are you going to go any way in you’re car bike etc there is nowhere left to go Fury road is even further into the future yet there is an abundance of car parts and fuel electric guitars with amps one of the dumest films of all time Hardy is pathetic as max he’s got no charisma or sense of Madness about him not like Gibsons max who I cared about couldn’t care less about hardies max hardly speaks any way he just doesn’t matter in his on a film please don’t bring Hardy back or miller.Can we not have a prequal to the original max ? Mad max the commodity wars the original max had bigger scope than what we ended up seeing it’s well documented the film was produced on a shoe string budget so we never got to see what might have been but they did a dam good job with what they had

  2. It was boring. And so speeded up in parts it looked ridiculous

  3. Teegan says:


  4. George says:

    Ah thank god! I thought I was going crazy after reading all the reviews saying what a masterpiece it is. It is complete and utter crapulence and not a solitary moment of the entire thing made the slightest sense. Remember when they asked Furiosa what she wants and she replies “Redemption!” – No she isn't! She was kidnapped as a child and wants to return to her home! That is not redemption! Her reply is as meaningless and nonsensical as the rest of the film.

  5. Possum says:

    Worst movie I've seen all year.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was thinking the whole time i was watching “who the f*** thought this movie was so damn good!” America is getting so stupid and it makes me very angry. Thanks military industrial complex!!!

  7. Gary B.Scot says:

    The perfect escapism is definitely fine escapism plus you cannot find any cause fun ought not to be when well-made when the rest of the elements discovered have got a definitely priceless individuals practical experience.

  8. el douche says:

    Garbage article. Garbage ppl bashing fury road. None of you understand genre filmmaking or film in general or the mad max series. Garbage.

    1. Italian Filmmaker and we are the best at it says:

      The only garbage I can see is fury road. Your comment is not even garbage, it’s simply nonexistent.

      Mad Max 1 set the standard for dystopia. Mad Max 2 set the standard for REAL action stunts (not cg cartoonish bullcrap) back in a time when cars in movies barely moved. Mad Max has been the perfect mix between the art of imaging, the earnestness of writing, the craft of filmmaking. It was real and unreal at the same time. It was myth: Dieselpunk was born.

      Looks like the owners of the world wanted to bring the best straight to the bottom, and they succeded. Fury road is just furiously lame.
      Probably suited for an audience of lamers.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Completely agree. This movie was so boring that I almost fell asleep halfway through. I wish I had. After finally finishing this catastrophe of writing, I could not stop thinking that the critics were screwing with me. They must have been to have given this movie a good review. But no, evidently a lot of people like it, love it even.

    Even ignoring the completely nonsensical plot, the absence of character development, and the fact that all the characters are so bland that they cannot be described beyond their physical appearance and their actions (seriously try it; try describing Max, the model breeders, or Furiosa as people; it is not possible.), the movie's action elements are still garbage. It is the most boring action I can imagine. It is one car chase, that essentially never changes, throughout the entire movie. The only thing that parses the never-ending chase is when they turn around and go back the way they came so we can watch the same crappy chase all over again.

    I understand that it used only limited CGI and that's cool, but a movie that is getting as much praise as this needs to have a plot—Mad Max is completely lacking here—and actually needs interesting action scenes that change and develop towards a climax over the course of the film.

    1. Jack says:

      “The female characters were neither strong or feminist”
      And thank God for that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The problem with Fury Road is the very diminished role of Max himself. He enters the movie a pathetic prisoner trying to escape the citadel but getting caught and stuck on the front of a beech buggy with a stupid metal grill on his face. He's playing a secondary subservient role throughout the movie even when he brakes free. He becomes no more than a support actor to the predominant female cast led by a cool Theron and her band of gorgeous breeders. They strike up a macho partnership but there is no passion between them as they battle to fight off the relentless assault of Toe Cutters albinos who try to capture one of them whose carrying his child. largely a dull and forgettable movie that pales next to its predecessors for lack of plot. The plot being there is no green land and they all return to Citadel with tyrant Immortan defeated and the water flows free again. The best part is the electric guitar rig that's set up on the front of one of these trucks and played furiously by a future metal warrior at the start of every road assault. Furiosa and Toe Cutter are the most convincing good and evil act. As for Max, he's largely forgettable.

  11. Unknown says:


  12. Unknown says:


  13. johnny says:

    Well there's plenty that can be drawn about any number of characters from the narrative and visual cues of the film. But to answer your question about just Furiosa: She's obviously Immortan Joe's main Imperator and driver of the war rig. Her driving skill is impeccable. She's intelligent, fierce, and absolutely serious about her belief in freedom and independence for women and people in general. She's also a helluva skilled warrior and knows how to survive in a harsh environment. We also know she grew up in the Green Place and she is a “daughter” of Mary Jo Bassa and one of the Vulvalini of Many Mothers. Her actual mother is Katie Concannon. She was kidnapped at some point from her home and became part of Immortan Joe's Citadel. As exceptional and respected as she was she rose up to a position of some power within the Citadel which afforded her the opportunity to escape and take the Wives with her. After first being understandably wary of Max she develops a sense of mutual trust with him. This all adds up to a PERSON, and while you may choose to not see her as one that appears quite realistic, to many viewers she is not only believable and real, but also a character they deeply identify with.

  14. I'm shocked this movie received 10 Oscar nods! I was extremely bored with this movie. No story, no character development, boooooring.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this great blog post. Couldn't agree more

  16. Anonymous says:

    Your and your wife's comment on the guitar player are spot on. Absolutely stupid.

  17. Unknown says:

    “Every time I saw that stupid fucking guitar guy on screen I wanted to punch the director in the head.”

    Best thing I've read in a long time…this movie was BORING!!! If this is the best Hollywood can do, quit making movies. What's next a biopic on Donald Trump for all the double digit IQ Americans? Step up your game!!!

  18. Jon says:

    One of the worst movies I ever watched. Boring, nonsensical, an insult to the original. I fell asleep through part of it.characters are one dimensional, who cares what happens to them. The director must hate the original as he couldn't destroy maxs car more profoundly ,last of the v8 interceptors. How anyone didn't think this was pure garbage. I guess a low iq public explains it.USA #1 USA#1 only these days at being stupid and gullible.

  19. Jon says:

    One of the worst movies I ever watched. Boring, nonsensical, an insult to the original. I fell asleep through part of it.characters are one dimensional, who cares what happens to them. The director must hate the original as he couldn't destroy maxs car more profoundly ,last of the v8 interceptors. How anyone didn't think this was pure garbage. I guess a low iq public explains it.USA #1 USA#1 only these days at being stupid and gullible.

  20. James says:

    People who keep saying 'no character', 'no plot' probably don't understand character or plot.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Max is always a bystander caught up in other people's problems. Fury Road is no different.

    Please rewatch the original films.

    1. carpen7er says:

      “Max is always a bystander caught up in other people’s problems. Fury Road is no different.” That´s what most Fury Road lovers and fanboys love to say because they have no other good point on what makes them love this movie. It seems YOU NEVER watched the previous films. If that´s true for the Mad Max character, then it´s true for EVERY movie character in movie history. That is possibly the most idiotic thing i´ve ever read about cinema and a movie series in particular.

  22. Vandist says:

    Couldn't agree more!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I agree with this review. Like everything else going on in this world , from food products to films, the bean counters have taken the natural, fresh ingredients out and added lots of fillers. The kiddies will never know the difference.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Or maybe they understand it better than you.

  25. Shoggoth Lord says:

    She's a female high-ranking military official in a horribly sexist society that treats women quite literally as objects to produce more cannon fodder and milk. Anyone with half a synapse makes the logical leap that she was only able to join their military and attain such a rank by doing horrible, terrible things to prove both her loyalty and competence on the battlefield. She's trying to get redemption for said horrible things by taking the “wives” with her when she returns home.

    1. Radish says:

      Yes but see who cares because its called MAD MAX not Random Chick with a spray painted head!

  26. Badass says:

    We want back Mel Gibson!! Bad movie and Tom Hardy sucks

  27. Badass says:

    So bad movie 🙁 Bad Max….. Where is Mel Gibson?

  28. I'm not a fan either. I don't understand all the love for this movie. It's overlong, noisy and pointless. There's no real plot. It's an SAV- Sensory Assault Vehicle. Give me Mad Max and Road Warrior any day. They can keep Beyond Thunderdome. Toned down to more teen-friendly PG-13 rating, it was more liked Mildly Agitated Max.

  29. Name: Bryan says:

    Terrible movie, didn't deserve the Oscar

  30. Katy Pflanz says:

    I think you're misinterpreting a lot of what happened in the movie. I think you should re-watch it, or at least read some of the backstory.

    The Wives are certainly not interchangeable–while they aren't fully-fledged, they're not the same. And they definitely display anger and agency. The Dag has been openly defiant towards Joe, Splendid protects Furiosa from Joe, and Cheedo tries to return to him, believing he will forgive them. I think that's a painful realness that we don't often get to see in female characters. And while normally, I would agree with your point that it's questionable that Furiosa chooses to save the Wives over any of the other suffering women–she was actually appointed by Joe to protect them (from his son, specifically), and in that time, she gets to know them, sees what they're put through, finds some empathy, and decides that she can help them. Furiosa didn't spend her whole life waiting for the right moment to trick Joe and save those beautiful women. In the special features, Charlize Theron explains that she sees it as more of an act of revenge against Joe for abducting her as a child–that Furiosa is stealing Joe's most precious property because it will hurt him, and not necessarily because she objects to using people as property. To Furiosa, at least before she really sees their suffering and begins to bond with them, the Wives are spoiled and should appreciate having food and water.

    Furiosa's growth and the Wives' growth happen off-screen, but it's there–and you can see it when Toast realizes that they can't go back for Splendid and when the Dag finds some hope for herself and her child in her early stages of pregnancy. I think you see it for Furiosa in the beginning when she orders her convoy to go east, and she realizes that people who trust her will die. It's Nux's rapid and radical growth that we see within the context of the movie, but it isn't the only growth that happens.

    I also don't understand what people (in general) mean when they compare this movie to a “video game.” Not all video games are violent, and not all video games use violence in the same way. This movie is ultra-violent, for sure. But it's purposeful–the world is being rebuilt, Furiosa builds herself up to Imperator, on violence. The cars are modified to inflict and react to violence. I love that Furiosa's rig is filled with hidden weapons, and yet It makes sense for the setting, and I don't think it's done cheaply like in other movies. “Video games” can't be what we say for “too violent,” and I would bet that those who argue this movie is “like a video game”…don't play video games. There isn't even a boss fight 😉

    Even if you don't like the movie (because it is intense, and violent, and harsh), I think it doesn't hurt to appreciate all the practical effects and the awesome editing. I also think it sends a pretty harsh message about human nature–that it doesn't take long for humanity to revert to violent, survival instincts. That we were waiting for the ocean to dry up, for diseases and war, to live by that “holy trinity.” That's what I like about Max (the cop), who remembers the world the way it was, and struggles with his conscience and his ability to kill and survive. The Mad Max video game, funny enough, features this heavily. He can't be the only one to remember the world, but he seems to be the only one who struggles with it.

    Sorry for the novel! I didn't like Mad Max the first time around, it was way too intense and gross and loud, but watching it at home (when I could knit and focus on something else during the bad parts) really changed my mind.

  31. Starfox7000 says:

    Wow. You really got all of that from watching her drive a truck for 1.5 hours of screen time?

  32. Unknown says:

    I'm Australian, would like to support Aussie product, but this was awful. Great effects / action but thats it. Was almost comical

  33. Hank says:

    Another submental review from the cesspool of academia, that clearly displays how utterly moronic the intellectual class really is. Just take a look at these choice quotes:

    “Fury Road joins Max as he is captured by albino alopecia sufferers who dream of dying and going to Valhalla, an afterlife they believe in solely to avoid any accusation that the movie’s writer is anti-Muslim.”

    They also reference the word “kamikaze” several times, does this also make Miller anti-Japanese? According to (((Dr. Weinstein))), suicide bombers and death cults are artifacts limited solely to Muslim Jihadists.

    “No one needs to eat or drink, even though access to resources is the key to power. “

    Moronic. The film opens up with Max consuming a live lizard, and we are later treated to Max taking a drink from the tanker's water hose. Even Nux eats a live beetle at one point.

    “Women are the scarcest resource, but Furiosa is left to roam free (more on this later), and everyone, despite having no access to new technology, pimps their ride. “

    Being another Kazar who has never left his hermetically sealed Ivory Tower, (((Dr. Weinstein))) again reveals his ignorance about basic, worldly things, such as the fact that “little silver skulls” could be crafted with tools found in your typical machine shop, and that most of the hardware seen in the movie looks like it was salvaged from the Wasteland in one way or another.

    “Harpoons explode on contact”

    This is a minor point, yet highly revealing of (((Weinstein's))) ignorance; he seems so baffled at the idea of simply fastening an IED to the end of a spear.

    “and for reasons that baffle even the most generous suspender of disbelief, there is an electric guitar player with an eight foot high Judas Priest-esque amp stack that rides along on every battle.”

    Ignoring that there are, in fact, real world bands that do actually use flaming-spewing guitars in concert (Rammstein comes to mind), this comment again reveals just how utterly dumb (((Weinstein))) is, having apparently never heard of martial music. The whole theme of Mad Max as a series (but especially Fury Road) was that war had devolved into a Medieval-like mode, but using some technologies and hardware that still survived the apocalypse. Cars are used in place of chariots and horses. Javelins are explosive-tipped. The lack of mass-produced ammunition and complex firearms means most troops rely on melee weapons. So it follows that little drummer boys would have their own place in Mad Max, but with a guitar in place of bagpipes or flutes.

    “As my very non-violent wife remarked after the film, “every time I saw that stupid fucking guitar guy on screen I wanted to punch the director in the head.” And she has a Ph.D. in English. “

    This makes sense, seeing as English majors are usually dumb, narcissistic, and love the smell of their own farts. It would follow that your wife is likely another submental Dunning-Kruger case.

    “The car chase is exactly the same from start to finish. The stunts are identical.”

    Yes, (((Dr. Weinstein))), a tank and a sniper firing blindly at eachother through a dense layer of fog is the same as a buggy trying to suicide bomb a semi while in a hurricane. A fistfight on top of a tanker trying to evade harpoon fire from pusuit vehicles is the same as dirtbikers doing wheelies over a truck while tossing grenades at it.

    “The only women whom Furiosa wants to save are the traditionally pretty ones, breeders who have so little body fat that they are the least likely characters to be fertile.”

    Bizarre! I am beginning to think (((Mr. Weinstein))) here may not understand what it is like to be heterosexual.

    In conclusion, (((Weinstein))) demonstrates the poor visual intelligence of Ashkanazi tribesmen, who with their rigid legalistic thinking, are incapable of appreciating a film that is wholly visual.

  34. Hank says:

    This post proves my theory that Trump-bashers tend to be low-IQ hotheads. Just look at all those exclamation marks after every sentence.

  35. Hank says:

    Stupid to anybody who knows nothing of history, mechanics, culture, etc. A guitar player on the back of a truck is just the Mad Max equivalent of a little drummer boy, but of course Dunning-Kruger cases such as yourself will gloat about how stupid it is, like a dunce gleefully providing the incorrect answer to a trick question.

    1. Hank Sucks says:

      Totally on board for any dissenting opinion, because this review was painful to read, but you outed yourself as a Nazi sister-fucker in the process. If you have a wife and children, kill them before you kill yourself – save the world from suffering further your odious “thinking,” Hank.

  36. Courie N says:

    I just watched it with my mom, for the first time today after downloading from itunes. I decided to check it out because of the massive amount of praise it got, I wanted something entertaining but nope.
    By far the most BORING action movie I have ever watched. I didn't feel any thrill from that way too long car chase, couldn't car less about even a single character and I was so sick of all the orange&teal.

    The only nice thing I can say about it is that it is a visual masterpiece.

    One of the worst movies I have ever watched, haven't felt this kind of post hype disappointment since Spiderman3.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Hank, please abstain from insinuating you are some film savant, you're a self righteous cynic. With an intelligence quotient most likely just north of a field mouse. As it must be to defend a plot as lack luster and anticlimactic as this. I fail to see your validity in the defense of this film. And it only aggravates me because your ego seems to ooze bull shit. It's sticky, and it smells.

  38. Unknown says:

    You have captured the essence of this movie perfectly. I am in utter disbelief at the reviews (and had to check multiple source to verify I was not on the receiving end of a weak joke) – at no point throughout the entire film did I actually find myself enjoying, interested, or continuing waiting for something spectacular to happen that made me say “oh that's why the entire movies been terrible up until now – so that inexplicably awesome plot twist could happen”. No, nothing. Absolutely nothing. This movie left me disappointed, feeling like I just lost 2 hours of my life I could have better spent googling random shit bored and more than anything else baffled – at how anyone could find this movie even satisfactory – let alone receiving the race reviews and praise it has gotten. I'd lost all faith in society's opinions , you sir however restored that faith.

  39. Anonymous says:


  40. unnamed says:

    Movie a complete waste of time. This review, much more rewarding. Thank you.

  41. ChewEye says:

    Who are the reviewers paid by exactly? Are you asserting that this payment is not the sort of payment one receives for the job of critic, but instead is a payoff to review the movie as a masterpiece? Are criticisms received by anyone working as a critic thereby not credible?

    Are the philosophical views of a philosopher equally corrupt if that philosophy has received monies in the pursuit of philosophy?

  42. Anonymoose says:

    This review is so goddamn moronic that I think some of my brain cells died from agony, disbelief, and sadness that a human, no, a SUB-HUMAN THING could be this fucking garbage. You really don't understand the movie, do you? Nor do you understand its plot because your too stupid to actually look into the film and connect it to the previous films, canon comics, and other things telling of the Mad Max lore. Utter disbelief of this review. Came expecting a good review, left in sadness from it's stupidity.

  43. Anonymoose says:

    Moronic review. like the person who wrote it.

  44. Unknown says:

    Of course he did, it was easy to pick up. Definitely one of the best movies of all time; screw this article. The only thing that didn't make sense to me is when Max punched the war boy in the stomach and stole the rig, and it took forever for the war boy to get up.

  45. Anonymous says:

    You are the moron here…this movie is absolute wonder why its sequel will be called Mad Max-The Wasteland

  46. In either case, they don't seem to want to understand them in this movie? They're clearly there, and if you're not a fan of the overblown, ridiculous, comic book feel to any movie then why the hell see it? Its a story of healing disguised as a summer blockbuster. Also in the article, how could you point out the women being scantily clad in Muslim clothes was a problem in the right to where they were being objectified for OUR entertainment? They're dressed like this because they were forced to, this in of itself is kind of a pretty on the damn nose commentary on how women are forced into so much objectification, and it boggles the mind that you'd sit there and say the water hose scene was focusing on the girls in the scantily clad clothing. That's your fault for thinking in the gutter, notice how max's only concern was the water. The focus of that scene was the water, it being yknow a sort of precious commodity and all? Also they do eat and drink? Its kinda shown that they have to. The movie IS art, and one of the best movies I've ever seen BECAUSE it nailed that overblown genre while having the core issues and characters be as real as can be. This movie is exciting and the action genre STILL IS, look at marvel and their Goliath company kicking ass in Hollywood. Those movies aren't boring, certainly not as boring as our over saturated and unoriginal horror genre or our ridiculous book-to-movie thing we have going on. Mad max is one of the best of 2015.

  47. Amen. Enough said like holy crap that was just. So right.

  48. Matt says:

    It's a mediocre movie in many respects. I see many 'invested' comments here trying to defend garbage. For example, the “music” in the movie is repetitive, dull and largely misplaced. The editor made very poor choices. This review is truthful and naturally hated by haters of truth.

  49. This “analysis” is really just a reflection of the authors own personal biases and personality flaws. Once I heard the describition of Max I checked out. It's made perfectly clear in the movie that Max keeps his distance and travels alone because he's been hurt over and over trying to help people and hoping for the best. He's resigned himself to a solitary, military existence to not only protect himself against future pain, but pretty clearly to punish himself for those he was unable to save, specifically a little girl he has visions of OVER AND OVER again, including right after splendid died, which was also immediately after we saw Max smile for the first time. You watched this movie with preconceived biases and an obvious agenda and didn't use your brain in any rational or useful way.

    Now go back to believing the world was so much better in the past when everyone went to church and dark people knew there place. You know, like the Christian, President of his Church (non catholic by the way, so that's excuse is gone) middle America raised BTK Killer. Who took an elderly victim of his to his Church-where he was President and prayed every week-and posed her corpse in obscene poses. I guess religion didn't work for him even though he was immersed in it, unless you're going to say it was a demon. In that case let's have an exorcism and let him go, or at least make his life in jail as absolutely comfortable as possible because he wasn't responsible for his actions.

  50. I dove deeper into what made this “review” or as I like to call it “some psycho's own personal interpretation, that has nothing to do with anything on screen, and remains willfully ignorant of all contrary evidence” you pretty much nailed it.

  51. Thank you it was the worst movie I've ever seen and there were no case

  52. Dark-Tzitzimine says:

    Had me until you started in the with Nazi dogwhistling.

  53. fasteddie says:

    Outstanding! Years later I respond. This movie will be consider by many an action classic forever. Except for to the dissenters who did not like it. I am sure there are Diehard, and Godfather detractors out there too.

  54. fasteddie says:

    Visible after approval? Mediocre.

  55. fasteddie says:

    Neither Max, or Furiosa would have been able to survive if they had not crossed oaths. The film makes that clear over and over their partnership, and how they save each other. Furiosa would not have been able to escape without Max. Rewatch the film if yiu wish.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Somehow I actually agree with both the original article and most every point made by Hank. My wife was out and I sat down with this movie last night and I thought, “Yay, finally a movie without subtitles”.

    But then I watched it and tried to get interested but just turned it off about half way through. Nothing really happening other than a lot of special effects and dust clouds. Why would you save 6 women who are stupid enough to waste water washing off in the middle of the desert while they're trying to escape from their captors?

    I don't really understand why it got such great reviews. I really wasn't interesting. Hardy was mediocre.

    It's like for every single idea, they sat and said, “How can we take this to 11?” No human would have survived 5 minutes of any part of that movie. For everything to be so over the top, it took itself way too seriously. I've seen over the top movies before, but there was an element of humor that made it entertaining. Not here. Not an ounce of humor (at least not in the first half).

    When everything is implausible all at once it's just too hard to get into it. There has to be at least one thing that could actually happen, or to me it's just a kid's video game.

  57. Half of this review is factually incorrect. Did you even watch the movie?

  58. Anonymous says:

    So then what was the purpose of the 4 ACTUAL little drummer boys in the drum truck? Face it. The guitar guy was f-ing stupid!

  59. Unknown says:

    All the credence I placed in this review was immediately lost the moment my eyes stumbled upon “They are wrong”. That phrase revealed to me the core contents of both the review and the person writing it. I finished it anyway, and sure enough, all was as expected.
    A festering heap of self-righteous nonsense, filled with debunkable pre-concieved criticisms you've likely kept in your pocket for a while. I hope the self-gratification was worth making a compete fool of yourself.

  60. rec Eduardo says:

    Almost three years after its release….Of all the movies I've ever seen in my life, this one boggles the mind more than any other…by far. I went into the theater expecting a great movie, with a great plot, at least decent acting, and lots of stunts and surprises. I got stunts. That's it. The movie is an empty suit. I almost walked out of the film 1/2 way through, but kept thinking something great must be coming. No. Nothing. Nothing, but a boring, overblown, pointless movie–free of any real reason for it to exist. Yet, the critics loved it; tons of fans seem to love this movie…many millions more apparently at least like it.

    When compared with Mad Max–Road Warrior…well, there is no comparison. 2c.

  61. Entertaining seemed like a endless chase seen had to watch more than once to enjoy it again. Would of love to see Mel Gibson in the lead.

  62. Stzzla says:

    A fucking shit movie pushed by one of the most genius propaganda marketing excersizes ever. Rated on RT as the fourth best movie of all time.

    There’s your clue. Bots. Bots did this.

    It was total fucking crap. And I cheered when that stupid guitar guy bought the farm. He was too annoying to live. Too annoying and too fucking noisy.

  63. Judging by the comments this movie is loved by Internet-histrionic cases who like to capitalize the words they’d SCREAM at you if you INSULTED their FAVORITE FILM in person you FAG!!!!

    also the type who likes to repeat “you clearly didn’t understand…” like they have some Gnostic insights into it nobody else does. lol okay. sorry someone didn’t like your video game

  64. David Ross says:

    Absolutely the stupidest most boring movie ever. The action was a joke completely ridiculous.. Any critic who liked this movie should find a new job. Any “fan” is a mouth breathing moron who is too stupid to realize their total lack of taste or descernment of quality in a film. I guess it’s too hard to see from the top of Mount Dunning-Krueger. These people are also probably fans of the Transformer movies as well. The only thing a fool has a hard time believing is the truth, but feel free to disagree.

  65. Carlos says:

    As a hard-core Mad Max fan, after I bought this sickening slimy slop of a PC/virtue signaling excuse for entertainment, I threw it away to save anyone else the awful experience of viewing it. Your welcome.

  66. Apiano Ferreira de Morais Neto says:

    Finally a good review. I came to see this review after I was looking on a cinema channel where the youtuber classifies this movie as the best of the decade. I honestly couldn’t believe that only I found the film extremely derivative from the mind of a 12 year old boy.

  67. Mike A. says:

    These “arguments” seem like baseless complaints. The female characters were weak?? They used the word “quagmire”?? Give me a break!

    Max was not the central character?? Yeah, just like in the other movies, he gets caught up in other people’s problems, and ends up helping them. This isn’t a valid point.

    This movie was AWESOME. It DID have an interesting plot, and interesting characters, with exactly the right amount of craziness for their situations (such as Nux, the Warboy, having two lumps on his neck that he calls his “mates”, and that look like he drew faces on them with a sharpie).

    On top of that, this is an action juggernaut that’s highly entertaining. The director returned 30 years later (after Thunderdome), and the villain is played by the actor from the very first film. Both did an excellent job, like everyone else involved, and I’m very glad this exists. The review of this “article”, on the other hand, is poorly constructed and filled with nonsensical gripes, like those of a child trying to troll everyone with an unpopular opinion, just for the sake of an unpopular opinion.

  68. 222228 says:

    There’s a night scene, you can see a bad guy, but then… This guy disappears. Can somebody tell me why this trash won academy awards?

  69. Hannia Pot says:

    Watched in theaters, didn’t like it. Re-watched it few monthes later on TV, and I actually understood why it got rave reviews. It’s actually the best action movie of the century, and it’s not even close. It’s a radical movie, that come back to the roots of cinema, aka visual story-telling. Everything is told by the stage, the direction, and the actors eyes and facial expressions. I then rewatched it a few more times and it becomes better and better after each viewing, because there is an attention to details that is astonishing. The World building is made without any exposition or narration, it’s all visual. And it’s a very rich World. It’s the cult classic of the decade by a large margin, and it’s not even close.
    I also read the review and it seems that Mr.Weinstein didn’t understand or catch half the things that happened on screen. Which is strange, it seems that Mr. Weinstein has the attention span of a toddler.

  70. Andrew says:

    Wow, talk about an echo chamber. I mean, you guys are entitled to your own opinions. But it’s not a bad movie. You have to think about the time and effort that everyone in this movie put in. I would have to write my own article arguing this one, so I’m keeping this brief. You are all entitled to your own opinion, but, specifically and especially the “journalist” who wrote this you are wrong to say it’s a bad movie. Just because you didn’t like a movie you cannot immediately pass it off as bad. How can you look at all the hard work that went into this movie and say it’s “very very bad” and it “doesn’t meet the minimum standards for science fiction.” It doesn’t meet YOUR minimum standards because it’s too loud for you to consider it art. But it is art, read it and weep. It has a story arc, and character arcs, but it was primarily shown through the visuals, the choreography and the actors’ visual and kinetic performances rather than emotional/verbal performances. Would you prefer if they all just spoke the plot out to you? And speaking of visuals, literal top tier cinematography by a legendary cinematographer and the whole thing was a technological marvel when it came out. First step, open your eyes and realize that all movies are art, good or bad. You can have your own opinion but you cannot at the same time try to definitively discredit valid achievements and skill in any artistic medium, it’s anti-art. but that’s something the internet won’t learn for another century probably.

  71. The real problem, as shown very clearly by many of the comments above, is the ability to comprehend story telling and writing has diminished to the point where anything can considered ‘good’ writing – by virtue of meeting certain needs (fast action, scantily-clad females, whatever). Those who read, and who have watched films over decades, can clearly see the lack of story not only in Fury Road but in a huge percentage of puerile films made over the past 20 years. Those who can’t see it have been raised with the poorly written television shows and films of the past 20 years and have nothing to compare it with. Most of those who “adore” Fury Road haven’t seen Mad Max, Mad Max 2 or Beyond Thunderdome. The differences in story are extraordinary. Fury Road’s AND THEN! structure is the structure of a child’s writing, someone who has no knowledge of actual story structures. That’s also why the lack of characterisation, character arcs and purpose in the film go uncommented. And although critics and reviewers state that it’s set in Australia – an assumption purely based on the previous films as the “story” doesn’t state that and the countryside is not even remotely Australian – it is not, it’s set in “everywhere desertish” and fails (unlike the films before it) to explain why everyone is in the desert. Then again it fails to explain pretty much everything about its world and characters, to the point that the audience cannot be invested in them. The article above is right on the money. There was no need to call this a Mad Max film – Max isn’t a part of it and the character could be swapped out for any rebellious War Boy without changing one word of the script.

  72. Saira says:

    This has got to be the most accurate and fair review of this movie I’ve read to date. It’s one of my husband’s favourite films and I can’t even pretend to see why. I’m currently being subjected to it on a Friday night.

    It’s as though they asked a teenage boy addicted to Monster and video games what they think a post-apocalyptic world looks like.

    And quite right to not conflate “popular” with “good”. If only my husband had the sense to distinguish the two…

  73. Jefferson Baugh says:

    I think this may legitimately be the worst piece of film criticism I’ve ever read in my life. Top marks, Jack.

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